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Has your child seen a dietician?


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#1 chelley

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:26 AM

Ok I am OFFICIALLY at my wits end. I can appreciate that stress with Raffie has probably made me reach this point earlier but I have had it up to my eyeballs with Aurelia and her eating. We have been battling this since 3 and she is now 4.5 years old.

Aurelia has been taking Movicol for issues with her bowel. We are having no luck with trying to modify the dosage which in part is due to her poor diet.

Has anyone else's child seen a dietician with any success? My hubby doesn't agree that she needs to see an outside specialist and thinks we are able to manage her eating ourselves but I think we have run out of strategies.

EVERY dinner is a battle. She will not eat fruit and vegetables. She is off the charts for weight and height but perfectly in proportion - she is VERY tall. She would live on carbs if we allowed her and will eat meat. She does like to drown everything in sauce so we are working to reduce that.

I have looked at the guidelines for a child her age to ensure my expectations are not unrealistic but she is falling WAY short. I bought multivitamins and the only way they are going down is if I hold her down and ramm it down her throat - she WILL not take them.

For fruit she will occasionally eat an apple and that is it. No berries, watermelon, grapes - hates it all. For vegetables she will eat potatoes we make into wedges as well as mashed potato. She LOVES avocado and we use this instead of butter. How the food is presented eg in muffins, in ice blocks, made into smoothies etc doesn't matter - she won't eat it. She may very occasionally eat carrot sticks dipped into hummus or cottage cheese. She will not drink any form of fruit or vegetable juice. HATES cordial and will only drink water and milk which she only has with breakfast.

As a baby she did not tolerate any food with carotene and had an intolerance which she has outgrown. Thankfully she has no severe food allergies like I do.

Here are some stratgies that we have tried.

-Involving her with cooking - she LOVES to cook but this does not influence her willingness to eat.

-Only cook one meal. We do not believe in cooking her anything different. From the beginning she has had what we eat (occasionally with different seasoning/spices etc)

- Letting her choose the meal - we let her choose the meal but again - not eating the fruit or vegetable components.

-Exposure - the good ole "kids need to see it 10 times at least' rubbish - well my child has seen it 1 million times and she still ain't eating it mad.gif

-Serving the food family style - I read that preschoolers should be allowed to put food on their own plate so we put the bowels in the middle of the table. We tell her what she puts on her plate she has to eat - still doesn't work

- Just try - we have been through months of this stage. She will happily try the food but won't have anymore than 1 try and will only try it once. She does it with a smile, she knows the drill - she pops it in, bites it. smiles says "I tried it but I don't like it" end of story. Then next time when I ask her to try it she says "remember I already tried this food and I don't like it".

- Introduce a new food with an old one. We have put potato on her plate and then told her she has to choose 1 other vegetable to try eg carrot, peas,corn etc. She chooses but won't eat it.

- Model it - we have become really focused on modelling what we eat so that she sees us eating.

- Big sister - we hoped when raffie eats solids she would want to show him and eat them too - no such luck

- Purchase vege box from school - we thought this may entice her to try new things getting the box from school - but not eating it. She has tried some new foods but won't eat them any more than a nibble.

-Have a vege patch - we even grew our own vegetables at home - still wouldn't eat them although she loved watching them grow.


-Starve it out - the good old "well if a child is hungry they will eat" and I agree with this in theory but OMG she has an iron will and holding out like this doesn't help her bowel.

Last night we put one teeny tiny portion of carrot on her plate. We told her she had to eat it or nothing else - no drinks before bed, no food at all. She screamed for 2.5 hours about being starving post dinner time. We don't believe in letting her come back to the table and eat food after the table has been cleared becasue in the past this has become a game of getting out of bed to "want to eat her dinner" so not happening in our house. Also when we need to go out to a restaurant she needs to learn there is a set time for eating so she needs to focus on the job.

All her cousins are healthy eaters and even when she is with them she can't be swayed.

We have explained that we could stop the medication if she would eat more fruit and vegetables and she just said "I'm happy to take Movicol mum".


I am after suggestions before I start losing my cool about the eating in a BIG way. We have tried to not give it a lot of attention, stay very unemotional about the food being wasted and just keep it low stress but it is doing my head in
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#2 Gretch

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:28 AM

We're at 2.75 years with T with pretty similar issues except he'll eat a couple more fruits but no meat at all. I'm planning to ask the doctor about it (again...) at his 3 year check-up.

I'd be inclined to go to a dietician at Raya's age, just to see if there's anything else to try. No real suggestions from me (other than trying the burstable vitamins - we put it in yoghurt) just bucketloads of sympathy.

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#3 Thelma

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:59 AM

Oh my, if that was me, I would have totally lost my mind long before now! I don't know how you do it!

I think Steph has seen a dietician for one or both of her children and has had success, so hopefully she'll pop in here and let you know how she went.

If it was me, I think I would want to go and see a professional for some strategies for your specific situation.

