overcoming eating adversions

Melissa - posted on 02/04/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )




My son is 2 and is still drinkingfrom a bottle, he has spd and is latose intolerant... can anyone share methods that worked to help your child over come the dislike of food? We can't feed him anything butstage 2 baby foods..... we've evn tried making our own purees of different foods, bt he'll refuse to thepoint of crying.... if he even gets a taste of it he gags.... any suggestions from parentswho havebeen there is better than none....


Heather - posted on 02/09/2010




In our case, our son has low oral motor tone and a VERY strong gag reflex. We fed him orally until he was 5.5 yrs old, and then ended up getting a feeding tube- he just wasn't taking enough in, He still eats orally, but now he controls how much he takes in. Has brought a whole new enjoyment for his life! He has a whole host of other issues that compounded as well. You should be getting some kind of Early Intervention in your home. Call your Pedi for a referral and a ph# to call. We still do purees, FYI. We've worked on very slowly working more in- try taking his fave food and adding like 4 flakes of rice cereal in it, so he hardly notices. Week by week add a little more in as he tolerates it. Both our children were lactose/milk protein intolerant for the first few yrs. Can he tolerate butter/ my sone could... not sure why.

I saw you have an SLP. Does that person specialize in feeding issues? We have an SLP that focuses only on that aspect and she's had some great ideas. Hope this helps.

Ann Marie - posted on 02/05/2010




You have a couple of different issues here.

First the bottle. Throw them all away and get a Gerber sippy cup with a hard top and no spill spout. The cup is shaped like an hourglass and has ridges on the center to help the child with grip. This was the best of the cups suggested by my speech pathologist. The others either leaked or had extended spouts which perpetuated the bottle effect, which leads to orthodontic issues later.

Lactose intolerant: Since he has SPD, he should still be on a lactose free formula. It is best to have cups one color for "milk" and one for "juice". Formula is a full nutrition which can keep him on the path to normal growth while you conquer the SPD issues of food. This is not the time to be giving him plain/nursery water. Everything he drinks needs vitamins or electrolytes (Pedialyte).

Juice: This is a concoction you make yourself. Look for nectars in the fruit juice aisle. They come in aluminum cans. The only one you must exercise caution with is the pear nectar. It is a natural laxative, and should only be used 3 servings per week. They will add a negligible amount of texture, but that is the point. Add carrot juice to nearly everything he drinks. While he may begin to object to the taste, if his two choices are "milk" and "juice", he will drink.

Your own purees: Put them in the baby food jars which you know he will eat. We had to use this trick with yogurt cups. Our son would eat yogurt, but not other foods. If you can get him to eat yogurt, this is another healthy layer of healthy calories.

Speech Pathologist: If you do not have one, get one. There should be a Baby Net program where children who are in need of intervention. Contact your local board of Disabilities and Special Needs. (It is named something different in most states.)

An SLP will help you with the swallowing and sensitivity issues. SLP use techniques like intraoral vibratory stimulation (less aggravating than brushing) to help reduce sensitivity. You can buy a vibrating teething toy for him at either WalMart or Target. This will help and not hurt the teeth he already has. If he mouths anything now (toys or objects), use this to your advantage by offering him finger foods (carrot sticks, apple wedges, teething biscuits, broccoli florets, peanut butter or wheat crackers, cheese cubes, chicken nuggets, small shaped pastas). This is a time battle: When he is hungry, he will eat.

Have him eat at the table with you and over-exaggerate how good the food you are eating is. He will eventually try your food. Curiosity at this age is on your side.

Lastly, be sure his aversion is to texture and not to temperature. One of our children would not eat anything which was not room temperature. The only cold thing he ever had was liquid. Temperature aversion is best conquered in the bath tub. Let him play in the bathtub until the water is very cool. Add hot water to the tub, and let him splash and play in the stream. It is worth the water on the floor to overcome the temperature sensitivity which is almost always present in SPD.

