What to feed a picky eater with bowel problems?

Lexi - posted on 04/05/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )

309

15

11

My son (21 months) has hit the picky phase this past few months and it keeps getting worse. Lately he either has diarrhea or he is so constipated he screams in pain and I have to help him get the way too big, hard stool out. Last night he had a very bloody stool. The doctor who examined him said the constipation probably caused a tear in his rectum. Not a big deal as long as we get him regulated and there is no more bleeding. Problem is about the only things he will eat are fruit (he hates bananas), yogurt, milk and cheese. He would live off crackers if I let him but it's so much salt I don't give him very many. On occasion I can get him to eat a peanut butter or cream cheese sandwich but he usually just licks out the filling and throws away the bread. Now the doctor said no more cheese or yogurt and only two glasses of milk a day.

I'm at a total loss for how I'm going to get any sort of protein in him, or any other nutritious food to balance out all the peaches, pears, apples and frozen fruit smoothies. I've been adding a little ground flax into the smoothies and thought I'd try peanut butter with dinner. I can put instant breakfast in his milk but I really would rather he not get used to such a sweet drink on a regular basis.

Does anyone have any tempting tasty healthy food ideas? It'd be amazing if I could get some veggies into him!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Prabha - posted on 04/05/2011

31

0

4

Hi Lexi, Does your kid drink water? Make sure he drinks water throughout the day. I bought my kid a straw sipper and he loves drinking from it. His water intake has really improved when I moved from sipper to straw sipper. I see others have mentioned about vegetables. I have started giving few fried (not necessarily deep fried) vegetables like potatoes, beans, boiled carrots and it worked with my little one. Also getting him sit in front of tv and having him eat food is not a bad idea as long as you have some kids programs running on the tv. Good luck and hope your little one gets rid of his troublesome stools soon.

[deleted account]

I watch this GREAT food blog - www.weelicious.com and they always have tons of ideas and recipes.

I also have a book, Super Baby Food, which has TONS of recipes. (I am sure you can get it at the library - don't let its thickness scare you!)

I agree with you it is totally frustrating when kids take one bite, or won't take a bite at all. My son won't eat pasta, of any kind/shape/form. He won't he solid fruits and vegetables, but if I puree them he slurps them right up. He won't even take a bite of pizza, but gobbles calamari. he will eat a cookie but refuses cake (you don't hear me complaining over that one!). While my son (age three now) may refuse most of what I am eating, I make a point to always eat healthy and a nice variety of foods in front of him. children love to copy us and one day I am sure he will fall in line. When he is ready.

I would ask your pediatrician for a referral to a dietician/nutrionist to help you do some meal planning. They can work within the dietary restrictions and give you plenty of great ideas.

Good luck!

Oh - BTW - my son LOVES eggs, and I will often dice of steamed veggies (like brocolli or cauliflour) real small and hten scramble them with the eggs and a bit of cheese. I also put spinach in the scrambles too and he LOVES his "green" eggs. As my son is still eating pureed foods I often mix up my fruits and veggies, carrot/tomato, or a big favorite is sweet potatoes/apricots. sometimes I add chicken to the sweet potato apricot mix for some extra protein.

Lexann - posted on 04/19/2011

47

16

0

Hi, Lexi! My oldest son had the same problem when he was little. He loved all things dairy, and consumed too much which gave him HORRIBLE constipation. We had to use baby enimas on more than one occassion. Our doctor recommended Miralax, which you can buy over the counter. It's a flavorless powder and you mix some into his juice, just make sure he drinks all of it. As for food, try high fiber/water choices: applesauce, watermelon, leafy greens (this one is hard to get into a picky eater, but if you try spinach: steam it, blend it and add butter & a little cream, he may like it). For protein, try dry roasted edemame, it tastes like peanuts & is very healthy (Trader Joes is great). You just have to keep putting healthy food in front of him over & over, and don't let him snack away from the table. He has to sit at the table & eat. He may go without a meal once or twice, but trust me he will eat when he gets hungry. My second was a VERY picky eater during the terrible 2s. You start to think "what is he living on?" and you feel like a terrible mother for not giving in, but if you don't give in, if you stand your ground, eventually, you win, and he eats at mealtimes and he eats what you prepare for him. Best of luck to you!
Lexann

Allison - posted on 04/19/2011

77

16

1

I puree spinach, turnip, yams, carrot, sweet potato , califlower and such and mix them in with Kraft dinner, spaghetti sauces or Alphaghetti etc. You should check out the Sneaky Chef cook book at Chapters it has great ideas for pancakes, muffins, even grilled cheese sandwiches. Good luck, my 4 yr old is picky where she does not eat meat or veggies unless she cannot see them and has no idea she is eating them. Waahaha.

[deleted account]

My son was very constipated and we could not figure it out. I would spent at least 45min in the bathroom with him every time he needed to have a bowl movement. I kept a food journal and wrote down EVERYTHING he ate. I asked my doc and they suggested Miralax. Personnaly I didn't want to give my son Miralax EVERY day-just doesn't sound right and not a good solution (just a band-aid fix). I ended up cutting out ALL dairy from his diet (cheese of any kind, yogurt, milk) and he is not constipated anymore. I switched him to Almond milk and we buy veggie cheese and he really doesn't miss yogurt. I eneded up doing the milk switch a little at a time. First half regular milk and half almond, then did 25% reg. milk 75% almond, then all 100 over about 2 weeks. Plus almond milk has so much more nutrition then regular milk. I also seek in veggie (like spinach) in a lot of things and he doesn't know.

