I can't believe I'm still having food issues with the Little Miss, but I am. She just turned 7 a few weeks ago, but it's like she's returning to toddler-hood with her eating habits. To recap - she's an incredibly picky eater, and would live off of cheese, crackers and fruit if she could. She dislikes most forms of high-density protein, like meat, poultry and beans. She also dislikes most vegetables. Including salad. And lately, she's been trying to skip breakfast, saying she just isn't hungry. I let her do it one day - so she could see what the consequences were - and she threw up before lunch time at school. Yet, she still tries to squirrel out of eating breakfast!
I've tried providing options, but she just kind of seems so 'meh' about it. I've taken to throwing in fat wherever I can into her diet. Last night she didn't want dinner, and just had some rice, so I mixed about a tablespoon of butter into it. Luckily, she actually really liked it that way.
I can usually get her to eat some things she doesn't like, but it's very difficult and I don't particularly have the patience for it. I also don't like to have to bully her into eating, and I try to avoid it when possible. I have tried to frame the discussion of food to be about nutrition and health, but she just doesn't seem to care about that.
I guess I just need some objective opinions, really and possibly some commiseration. Like, how much should I be worrying about this? Also, I thought she would have outgrown this by now?
(Oh, and hiding veggies in other foods like tomato sauce backfired in a spectacular way. It's no longer an option.)
Kids can definately oscillate between being air plants and inhaling everything. My thumb rule is that if a kid will eat at least 2 items from each food group, you could get away with it for at least a little while. Could you try a breakfast smoothie that has some protien powder snuck in (or spinach!)?
Why did she throw up at school? Is it out of the question to do some preliminary bloodwork or allergy tests to find out if something is more seriously wrong, or if food sensitivities or allergies are causing her to avoid the typical breakfast foods.
I had severe GERD starting from when I was very small and suffered with constant nausea. I often refused to eat for that reason (which did make it worse).
wookie - smoothies are one thing she will drink at least. I usually put in a good quality whey protein powder. We actually haven't done it in a while, now that I think about it. Neither of them seems to mind the spinach smoothies. It doesn't hurt that fresh spinach has very little taste, and it's overpowered by the addition of some banana and vanilla frozen yogurt!
For whatever reason, both kids will throw up if they don't eat regularly (unless ill). I think it's a combo of their blood sugar dipping really low, plus just having too much bile in their stomachs.
mcg - ugh, that sounds awful. I wouldn't have eaten either.
MNM, as long as she is growing I recommend giving her what she will eat and moving on. I know its practically parenting blasphemy but I think the power struggles over food end up causing more long term problems then years without vegetables will ever do!
#2 son is an orchid - he would eat one meal a day (plus any junk food he can scrounge) if I didn't make him sit down. In general I've given up on the food pyramid - he is growing well and has more energy then the rest of us put together so I've decided to stop losing sleep over it. I make sure he is offered relatively nutrious food three times a day, but it is far from a balanced diet - he's the only kid I know who doesn't like fruit, and its a battle to get more than a couple of bites of any veggie into him...but he can play three straight games of competitive soccer without losing a step and is able to stay on top of his schoolwork. His brother didn't climb out of the (very) picky food stage until he was about 11 and still managed to reach 6 feet tall this year.
Talk with her doctor and make sure she gets enough calories and then breathe - I bet she will be fine!
I'm just gonna sit back and absorb every suggestion to use on Ebay as well. Good luck! We need to keep telling ourselves "they're growing, eventually they'll eat".
Have you tried putting Carnation Instant Breakfast into a glass of milk for her? It's about the only way Ebay gets a balanced diet. She won't eat vitamins.
HBD - I started #2 son on CIB last year for the same reason, and #1 son started adding a giant glass of the stuff to his breakfast this year when he was playing soccer - he needed close to 4000 calories a day (!) when he was running 2 or more hours and growing like a weed. He's cut back a little now that the season is over but it is still pretty impressive to watch him eat. He will eat anything except cheese now and he was as picky as they come at 7.
The Little Miss is generally in good health, but she's definitely lower in the growth chart this year (for height) than previously, but she's nearly doubled her weight percentage. She used to be skewed 75% for height and 23% for weight. Now both stats are in the 40th percentile range. Perhaps she's just evening out a bit?
I used to get CIB, because they claimed it had double the protein of an egg (which she will eat every blue moon). But it turns out that it has 4-5 grams of protein, (and egg has 6) and 19 of sugar. Well, 8 grams if you get the one with sucralose instead of sugar. I switched to NOW whey protein and divide one serving between the Little Miss and B.
Looks like I'd better get the blender out!
Smoothies sounds like the whey to go (get it...). The reason I mentioned the GERD was because I would be nauseous and so not eat, and then I would throw up from not having anything in my stomach. It turns out you have to either a) be cool with throwing up (which I generally am) or b) force yourself to eat anyway or c) finally get some freaking medicine that works. Pediatric Gastroenterology has come a long way since I was small. :)
Honestly, I'd just let her eat the cheese, crackers, and fruit, along with the smoothies. It isn't perfect, but none of that is horribly bad for her and at least it's something, I guess.
A has similar food issues. He only wants peanut butter sandwiches, some fruit, and occasionally a bit of salad or something (he is very erratic with veggies--some days he cries and begs me to buy salad or celery or some such and then gorges himself on it and other days he won't touch it). And cereal. Kid would live on Cheerios and Apple Jacks if I'd let him. He's not very tall and is *very* skinny, and Mr. S worries that he doesn't get enough food, but I figure that he'll eat if he's hungry and so long as he's growing (he is) and has energy to run and play, then he's good and I'm not going to worry too much about it.
LG, not going to lie, I'm a very "food as fuel" kind of person. Before I lived full time with my spouse I lived off of SlimFast because it was "food" in a can. I was really very busy and I didn't care and it promised me calories, vitamins and minerals in one can. That I could rinse and recycle. If I didn't have spouse I would still eat that way.
I am super into healthy food. But I am also really busy and I don't have the patience to cook or clean. It's just who I am.
LG - I hadn't considered that it might be a control issue. I may see about trying to increase her options during meals to see if that helps. The smoothies...eh, I'd worry if that's all she asked for. As it is, they are an occasional breakfast item - she doesn't get them every day or even more than once a day. The powder itself isn't meant to be meal replacement - only supplemental protein. So I usually have to throw in some fruit or spinach or whatever it is they want that morning.
ks - you're right, it's not perfect but it's better than nothing and it would certainly make things easier!
I guess I just feel like I've gotten conflicting info - to let her eat whatever, so long as it's basically healthy, but then I've read that it can take kids up to 15 tries before they'll start liking a particular food item. And that it's good to expand their palates and blah, blah, blah. I suppose all those well-meaning people should mention that your mileage will vary, depending on your child.