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Please please help with major feeding issue (17 month old)

(13 Posts)
kt345 Wed 10-Feb-16 21:56:16

Hi all,
I’m fairly new on here and hope that the fact that I’m a Dad and not a Mum isn’t a problem?
I am desperately seeking help and advice to improve the eating habits of our 17 month old son as it causing severe stress to my wife and I’m not sure how much she can take (crying most days and now has a developing anger issue).
Basically our little one has always been a small and picky eater from the day he was born but instead of it improving it is getting progressively worse and every mealtime is a battle from hell.
He will not eat anything that has anything but the smoothest texture, any lumps or fibres and he either refuses to eat or vomits. He used to eat pureed sweet potato, lentils, chicken, fish (in tiny amounts) but now he will only eat pureed avocado if you are lucky.
A large meal for him would be half a petit filous and two spoons of rice pudding and that will be all he takes all day, he barely drinks milk (approx. 200ml a day) and sometimes a tiny sip of juice.
He will not feed himself and does not put anything in his mouth, no pieces of food, no toys, nothing at all. His weight has dropped from 9.75kg to 9kg and as he currently has a cold plus gastroenteritisis he will surely lose more.
We have done EVERYTHING you find in books and online to encourage him to eat but to no avail. The health visitor was useless and our GP is much the same, they just don’t see a problem as in all other respects he is well ahead of his milestones.
Can anybody advise a way forward or how to get referred to a specialist (anyone in the UK had experience of using one of these?).
This really is tearing our little family apart and I can’t bear to see my beautiful son wasting away and my wife blaming herself.
Thank you in advance.

TeamEponine Wed 10-Feb-16 22:54:25

This sounds awful and very difficult to deal with. flowers

For a referral you need to ask your gp. Have you seen the gp already? If he is losing weight it would probably be a good idea. Any history of reflux, dairy allergy, gluten intolerance, or that kind of thing?

How does he react to your food? DD is a similar age, and isn't the slightest bit interested in what I eat, but if DH is eating she always shows an interest and bugs him for his food.

What happens if you just give him some food to play with? Does he even put it in his mouth? It might be worth almost treating food like a toy, let him just play in his highchair with finger foods and get more comfortable with having the foods around him.

Hopefully others will come along with other ideas, and I'll keep my thinking cap on for you.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 10-Feb-16 23:04:13

first up I would see a different gp. he'll if you can afford it go private if yours really are all shit.

get any medical reason ruled out. tongue tie, sore teeth, etc

is it just food he's funny with? or textures/smells/ seams on clothing etc ?

does he suffer regularly from eczema or congestion?

I'm wondering if he gets uncomfortable from food and is perhaps self medicating by not eating much.

I would say the important tho g after a medical work uo o's to take the stress out of it. give him what he will eat how he will eat ot. make sure it's enjoyable/fun, no pressure. if he needs you to Feed him feed him but whatever you do this needs to be light and fun and no hint of stress or worry etc. he's probably picking up on the worry and the upset and that won't be helping.

flowers for you both.

eatsleephockeyrepeat Thu 11-Feb-16 10:55:36

Gosh, you all sound like you need a little light at the end of the tunnel; I think only harassing the gp is going to get you that.

You say he won't put anything in this mouth, which sounds like an serious case of oral aversion. By all accounts (Dr. Google) it's quite a common situation, but often results in tube feeding and various ongoing therapies - hit the internet, then beat you gp over their head with it!

kt345 Sat 13-Feb-16 20:54:48

Thanks for the words of encouragement, We've got an appointment with a different GP at a different surgery next Wednesday and have also possibly found a way of self referring to an NHS feeding specialist.

Just a quick question, has anyone got a child that went from only having very smooth pureed food, skipped lumpy food and went straight to foods like crisps and fish fingers? My sister in law seems to remember her son done this?

He doesn't have any other physical problems such as skin issues or problems with clothing.

poocatcherchampion Sat 13-Feb-16 21:00:14

Do you offer /make available a range of foods?

Like put a plate in front of it with what you are having?

Do you/your wife enjoy eating? Or are you more "food is fuel" kind of people. (I understand you are stressed Bout him but what about you - are you foodies? Experimenters?)

Have you offered things like cake,chocolate or ice cream that most kids love? (Not sure if you should but if he will eat them then it means he is not totally rejecting everything)

poocatcherchampion Sat 13-Feb-16 21:01:38

Has anyone else offered him a meal / does anyone else look after him

He might be reacting to your stress.

Just chucking around ideas here as it sounds like you are in a pickle but maybr cannot see the wood from the trees at the mo and are worn out from thinking up reasons/ideas.

mawbroon Sat 13-Feb-16 21:02:36

How was he with milk feeding? Any problems?

kt345 Sat 20-Feb-16 22:11:36

Thanks for the ideas, we have found that he will feed himself small quantities of broken up chocolate and tiny pieces of toast with Nutella.

