6 yr-old stressed at mealtimes to the point of throwing up!

Junko - posted on 05/03/2016 ( 3 moms have responded )

3

0

1

Hi everyone,

I'm hoping I can find some advice/support for what we're going through. My 6.5 yr-old is a nervous type, and has always had a strong gag reflex (around mealtimes, car sickness, air sickness). He dislikes eating most things (except sweets and chocolate), and still eats a lot of "smooth" foods (fruit puree, hearty pureed soups, tons of milk). Absolutely hates chewing and gave up on chicken and fish because one bite would sometimes stay in his mouth for 45 minutes. Basically, if he can't gulp it, we're looking at mealtimes that last over an hour (even soft white rice takes him forever to swallow). Though it seems that there might be some physiological issue, with chewing and swallowing, the evidence is contrary because he can chew and swallow a rock hard piece of chocolate in seconds. His weight and height are on point, healthy happy kid, loves school, performs well, has friends etc.

I've never worried about the occasional throw-up, but in the last couple of months its increased to 1-3 times a week, and now 5 times last week! Its always on school days, ONLY around breakfast (before or after), and totally fine the rest of the day. Doesn't throw up on weekends (except this last weekend) and never on vacation.

The only explanation I can find is the stress of eating breakfast and getting ready for school. The stress gets to me as well and I do end up shouting and rushing the kids (my only justification is that we wake up at 5:45 and still don't manage to get out till 7:40, so I usually lose it around 7:20). I've noticed that he is fine when he wakes up, until I mention the word "breakfast" at which point he doubles up with pain and usually vomits a few minutes later.

Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Any advice or suggestions would be much appreciated!

Thank you.

3 Comments

View replies by

Junko - posted on 05/04/2016

3

0

1

Thank you for your replies. I met the school counselor to talk about any issues at school, but also broadly, any psychological issues. (we live overseas so access to good counseling is challenging, but its an american school and the counselor is US trained). Sort of narrowed down that there is some stress about the morning routine, including my referred stress, which might be making him anxious. But also he might be acting out to get some control/agency over his situation (how/how much he eats). So I'm trying to pull back and relax with the breakfast routine, as well as stay calm myself! We've made it through 2 school days this week without incident. Too soon to tell, but some success compared to last week. He does get enough sleep (asleep by 7:30pm), and it is only the eating that slows us down. Well, and the antics of his younger brother, who's also a handful to get fed and dressed, but without the throwing up, thankfully!

Dove - posted on 05/03/2016

11,760

0

1349

It sounds like he would benefit from some therapies. Has he been seeing a feeding specialist (I'm not sure what they are actually called) already? I would think being six and not eating much other than purees his doctor would have had him in therapy starting at least 3 years ago....

In addition to feeding therapy it sounds like he could benefit from some counseling for the anxiety.

Waking up at 5:45 is basically insane for a 6 year old unless he is asleep around 7/7:30pm every night. You might have a lot less stress if you set up the morning a bit differently for him. Is it just eating that is causing the dawdle? Maybe put up a schedule for him, so he can see ahead of time what jobs (getting dressed, eating, etc...) he has to do at what time and when the time comes to switch activities you give him one reminder... and if he's not done by the time it's time to switch activities again... too bad. It might only take one day of going to school in his jammies or w/out breakfast to get him in gear. Then again... it might only be w/ the right therapies that things improve here.

Sarah - posted on 05/03/2016

9,008

0

22

How scary. It does seem to be a psychological issue (since he can eat sweets without any trouble) rather than a mechanical issue. What does the pediatrician say? Has your son seen s psychiatrist or psychologist? I'd really push to have him seen by some sort of mental health provider. Kids can suffer from anxiety. I think often times mental health gets dismissed in kids and parents told "they'll outgrow it". It should not take tow ours to get ready for school and hopefully talking to an expert can help you develop some strategies and coping mechanisms to get him eating.
Even when he does not throw up, he still does not eat a typical diet, right? What has been tried to remedy his diet? Does he have any other sort of diagnosis? i wish I had more to offer and I am interested to see what you find out.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms