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DS (5) slowly starting to develop food fobia - very worried

(23 Posts)
Belgianchocolatesmama Mon 19-Feb-07 19:04:03

My ds LOVES his food. He's always hungry and is non stop eating. BUT, since a week or two ago he's slowly but surely starting to cut out more and more foods.
It started with crisps (OK that wasn't too bad, happy for him to drop that one), because he'd had a not completely chewed sharp bit of crisp at the back of his throat. That really freaked him out, even though he didn't actually choke.
Ever since he's on the look out for food that might contain 'sharp' bits. Now he's refusing apple, because of the peel. But when you peel it he's still refusing. His one time favourite food in the world, pear, is also refused. Cereal, same. Bread, which is actually soft, is becoming a nightmare too according to the au pair.
Tonight he had an encounter with a taco and so now he's refusing that too. I did make him eat it though.
I'm just really worried, because my boy who would normally eat almost anything is now refusing his food, that's so unlike him.
Another something that might contribute be contributing to this problem is that he is always hurrying his food and so I think he doesn't chew it properly, hence swallowing large bits which might feel sharp. I tell him to chew better, but he just gets angry and says he can't.
I really don't know how to go about reversing this process and I'm afraid that one day soon he'll only eat yoghurt and soup.

thewoodlandfairy Mon 19-Feb-07 19:36:33

my dd 5 will not eat salmon cos she once found a bone in it and got a sore mouth. Other fish is fine! There is no rationalising with her about it. I'll be watching this for any other answers people have. I do feel for you, it's horrid when you just aren't sure what to do for the best - sorry i couldn't really help.

Bucketsofdynomite Tue 20-Feb-07 17:05:48

Get him to eat with other kids as much as you can, peer pressure can do amazing things.

Belgianchocolatesmama Tue 20-Feb-07 18:30:21

He eats with other people at school and has been since September, but this problem has only started 2 weeks ago.
Tonight I had another big run in over an apple. If he happily ate apple with skin 2 weeks ago, then he WILL eat in now. It makes me so angry.
Anyway, he's in bed now. I normally never send my children to bed as a punishment, but after he had the tiny bit of apply with a tiny bit of skin in his mouth for 15 minutes, claiming that he was unable to swallow it and then he spat the very thoroughly chewed bit out I just snapped, took him up and put him to bed without a story or anything.

FrannyandZooey Tue 20-Feb-07 18:42:22

I am no good at saying these things tactfully but reading your last post, I am also very worried that yes your son will develop a food phobia if you carry on like this

I am sorry but there is no way it is ok to force a child to eat something they don't want to, that they are scared of eating, and to punish them for not eating like this

Please try to get this sorted in your mind and not take out your fears and worries on him

Choking or scratching ones throat is a very nasty experience and I am not surprised he is getting edgy about eating since then

I would recommend lots of smooth and slippery foods for the time being until he starts to forget the fear - there are loads of foods like spaghetti with sauce, stews, soups, etc that you could make and that he will hopefully find acceptable. I do feel sorry for you both and hope you don't mind me speaking frankly

grannycrackers Tue 20-Feb-07 18:46:55

couldn't have put it better myself, franny

TrinityRhino Tue 20-Feb-07 18:47:15

I second that franny

FrannyandZooey Tue 20-Feb-07 18:48:05

Well that's two of us up for diplomat of the year then granny

bambi06 Tue 20-Feb-07 18:49:52

maybe his throat hurts where he scratched it and so is cautious of repeating the process.why dont you ask him if his throat hurts etc.. and if it does say o.k we`ll wait for your throat to get better and in the meantime give him soft stuff.i think the more you force an issue the worse it will come...try reverse psychology even and say oh maybe you shouldnt eat this[choose hos most fav food] as it might hurt your throat, we`ll not eat it for a while and offer him soft ffods only.he`ll probably get bored of it eventually or say he cant go to friends houses etc as he won tea tthe may work but dont force him please...

Piffle Tue 20-Feb-07 18:50:25

I second Franny, making it an issue and fighting over it will only make it worse

Move away onto non issue foods - maybe cooking apple/fruit or using tinned for a while until he forgets

good luck it is hard to deal with

edam Tue 20-Feb-07 18:58:18

If he's genuinely scared after getting the sharp crisp, I really wouldn't force him to eat anything that makes him freak. It's cruel to lose your temper and make someone esp. a little boy do something which really, honestly, makes them frightened.

