Does anyone else worry about their child's eating habits?

Jamie - posted on 03/21/2011 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My son is 4 & like i said in my previous post, he is being evaluated for Sensory Processing Disorder (mild forms of autism) & he literally eats like nothing. I've talked to doctors about it, but all they can tell me is to keep introducing new foods, encourage him to at least try them or take "bites". But he just wont, i have to force him to taste things and if he likes them he wants them ALL the time then it fades out and he doesnt want them anymore.



He only eats waffles, cheetos, yogurt, bananas, cheerios, poptarts, chocolate, crackers...& NO MEAT at all. He used to eat meat but at age 2 everything changed and he wanted nothing to do with food! Hes a very big kid, bigger than most four year olds. And i dont meant chubby, hes tall too. He seems very healthy..but i just feel like he should be eating & im not taking control or something! But when i attempt to sit him at the table with a meal he will just cry or even throw up if he doesnt like it. Am i doing what i should? The doctors all have said "he will eat when he is hungry". He has a HUGE attachment to his "sippy" cup & he drinks 2% milk..but alot of it.. i switched him to water at night but sometimes he will scream until he gets his milk so i have no choice but to give it to him because i have a sleeping 5 month old! I would love to hear others views on this topic & if you have the same situation what you do to handle it? Thanks!

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Dvorah - posted on 03/28/2011

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You sound like you have a handful. I personally don't have that big of a problem but I think if you start with the foods he already likes you can add to them. Like hiding a fruit in the waffle by pureeing or keep them small. Switch out the poptarts to a more healthy version. Did you try hamburgers? Go to Skim milk and then try to water that down if that's all he'll drink. Introduce sugar free punch.
If you really want him to sit at the table set him a plate and have everyone sit and eat. Hopefully he'll come for dinner. Hand him food from the kitchen. Always ask him to sit down at the table and give it to him.
Good luck..Most of the time I just go with the flow anyway. Do what you can do, look at the bright side, and let it go...

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Kaya - posted on 04/29/2014

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My knees doesn't eat anything she can't even finish anything.. My daughter gets really irritated when my knees just sits there eating crumbs of her plate, were worried about her weight she weighs about 65 pounds maybe lighter my sister her mother lets her sit in the front seat with no car seat, when she needs to sit in the back on a car seat.. She wears 6x in clothing her mother me etc.. Are worried sick about her.. And know if she doesn't start eating she will have a disease in the future.

Rosemarie - posted on 03/08/2014

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my grandaughter, she only eats certain things for a while then she doesnt want it anymore and switches to something else. she wont eat meat or vegetables. when she was 1 1/2 she was diagnosed with pdd, but when she turned 3 they said she didnt have it any more.. what to do

Cristine - posted on 03/28/2011

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Jamie, my son is now 6 and has Autism along with SPD. He used to eat everything until he turned 3. He is a very picky eater and we have had to implement a new food program into his ABA home program and with his OT as well. We started by just getting him to sit at the table. You said your son screams at the table. My son flat out refused to sit at the table too. We got that under control, and then we moved onto new foods. We now have him eating chicken and hot dogs and cheeseburgers. He is on a gluten free diet so we have to watch what he eats anyway. As for the sippy cup, now he only drinks his soy milk out of the sippy cup with the straw in it. He drinks water and juice out of an open cup now(with a lot of help from ABA and OT). Does your son seem to "crave" carbs or things with gluten? Have you tried a visual schedule at night where he could see that he can't have milk at certain times? Good luck!!!
Cristine

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My son is now 15, and still picky, though he now has a varied diet, loves veggies, hates cheese and milk, loves yogurt... your little one will be fine, though I would put my foot down on anything other than water at bedtime-bad for teeth

Isabel - posted on 03/27/2011

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hello...i have a daughter who is 8 years old and as yours she is very peculiar about what she eats,,,she is an aspie and she has sensory and she is allergic to meat as she says and like your son she will eat just certain food... she is eating just beans, soft tortillas, sandwiches of jam no chess and mayoneisse,,,,some pastas , corn flakes milk ( lactain) she can tolarate any other ,,,,water no soda,,some juices,,,before she was willing to eat chess, fish, chicken, pork, beef...as today no much but i don't worry as long as she is not anemic....i feel your concern and frustration but my dr. said as far as she is healthy and growing as she should ,,,i don't have to worry eventually she will out grow it..good luck with your son

Carrie - posted on 03/27/2011

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My son, who has Asperger's, is a VERY picky eater. The Dr. isn't worried about it. He tested him to see if he had any vitamin/mineral deficiencies, which he doesn't, and said that if he did we would put him on a vitamin/mineral regimen. His Dr. is a developmental pediatrician, who also said to let him eat whatever he will eat. He eats LOTS of peanut butter sandwiches. My son is very small, as in skinny, so the Dr. also said to let him eat alot of high fat foods, basically just the opposite of what they tell you to feed your kids. He said McDonald's is GREAT!!! If my son will eat it, I let him. Maybe this is wrong, but if he wants chips for breakfast, I let him have them, HEY, they're potatoes... gotta be some nutrients in there somewhere, and I think it's better than him not eating AT ALL.

Leticia - posted on 03/27/2011

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there is a very good book i just read called "Just Take a Bite: Easy, Effective Answers to Food Aversions and Eating Challenges". It gives a lot of good information. They will not eat anything they don;t want and trying to force them will not work at all. If you do, they will not trust you anymore. This book has a lot of strategies. Ive been trying them and we've made very small but consistant progress towards accepting new foods over the last 8 months. Hang in there and good luck.

Alice - posted on 03/26/2011

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Our OT said that part of the problem is my sons chew up and down, rather than in a grinding motion, so it's harder to eat meat and other things like that. I don't know if that's an autism thing or what?

Rae - posted on 03/26/2011

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My son doesnt chew meat he has always hated it. I have actually just sat and watched him eat the other day and noticed that he just puts it in one chew then straight down, unbelieveable that I had failed to notice before. My son has made a gd start at trying foods but this only really happened in school they worked with him but he trys most things now even if its just a lick its just getting them to be ok with food the feel, taste, smell visual etc.... He doesnt use a knife or fork though preffers fingers......

SHELLEY - posted on 03/25/2011

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My daughter is a very picky eater too but it does get better with time.
At age 3 she only drank milk, chips and crackers..no meat..no veggies at all.
We had her in a full time in home ABA program and for over 6 months we worked on getting her to try new foods one at a time. We used skittles and mini mm's as a reward. At first she only had to "touch" them...then progressed to "smell"..then hold to "lips"..with tons of praise and clapping..then on to "licking"..and chewing and swallowing..this helped her eventually try new foods that we werent working on too.
She eats a long list of foods now but still loathes veggies.
Any attempts to force them on her made her gag:(
She has always been very healthy so I have learned to pick my battles and let this one go.
Tried and true foods she will eat now:
Chicken strips/fries
Pizza~cheese or pepperoni
spaghetti plain with parm.cheese
Apples
Carrots
Corn on the cob only
Hot dogs
Turkey
Ham
All chips:P
Bread..
Not very healthy but I am just happy she can take a lunch to school that is just like her peers and find some choices when we go out to restaurants now.
I took her to a nutritionist and even went to seminars on the subject and in the end if your child is healthy..it is not a big issue.
I do give her gummy vitamins because I worry about low iron from no red meat or green veggies.
Best of luck:)
Shelley

Ann - posted on 03/25/2011

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I feel for you. I have a 4 yr old ASD and twin 2 yr olds. And yes the other child(ren) does effect the situation. My sons list of food is different but not longer. Like you the Dr. was /is not worried. My son is tall and healthy size but the diet sucks!! I will say the OT he had at Easterseals was great at explaining the texture issues and really brought my son a long way including with what he was willing to try. Talk to your OT if you have one they have tricks and therapies that seem unrelated but open new doors. We also have the preschool work on this with us since some kids will do different things for different people. Worth trying if you are not stressing out you son by doing so. Also, I heard that Carnation Instant breakfast is similar to the pediasure but cheaper. So my son who loves milk slowly had the instant breakfast added in. Since there is texture issues you start with it very diluted but I am up to the normal consistency. As for your sippy cup issue. I was with you and knew my son was capable of a regular cup. As I took it away it was replaced with my son eating everything in sight. (non-food items included) The School asked me to re introduce it until we could redirect the oral issues. So clearly it was about more than "milk". Now at school he is working with gum to satisfy the oral issues. In addition we are doing a brushing / joint compressions to regulate him and hopefully that too will help him be less dependent on stimming, texture issues and oral needs. You are not alone. Hang in there.