15 Comments

View replies by

Kathren - posted on 04/14/2011

50

0

1

i have no advice for u unfortunately, but i'll be following this thread as my son 3 1/2 yrs has suffered from severe constipation since infancy (he's on prescription miralax has been since like 6 months old) and he's a super pickey eater. he survives on grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken nuggets, cheese, milk, yogurt, and fruit chews. so i definately feel your pain. good luck.

[deleted account]

My son was very constipated and we could not figure it out. I would spent at least 45min in the bathroom with him every time he needed to have a bowl movement. I kept a food journal and wrote down EVERYTHING he ate. I asked my doc and they suggested Miralax. Personnaly I didn't want to give my son Miralax EVERY day-just doesn't sound right and not a good solution (just a band-aid fix). I ended up cutting out ALL dairy from his diet (cheese of any kind, yogurt, milk) and he is not constipated anymore. I switched him to Almond milk and we buy veggie cheese and he really doesn't miss yogurt. I eneded up doing the milk switch a little at a time. First half regular milk and half almond, then did 25% reg. milk 75% almond, then all 100 over about 2 weeks. Plus almond milk has so much more nutrition then regular milk. I also seek in veggie (like spinach) in a lot of things and he doesn't know.

Lexi - posted on 04/09/2011

309

15

11

He didn't say anything about medication. I'm sure if the diet doesn't make enough of a difference we'll have to go there. So far it's helping a little. I think the cut back in milk has made a huge difference in his appetite too. He's eating more and a better variety of food.

Cathy - posted on 04/09/2011

5

1

1

My daughter is one year old she's dealt with constipation from day one our Dr also recommended one tbs of miralax one time a day it has really made a difference

Kelly - posted on 04/08/2011

139

63

15

Has your doctor mentioned anything about needing a stool softener? My son had chronic constipation from around 7 months until around 3 1/2, and our doctor recommended Miralax, as it's super gentle to his system. I've also gotten him Activia yogurt, and let him have one a day. His problem is now all gone :) We also instituted a "poop time" into his day. We chose a time when he's generally home, relaxed and cooperative, and he has to sit on the toilet at that time and try to poop, now he can go do it all by himself when we tell him it's time. It is super frustrating to see your little one in pain, I know. I hope you get this resolved soon :)

[deleted account]

Lexi - it sounds great!
I try to make sure my son always has a variety of food in his diet, food that is healthy, natural, unprocessed and try to stay away from "Empty" calories like goldfish or cheezits.
One thing I keep in mind is that you should look at how a kid eats over a 7 day period - so if my son decides tomorrow that all he wants to eat is peanut butter and milk I don't stress too much because today he had TONS of fruit.

Lexi - posted on 04/06/2011

309

15

11

Thanks Hannah and Prabha!
Yes he drinks lots of water. I'm a big water drinker and he has thankfully followed suit. He especially loves it if I give him a water bottle or let him drink it out of my "grown up cup". hehe Today's been a good eating day so far! He isn't as upset about the cut back on his milk as I thought he would be. I expected him to be begging for it all day long. He refused all but one bite of his eggs and sausage for breakfast but he ate some creamy noodles with just a little cheese and half a pbj, bread and all!

Elizabeth - posted on 04/06/2011

664

13

125

no problem Lexi..happy to help

Just keep on offering all foods at meals on his plate as you are ..things will change. I'm sure you have figured out by now..the things that drive you absolutely nuts today ..you probably won't even remember in 3 months because there will be all new issues. lol

Lexi - posted on 04/05/2011

309

15

11

Thanks Elizabeth! I thought it sounded horribly painful too. The doctor made it sound like it was no big deal. He couldn't find the actual tear/fissure and I can't see it but I'll definitely take your advice about putting a little diaper cream around and just inside. There were no other symptoms of any more serious problem so the doctor was relatively sure that it was a fissure. We have a follow up doctors appointment in a couple weeks and he told us to come straight in if there is any more blood between now and then so we can run a bunch of tests.

I try not to give him replacement food too often. It's so frustrating tho when he just plays in it or takes one bit and refuses. Some meals he wont even taste it. Then of course half hour later he is acting like he's starving again and I have to either save out a little left overs to offer him again or make something new. Miracle of miracles tho he is at this moment chowing down on a bowl of seasoned rice with carrots and broccoli chopped up tiny mixed in. He's yelling num num num. hehehe

I am not a big TV fan but I have found that sometimes he doesn't want to eat cuz he's bored being at the table. My husband puts him in front of his favorite show in his high chair and he's more likely to eventually eat some of his food that way. It can take him up to and hour to get around to it. I hate the idea of him eating in front of the tv but I love that he is eating. catch 22!

Elizabeth - posted on 04/05/2011

664

13

125

The tear you speak of is called a fissure and is EXTREMELY painful ..and I mean EXTREMELY. You need to do a couple things to help reduce the pain for him..of course softer stools and also..do not use alcohol wipes ..it will sting...put diaper rash cream on that fissure and a little bit inside the rectum ..this will give him a huge amount of relief and help it heal. It can take months and months to heal and may come back again and again when he has a harder stool.



Things he should definately eat...



-fruits with higher fiber...oranges, apples, prunes, raisins..etc

-orange juice is good, papaya is good too



Suggestions for getting him to eat:



just because he is refusing to eat something don't stop putting it on his plate...kids sometimes need to try something 20 times before they develop an appetite for it..if he is hungry ..he will eat but don't make him a different meal than the family because he doesn't like it

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