I think FandZ's right, keep it very low key and just go for sloppy food that doesn't frighten him at the moment. Then gradually reintroduce other foods so you are building his confidence up, not knocking it down.

Tiggiwinkle Tue 20-Feb-07 19:01:16

I am horrified at your last post Belgianchocolate-you absolutely should not punish your DS for this. He needs reassurance and a calm, loving approach-or, as Franny says, you really will have problems. My DS has Aspergers and develops phobias from time to time-he has been afraid of swallowing in the past. It takes a while for him to get over it, and I am sure your son will take a while too. Be gentle with him until he has overcome his fear.

Mercy Tue 20-Feb-07 19:08:33

Another one who agrees with Franny.

You really shouldn't be feeling angry with your ds, but helping him to overcome his fear instead. He will become even more fearful if you continue to react like this.

I think you need to be more sympathetic and talk to him about what happened to try and alleivate his fear. And take it slowly.

aviatrix Tue 20-Feb-07 20:38:56

Message withdrawn

Belgianchocolatesmama Tue 20-Feb-07 22:36:39

I didn't realise I would get such strong reactions to what happened.And I did feel bad after.
I also want to say that I've always taken the keep offering, never forcing, not forcing them to eat things they don't like etc... approach and it worked (slowly) up until now. These are foods he loves, so he should eat them.
My nephew did something like it last year and he only ate tomato soup and yoghurt for 4 months or so, losing loads of weight. I want to stop my son from getting to that stage, because every so many days he adds another food to the list.
He hasn't got a sore throat, by the way.

FrannyandZooey Wed 21-Feb-07 20:04:55

Hi Belgians, I think a few of us were disturbed by the image you sending him to bed in disgrace after refusing to eat the apple that he was clearly scared of. I can imagine you didn't feel good about it afterwards and we aren't trying to heap guilt on your head, but just point out that maybe your tactics could make the problem worse.

I can understand it is extremely worrying for you. It's easy for us to say "oh relax" when it is not our child

Belgianchocolatesmama Wed 21-Feb-07 23:29:43

Thank you Frannyandzoe.
I was on a late shift today and so I have no idea how lunch or dinner went today, but he did eat all his breakfast. Hopefully he'll grow out of it quickly.

therealcontrolfreakydave Wed 21-Feb-07 23:47:37

my ds7 choked on a piece of hot potato in december. it hurt his throat and was v painful for a while. it took him a suprisingly long time to get over this..... at leat 4 weeks. i made no fuss about him eating and let him choose what he "could" eat (within reason .... he really was quite traumatised by it and it lasted way longer than it took his throat to stop hurting. chill. it's not like you have a choice really.... you cant MAKE him eat stuff. that is a battle you will always lose.

bambi06 Thu 22-Feb-07 09:39:24

did any of you see that programme last night about eating ? their was a 20 yr old who would only eat chips,bread,choc and drinks as she remembers when she was 3 she was ill which made her sick a lot so in her mind she associated food with being sick and she couldnt understand why her parents were trying to make her eat food that was obviously going to make her sick and the fact that her parents were force feeding her made it worse she said and ot this day 17 years later she finds it extremely hard to try new foods out of her very limited range for fear of it making her sick even though she knew in her head this was silly and knew in the end it was damaging her body but just couldnt break the habit, so try and back off a bit and let him eat what he`s comfortable with until he feels ready...

Davenid Thu 22-Feb-07 09:41:39

He used to love apple

maybe he doesn't anymore

give him a break and let him eat what he wants for a week or so

Belgianchocolatesmama Thu 22-Feb-07 11:54:58

I think I've started to feel a bit less worked up about it. I'll just have to go back to my old tactics of insisting that they have 1 piece of food on the plate, but that they don't have to eat it.
I know it works my dd (3) ate rice for the first time ever 2 days ago and she ate it all I just wished this worked a eensy teensy bit quicker, because this seeing food for 10 times thing before trying is definitely not true.

FrannyandZooey Thu 22-Feb-07 12:20:21

I think they say "at least" ten times, belgians

well done you for persevering with healthy stuff and letting them try it when they want to

I think your ds will be fine if you back off a bit

Belgianchocolatesmama Thu 22-Feb-07 12:31:12

Thank you Franny, I didn't know it was at least. I wonder where that child is that tries new things after 10x, mine take about a year and a half on average. Unless of course its a new type of sweet or cake. They'll eat that after seeing it only once

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