Have heart. It is a long process. As long as you know everything you are getting in his mouth is good for him, you can sleep well.

I cover this topic in my book. You can get a link to it on my FB profile. It is public.

Ann Marie
Author of "Taming the Terrible Twos: A Parent's Survival Guide"

Iridescent - posted on 02/04/2010




Is he getting therapy through the school district? If not, call and request an evaluation. They can do these therapies without costing you $.

With our oldest we used a NUK kit inside his mouth (called oral brushing) as well as, basically, force feeding. We'd force his hands into the textures he hated (bins of rice, play doh, goo, water) at least once a day. Before eating we'd orally brush his mouth to help desensitize. We'd put the foods in his mouth that he didn't like and keep it in his mouth as long as he could tolerate. Sometimes he'd end up eating it, sometimes not. Keep offering different textures even though he doesn't like them, and at the least force his hands into them. Hands are also very sensitive and take time to get used to things. Also, get rid of the bottle unless a medical condition requires it. Drinking from a cup puts the liquid in his mouth in a completely different way, and will help with reducing the sensitivity. Use a cup with no lid (even in the bathtub to start for practice) and a valved type while running around and such.

Also discuss this with his doctor. They make child formulas with complete nutrition in it, and unless he's already on one it's unlikely he's getting good nutrition. He will need this until he is eating a good variety.


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Ally - posted on 02/21/2010




Yes, Gabriel is 8 years old and still drinks from a bottles (Nuk). He could not tolerate foods until after he was 4 years old, so I added Purity into his bottles with his milk and cut the teats open so he could literally drink his food. The bought baby foods have a softer and smoother texture than home-made baby food. He has an enhanced gagging reflex, coupled with severe developmental delays and low tone around his mouth area so he could not chew foods until after 4 years old. Now he LOVES all food, and eats everything but is particular about the textures of his foods.

Cherish - posted on 02/19/2010




My youngest son had MAJOR food aversions until he was about 5.
After MANY evaluations,they saw that his soft palette touched his tongue,making it hard for him to swallow.
Up to the age of about 4 he would put food in his mouth until it got soft,then just spit it out.
He finally started "chewing" food when he was about 4.5 years old.

He is 7.5 years old and still has a bottle.
He could never drink from a sippy cup because it was too hard for him to suck.

There is a book called "just take a bite" it was very helpful.

Denise - posted on 02/18/2010




Try letting him play with his food, try all kinds of different foods, and if possible try taking him to a speech therapist. Xavier is 18 mos. and he still drinks from a bottle but I take him to two speech therapists and two occupational therapists and he is doing much better. Have tried soy milk or lactaid milk and adding chocolate or strawberry flavoring. Xavier really likes french fries so I started to buy him chicken fries and he loves them that is just one example. I know that it must be harder with a latose intolerant child but there are specialty stores that I'm sure sell lactose free yogurt, pudding, etc. I have started to mash up veggies and trick Xavier by doing a spoon full of veggies and then yogurt or pudding (something he likes) or putting the veggies in back and the pudding in front. Anyhow Xavier is doing mush better so I know that letting them play with their food and trying new things really work.

Melissa - posted on 02/17/2010




My daughter has sensory issues. I was exclusively nursing her at until 15 months because she refused to take bottle/cup, baby food/table food.
We had an excellent OT that specializes in food sensory issues through our state's early childhood intervention program.
By 18 months, she would eat a few items and would drink breast milk in a cup. She still is a very picky eater, but is holding her own weight.

Melissa - posted on 02/09/2010




Well Im definately againstforce feeding him.... He won't drink pureed fruits nor can we trick him by putting the food in the baby food jar... if he sees us eat a carrot or his foodhe gags and throws up... hehas no problems touching anyfood but he will throw up every time.. he does have a therapist... sippy cups? nope he'd rather go hungry than touch one.... I've tried all types... we have him on almond milk and calorie protein vitamin fat powdered supplement that is added to it..

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