My wife and I just eat basic food and have had our son sat at the table with us from as soon as he could sit in a high chair, we always place some of our food on his plate but he either ignores it or throws it on the floor.

We've tried most of the things that children SHOULD like to eat but he is a fussy little thing!

He does eat slightly better at the childminder but she is quite no nonsense and somehow gets it into him!

Anyone got some surefire pureed recipe that might tempt him?

He will eat a tiny amount of pureed fish or chicken but flat out refused mashed potato and gravy tonight as well as some Richmond sausages pureed with gravy!

deepdarkwood Sat 20-Feb-16 22:26:13

It does sound really stressful - flowers for you and your wife.

I think that seeing a different GP is sensible - as it does sound like something where I'd want to get an outside opinion - esp if he's not mouthed toys etc - did he chew fists as a little one?
But I agree with others that the best thing you can do whilst waiting for the appointment is take a BIG step back, breathe deeply and not let it stress you, or at least try not to let the stress show (easy for me to say, I know...) - personally, I'd also not worry about how nutritious and healthy his food is - I'd just try and get him back into the swing of enjoying food for it's own sake. I would by 17 months be tempted to move more to finger food than trying to 'force' puree (I'm sure you're not, but I wonder if the 'battlefield' mentality can't help but come through?)

Fwiw, my ds took a 'classic' route through puree, to lumpy food, to more textured. Dd (who is my stubborn one!) went straight from puree to finger food - pretty much from about 7 months, she just decided puree wasn't for us. There was a LOT of mess, and not much got eaten for a long time, but she survived! Both of my two were reasonably fussy eaters as babies - and at 12 and nearly 10, they both eat anything and everything (dd's favourite is mussels, ds loves steak and scallops!) - neither are 'big eaters', and both are very slim, but they are very, very healthy.

LindsayS79 Sun 21-Feb-16 21:42:01

I went 'cold turkey' on the puréed food for dinner with my fussy DD around that age. I started with just that main meal, progressing to lunch a few weeks later. The only mush I gave her was her porridge for brekkie.
After a couple of days she took to eating bits like quorn sausage (mild and soft) and tortelloni. I also took her away from the high chair as I found myself unwittingly adding pressure.
I simply put food on a plate and left it next to her on the floor. I pretended I was busy doing something else and caught her out of the side of my eye picking the food up in between playing. I know it's not the ideal 'family dinner' scenario but my husband works nights and I wanted to try anything as it was so upsetting seeing DD not eat.
DD is now 2 and a half and is still fussy but so much better. We sit at the breakfast bar and talk over dinner which takes the focus off her and she happily eats with a bit of relaxed encouragement.
I can see now that she was reacting to my stress. I know how you all feel. It's awful but you can get through it. As others said, best to rule out medical issues though

Callthemodwife Sun 21-Feb-16 21:53:52

Might seem an odd question but how is his sleep? Does he snore? Is he often bunged up?

My DS has/had obstructive sleep apnea - basically the tonsils are so big they block the throat and can stop children from breathing properly and even eating. DS struggled to eat much at all and would also often vomit when eating or sleeping. He particularly found lumpy food hard going. He's just had his tonsils out and so far it seems to have worked well.

Might be worth googling obstructive sleep apnea to see if any of the symptoms fit?

marmiteandchocolate Tue 26-Apr-16 09:03:36

hi, just saw this thread. my daughter is around the same age as your son and we were going through the exact same problem around the same time. the major issue we kept facing was that when she got used to lumpy food, she'd catch flu and then would lose her appetite and then would just only eat purees and drink his milk. and then we'd have to start the whole process again of re-introducing lumpy food which she'd then scream blue murder about. it was exhausting and i really feel for you. the one thing that changed and helped was when she started nursery one day a week. i think seeing other kids sitting down at a table, and being able to feed themselves with cutlery helped a lot. we also then decided to go completely cold turkey on purees as we didn't think we were doing her a favour by letting her have purees 6 days out of 7 and then having a shock at proper food one day a week. we found the heinz toddler's meals worked best for her, and she went from screaming her head off to actually using her cutlery and feeding herself. we then slowly introduced freshly cooked food to her - scrambled eggs, peas, sweetcorn.....she is still picky though....some days she will scream when she sees pasta or rice. but by and large it's been a huge improvement. she still hates bread, so sandwiches are not an option (tho so convenient!), but will eat breadsticks endlessly, as well as yoghurt of any kind (will still pick out fruit bits occasionally). it's not easy,.....and i used to get so so so stressed out during mealtimes as not eating enough would result in nightfeeds (which are then so bad for their teeth). hope things are better for you and your wife now.

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