9 yr old developing an eating disorder? HELP!

User - posted on 04/22/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

6

0

0

This is my first time starting or writing on here, but I am hoping some suggestions can help—and sorry it is so long. My husband and I discovered a couple of weekends ago that our son has been eating a LOT of candy… a sneaking it when he knows he is not supposed to—a LOT of candy, chocolate, & sweets before school—which I am wondering if this is contributing to his behavior issue at school, hyped up on sugar. I do not know how long it’s been going on, but on Easter Sunday I bought a package of 12 chocolate covered marshmallows, and swiss rolls in our weekly shopping. On Wednesday evening my husband discovered the marshmallow package was open—10 missing, as well as an empty box of swiss rolls. He asked me if I ate any of them because he had 1 swiss roll, and I didn’t so we then asked Robbie. In a 3 day time frame he ate 10 chocolate covered marshmallows before school, as well as finishing off an almost new package of swiss rolls. He says he didn’t eat them all, and that he “shared” with his 2 yr old sister. So we had a long talk about how eating that much candy, sweets, etc. are not good, and it is bad for his health etc.



A few days later we discovered he ate 5 cereal bars—in one morning! Yes the full of sugar cereal bars-which he already knew he was not supposed to just eat those without asking—when I bought them we had that discussion at the store. So this time when we talked I told him we told him if he is still hungry after he eats one crescent breakfast sandwich, (sausage, egg & cheese) to eat another or 3 if he is still hungry. I buy the crescents from Sam’s Cub in bulk so there are plenty out of the freezer, pop in the microwave and eat—no limit etc. So if he is truly hungry, he can eat something that is not full of sugar. We also told him he can have fruit, yogurt, cheese sticks, bagel bites—etc. in the fridge/freezer as well as other things he can eat that are not full of sugar. He said ok. Then a few days later we found out he ate 3 cereal bars again before school. So obviously talking is not working with him, so last night we put a lock on the pantry with all the sweets/candies etc. I know this sounds very drastic, but I’m not sure what else to do since he keeps repeating this behavior. Now this past weekend I discovered he is still somehow getting his hands on candy and eating it obsessively. This past weekend, I found more than a Wal-Mart plastic bag—stuffed full of nothing but candy wrappers. (Long story how I did) This however tells me that this behavior has been going on for some time. Some of the wrappers are from candy that I have not bought in months…4-6 months ago—like around this past Christmas. Is it possible for him—at his age to develop an eating disorder—or OCD behavior as such? Is has already been diagnosed with ADHD—“combined”…. I don’t know what else to do here, but now I feel I’m going to have to search the whole house to find all his “stashes” of candy since this morning my husband discovered his living room stash—chocolate covered pretzels…behind the couch…please any thoughts? I don’t know what else to do, and he sees a physiatrist, and LPC therapist, who don’t seem that worried about his behavior, not to mention my husband says “he is a growing boy”. Am I over reacting? Does this sound like a “growing boy” type of behavior? I mean if he is really hungry why not eat chips, fruit, yogurt, cheese sticks, bagel bites, sandwich toast or something else other than candy?

4 Comments

View replies by

Denikka - posted on 04/25/2013

2,160

5

749

I would not say that this is either OCD behavior or an eating disorder. This is some whole other issue.
I would also say that this isn't a *typical growing boy* type of thing either.
I'm not sure how to help. My brother seems to have the same/similar problem. But his seems to stem more for learned behavior than anything else. He was born premature and ended up having (unrelated) digestive issues. He was malnourished and underweight and the doctors just wanted to put weight on him. It ended up being more important to just get calories into him instead of where they came from. That freedom of eating ended up giving him more problems in the long run because now he will actually go for days without eating (this has been proven. Even at age 6-10, his doctor got to the point of giving my mother the option to hospitalize him with a feeding tube or just let him have the snacks) just to get his own way (aka to have sugary treats)

The best thing I think I can really suggest is to just not buy those sugary treats anymore. I realize that this may not be *fair* to you, your husband or any other people that may be in the house, but sometimes you need to make those sacrifices. If those foods aren't there, he can't eat them. Simple as that.
Obviously the lock isn't stopping him, and for a really determined kid, a simple lock won't do it. You would either need to monitor him 24/7 (impossible) or, as I said, remove those temptations from the house entirely. unfortunately, there's not a lot you can do about his time at school except bring to his teachers attention that there has been some problems and request that he be watched and not allowed to trade his healthy lunch for sugary snacks.

I would definitely talk to his psychiatrist and let them know that this IS a major problem. They may not realize the extent to which this has escalated. But make sure that they realize that this IS a problem and that you need help addressing it. If they're not willing to help, you may want/need to go elsewhere for someone who can act more professionally and help you address the issues in your lives.
Good luck :)

Hillary - posted on 04/24/2013

7

0

0

I'm not an expert of any sort but I don't think it is an eating disorder. He could just be very hungry especially in the morning. Of course candy sounds better than an apple :)

Michelle - posted on 04/22/2013

1

0

1

I have kinda the same issue with my 8 year old daughter, maybe its because I've never been much of a sweets eater and rarely buy them she has become obsessed and whenever she is "hungry" she only wants chocolate or cookies. I think the lock on the pantry is an idea that I'm going to steal from you as no matter how hard I try and keep an eye on her I find all sorts of wrappers in the couch and under her bed. I have watched her gain a very large amount of weight in a very short time and have been slightly alarmed. her 2 sisters are very thin and so am I and we all eat the same home cooked meals and I make her healthy lunches for school. I discovered at her school if she says she's hungry they have a snack drawer. I've caught her hiding her healthy lunch and she tells her teacher I forgot to send her any food!! so now not only is she getting the sugar snacks she wants but the teachers were looking at me like some horrible mother sending her child to school with no food!! now I talk regular with the teacher and have been very firm with never supplementing my daughters lunch as I send what she needs. sigh...wish I had an answer for you...wish I had an answer for me. guess I just wanted you to know your not alone.

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