Tonsils vs. Picky Eater??

[deleted account] ( 3 moms have responded )

My baby turns 3 next month, and has always had large tonsils. Over the holidays, he started eating fewer foods, and I assumed it was just being 2 and a picky eater. At first, I stood my ground and insisted he eat a little of each thing on the plate, etc. Then we realized he had a cavity and took him to a pediatric dentist... who ended up giving him a double root canal about a month ago. (ouch!!!) A week later, Brian is still not eating much of anything besides yogurt, so we go back to the dentist, who "guarantees" there are no more cavities and recommends checking ears and tonsils. Sure enough, next day he starts with a high fever... had a double ear infection and tonsillitis. Today, we saw the ENT for the follow up appt. Main concern is that he hasn't eaten normal meal food in 3-4 months and that he is constantly putting his fingers in his mouth. She didn't see infection, but said they are large, and recommended taking out the tonsils, mainly b/c she didn't know what else to do. Not a real convincing argument to do the surgery! I am not afraid of having a T&A done... just don't want to put him through it if it isn't necessary. How do I figure out whether the food thing is a control issue for my 2 yr old, or if having the tonsils out will cure him? We have tried tempting him with all kinds of foods, and he will eat very, very few. Even things we know that he LOVED before. It is really hit or miss whether he will eat things now. He isn't losing weight. Four months is just a really long time for a food strike for a 2 yr old. Isn't it???

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Kristin - posted on 03/02/2010

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I think Karen may have something with seeking a second opinion. I may just be nothing to worry about. Your son may be afraid that it will hurt. Have you asked him if it hurts to swallow things? Phrase it how you need to, but don't belabor the point.

As for meal times, continue to offer what everyone else is having. Ask that he eat at least 2 bites (one for each year) of whatever he wants, maybe serve some easily mashable stuff too(?). Watch to see if he winces when he swallows, he may be in pain and not be able to tell you. If nothing else, this may get a bit of variety back into his diet. And always let him know you are proud of him for what he does eat. How does he do with soup?

Tough one, good luck.

[deleted account]

Hi Karen,
Thanks for the input, and you are absolutely right. It is so easy to make food into a battle! I admit that I did that at first... it ended up with lots of crying. Not all him either. ;-) So I gave that up and at dinner, I now put tiny portions of everything on his plate (like his brothers' plates) but I also give him a cup of yogurt when he asks for it. If he doesn't want to eat, we don't force it. Many times, he just eats the yogurt and then leaves the table. I have let it go at that for about a month now, but now my 4 yr old is starting to imitate him to get out of eating the meal.

If it is his tonsils, I don't want to stress him out about food b/c he could gag or choke... I don't push anymore... just tempt him with other food! I get his brothers in on the act too, and they only say comments about the food if they like it, not when they don't! But still... he refuses to touch any food on his dinner plate. :-(

Karen - posted on 03/02/2010

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Is it posible 2 get a second opinion, and if the next doctor agrees with 1st Doc, that is a bit more reassuring. Also as tough as what im about 2 say mayb 4 u plz do not think it is a critisism as im only saying it out of the desire 2 help.

At meal timesfrom now on, think about how your anxiousness could possibly be coming across 2 your son. If we worry and fuss and make an issue over wat is getting eaten they unfortunately feel pressure that then stops them from eating. As hard as it mite b, is there any way ur family can (pretend if need be) not 2 notice his not eating and only notice his actual eating. Then when meal time is over just clear up as if there are no problems or concernstring of course not 2 let him c any concern from any1.

it is Very Hard 2 do but it culd work as we get funny about food when we are stressed so its easy 2 c it can effect them 2.

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