Alice - posted on 03/23/2011

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My sons started drinking out of a regular cup by playing with cups and bowls in the bathtub.
For us, the key is that they only try things when they feel zero pressure. Both twins like to put everything in their mouths, so I leave healthy food lying around as if it is not food.
Also, don't worry about them liking unhealthy stuff. the book I used said to just expand on what they already like. At first, you might just expand the crunchy cereals and chips they like (some people will not agree with me, I know) My guys are also more likely to try new things away from home for some reason.
But even though things are better, I still have the best luck when I act like I really, really don't care if they try something. Some times I actually say, "I hope no one chews on this!"

Paula - posted on 03/23/2011

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Here's just a thought..and please it's not meant to be taken with offense.. but here's what it could be...Perhaps it's all in texture.. like the meat could be too chewy and swallowing it made him gag...Try cooking the meat in different ways.. on a lower temperature so that it will have a softer texture, he may still be very afraid to even try it.. find some way to get him to try it.. and if he likes it then remember to feed it to him those ways..

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It sounds like he has a definite preference for sweet or crunchy foods. There are sensory reasons he prefers those. However, you can work around it, the operative word being "work." Introduce foods in new ways, and wean him off the junk. He will feel much better without all of that garbage in his system. I would start with the Cheetos and poptarts. They are awful for him! Reserve small bits of chocolate, such as mini M&Ms, for when he needs a reward during therapy (if you use an ABA type system).



If he does not have a medical reason for the sippy cup, it's time for that to go. It's not good for his teeth to be sucking on that sugar and if you think it's bad to have him screaming for the cup, imagine how miserable he will be when he's getting his teeth filled at the dentist. There are children's cups with straws built in the sides (open cups, not sippies-- can find them at WalMart). If he likes bubbles, put a small amount of liquid in the bottom of the cup and show him how to blow bubbles.



He will not be happy with you over the food changes and it won't be easy. He has learned that screaming and making himself throw up is an effective way to get what he wants. That's okay. You can change it. Do not react when he behaves that way. Instead, offer him small portions of a variety of foods, including one of the healthier options of something he likes. Expect it to take several times before he tries something new. It could be dozens of trials. Don't give up! His long term health is too important to let this go on.

Robyn - posted on 03/23/2011

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My 9yr old eats nothing but corn on the cob, has done now for nearly a year, have spoken to his peadiatrician and she doesnt like the idea, but weve tried introducing other sources of food and he refuses to eat anything but the corn, his weight was suffering and because he LOVES his milk I now have him on sustagen 3 x's a day in his milk, he has finally put on 2kg's in 12mths, have you tried sustagen in his milk, as the Dr's have said to me, they wont starve themselves, but give them what they like to eat for now.

Alice - posted on 03/23/2011

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HI,
Your son eats almost exactly the things my twins used to eat. They also would only drink mild for a long, long time. Gradually they have gotten better, although it's still a challenge.
Try reading the book "Just Take a Bite":
http://www.amazon.com/Just-Take-Bite-Eff...
That's a link to it on Amazon.com
Gotta go due to family issues, but I'll post more later. It will get better!

Mary - posted on 03/23/2011

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Hi. My son in now 12. But when he was a toddler he gave me fights All the time about eating. I was worried and also asked doctors about this. I got the same answers u did. Except that the pediatrician also told me to buy him pediasure. It is a healthy good tasting vanilla shake and provides him with the nutrition he needed. I hope this helps you. Mary E. Barabos

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