Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thank You

Sometimes I forget that I am not just typing this blog to vent my personal frustrations. So when I actually get comments and feedback from you all, it is very touching to me. Especially when I am talking about the frustrations with my son's lack of eating. So for those of you who were kind enough to comment with suggestions, I thought I would address what you said here.
  • One of you suggested I try creamed corn or spinach. I have tried. The spinach was a no-go from the get-go. And surprisingly enough, I did try and relate it to Popeye. But then my son reminded me that he had no earthly clue who Popeye was and I remembered that perhaps he and Brutus were a little too violent for my small child and decided that I didn't want to go further with that. So he didn't go for the spinach, but he does like corn. Not so much creamed corn (he says, "Der is somefing in my corn Mommy), but he loves regular corn and will almost always eat it. And it is high in carbs so it works for us.
  • To answer another question, yes, there are appetite stimulating medications. And he is on one of them. It is called Periactin and it really does work wonders. It is actually an antihistamine that has the lovely side effect of increasing an appetite. But like lots of side effects, the body gets used to it after a while and therefore loses the effectiveness of the side effect. So he basically goes on and off of it about every three months to sort of reset the side effects. We are currently "on" and it does seem to help, although it isn't a miracle worker.
  • His Pediasure has a pretty high calorie count to begin with (each bottle is 240 calories, so since he drinks two of them every morning he is starting the day with 500 calories, which isn't too shabby) and my son being my son, if we try and alter the "milky" in any way shape or form, he won't drink it. He knows if it isn't the perfect temperature (25 seconds in the microwave on 75% power) and knows if any sort of medication has been put in there. He has a keen eye for details my little one. So no go on the calorie supplement. At least where his milk is concerned.
  • And no, I hadn't heard of MCT oil and I will talk to his gastro about it and see what she says at our next weight check. Appreciate the heads up about it though!
  • About the sweet potatoes, or mashed potatoes thing? I have no idea why but he has hated every form of mashed potatoes since he was an infant. He was the only infant I have ever known to hate sweet potatoes. And even recently he proved this again. We have a rule that he has to at least try everything that we are eating. He has to take one bite. Well we made him try one bite of mashed potatoes drowned in butter recently and he literally gagged it back up as soon as it hit his mouth. Something about the consistency I suppose, but he has never like potatoes. Pity though because you could do ALL SORTS of good things with them.
  • We do name foods, associate them with things he likes and basically stand on our heads to try and convince him to eat certain things. But for the most part, if he likes it, he will tolerate it. But if he doesn't, he won't. And yes, it is extremely helpful to have him take part in the preparation of the food. In fact every single Sunday morning we make something in our crock pot. I dice everything up on Saturday night after he is asleep and put it in the fridge and then on Sunday, he "makes soup." And most of the time he will at least try what he has made. On some occasions he has found that he likes something new. He has just very recently started eating soups and I am sure it is because of us making it together. I am also making all of his sister's baby food and I let him take part in that process as well and try and teach him all about the healthy food we are making for sister for her to grow big and strong and wouldn't it be great if big brother could show her how he eats them too? It's a long shot, but sometimes it works. It works with apples and bananas and things he would have eaten anyway, but I am sure one of these times he is going to bust out and start chowing on some butternut squash just to prove it to his sister. Well...I can dream can't I?
  • And letting him be a part of the decision making process for dinner does help a lot. Like I said, I have learned that just putting something in front of him basically ensures that I am going to have a lot of trash that evening. So when he gets home from school, if I know he won't eat what we are eating (as that is the utmost goal--to get him to only eat the same things we are eating), then we go through the fridge together and he gets to pick two items and I get to pick one for him to eat for dinner that night. There are some boundaries though so he isn't choosing Cheetos and Chocolate chips. Every night he gets some sort of a protein, a veggie, a fruit and sometimes a carb. But allowing him to take part in those decisions really does help.
  • The smoothies are just a losing battle I am afraid. I am pretty sure it is a texture thing, but I have tried them several times with several different ingredients and at several different temperatures. I think he feels about them like I feel about casseroles sometimes: They might look good, but he knows there is potential for weird things to be hidden inside that he can't see. So he doesn't trust them. Such a shame too cause man, that would be RAD!
So overall I cannot tell you how much it means that you all took the time to try and think of ways to help me and my boy. And I think it should be pointed out that when he is healthy, and on his appetite medicine, he does okay. Not great, but okay. But when he is sick? All of my hard work just goes for nothing. The kid just won't eat. But when he is feeling well, all of the suggestions you guys gave me actually do make a huge difference. I can't tell you how many appointments I have had with his gastro doctor and with different dietitians to come up with the same shit you all gave to me free just by reading my post. I SO should have checked with you all months or even years ago. So thank you so much for caring and thank you for your thoughts. I will let you know how we are doing at our next weigh in, which is less than a month from now. I am wishing (but realistically not expecting) that he will FINALLY get over that 30 pound hurdle. I feel like we have been so close for so long but we just can't break it. We were 29.4 I think last time. Here's hoping!


Jenny said...

Too bad about the smoothies! If they work for your kid, you can put pretty much ANYTHING in them and disguise it!

I have heard that it takes kids at least 8 tries to really become familiar with a food enough to eat it, so I would definitely make new attempts every now and then with things that have been a "no" in the past.

My heart just really goes out to you on the eating thing- it seems like such a hard battle to fight.

I'm glad his involvement in food prep and selection has helped... and I do think that making his sister's food might help further!

Calliope said...

you are doing such an awesome job, sweetie. Seriously. I know it isn't the same, but I just remember how frustrating it was when I could barely get my GM to drink half an ensure. It just becomes like this mission to keep them ahead of the slump. All the suggestions were really cool to read.

Anonymous said...

another thought, for if your sun likes peanut butter, and from lurking on your blog, I know he loves bugs. (He can also make these himself)

Take a piece of celery and put peanut butter on it, then stick raisins in the peanut butter. Weird combo but very amazing. It's called "ants on a log". (if he doesn't like peanut butter you can also try cream cheese, though that version isn't as great in my opinion)

random pic of this treat:

Anonymous said...

and one more idea: here are some links to make foods look fun to eat.

how to make hard boiled eggs in cool shapes using an egg mold
and (there is a cool car one there he might like)

zigzag kiwi

octopus hot dog

banana wedges

apple rabbits

I would also check out the blog which is a blog about making kid friendly lunches, and I think the author's son is around your son's age. some of the foods are more exotic than others but it might be worth a look