#4 Mel B

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 10:18 AM

I have had a similar issue with Eddie but not to those extremes, as he does eat some fruit and a few vegies. He suffers from hypoglycaemia which means he cannot skip meals. So we are forced the give him something else if he refuses to eat because it is dangerous for him not to eat.

But we have never told him this, as we didnt want to be giving him ammunition or making eating stressful. I have just always made sure there was something on the plate that he would eat.

In your situation I would focus on the nutritional needs. It sounds like what she is missing is fibre and vitamins? Maybe focus on wholegrain carbs to ensure her fibre intake is adequate. With the vitamins I would be looking for some sneaky way to get them into her food in powder form. Mix them in with mashed potato? Sprinkle them on ice cream?

Once the needs are met, in whatever form that takes, then I would really ease back on the food discussion. It honestly sounds like a power struggle. I would certainly take any treat foods out of her diet and keep it at the bare minimum to satisfy her needs rather than her wants. I was making the mistake of giving my kids too many carbs and I've really cut back now and they eat more protein and veggies.

I have found that my kids are really improving with their eating as they get older. All of a sudden Eddie has decided that he wants to be big and strong, and he knows the way to achieve this is through healthy food. So he eats what I put on his plate, within reason. I am focusing on broadening his tastes and not worrying too much about the quantities. Rosie also started eating a wider variety of foods around the age of 5, but there are still a lot that she won't eat.

And on a positive note I went through my entire childhood eating potato and corn and pretty much no other vegetable. Now I eat every vegetable imaginable, apart from carrot (bleaurgh!) and I actually crave and seek out veggies.




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#5 flowerrose

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 10:44 AM

We saw two dieticians when Sophie was a baby and toddler, for a totally different issue - her dairy intolerance. The referral was to discuss making sure she gets the right balance of nutrients notwithstanding that we were cutting certain things out of her diet. Both visits were totally hopeless! I got a sheet of things she couldn't eat (well, Hello! Dairy!), a lecture about her weight and sent packing with no answers to my original concern.

I'm sure not all dieticians are like this but I don't think you'll necessarily get the answers you seek there. From what you describe it sounds like the eating issues are behavioural. Sophie also uses food as a way of acting out or flexing her muscles. She has recently gone from quite a finicky eater to a kid who will eat just about anything. I know it's hard and, believe me, I know how frustrating it is but try to take a step back. Give both of you a break - say a couple of weeks where she can just eat the carbs and meat if she wants, then work on a way of trying together by discussing it with her calmly, on a good day, well away from mealtimes. Explain why it's a concern to you - she's old enough to hear about health and nutrition, listen to her reasoning (even if it's quite mad) and ask for her suggestions.

Raya sounds wonderfully strong willed. I think that's going to be fantastic for her in the long run but will give you plenty of headaches in the meantime. You have enough on your plate without adding this stress. In ten years it really won't matter - she'll be a happy, healthy and feisty teen!

If it's really worrying you - have you tried the 'Deceptively Delicious' approach; cakes and the likes with hidden veggies? It's not really my cup of tea but I know some friends swear by it as a means to an end while they get over the eating hump. Also, Sophie never ate veggies in chunks but would wolf down any form of soup, which was a huge help.

Sophie's food waste is being successfully addressed by covering the plate and presenting what was left every time she says she's hungry. Until that plate is clean there is nothing else.

#6 ----

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 10:52 AM

How does she go at school? Have you asked her teacher to try and help out?

DS1 used to be much the same as A, except that he didn't have the bowel issues.
Once he started at pre school and especially this past term with a new teacher who was focused on healthy eating, growing big and strong, and trying new things he has improved.

Nate used to take a tub of pureed fruit to pre school, the new teacher now has him eating an apple instead and trying new things.

#7 Woodland

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 10:56 AM

My 3 yr old DS is horrific with eating too. I sympathise with you completely. No he hasn't seen a dietician.
He will not eat any vegetables, I was amazed this week that he actually ate a tiny roasted potato and a slice of carrot. Only under bribery with the promise of a frozen yoghurt afterwards though.
Fruit he will only eat apples. Minimal mandarins or berries. Its just awful. He pretty much lives on carbs and meat.
I remember my brother being a terrible fussy eater and the GP told Mum just to give him what he wants to eat and that when he grows up he'll get over it all and he totally has, he's a real foodie now and eats anything! Mum regrets being so stressed about it.
Also I saw a Dr Phil show once where he said that its one of the very few things kids can control so they do and there's not much we can do about it. He said not to make it a big deal and they'll grow out of it.
Still it stresses me out hugely. I have him on a range of kiddy multivitamins to make me feel better.
I've found the only thing that works for us is saying that he can have dessert of something nice if he eats one potato etc and then if he eats 2 carrots the next night etc. But Im certainly no expert!!!
Good luck!

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#8 ~steph~

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 12:47 PM

QUOTE(Thelma @ Sep 7 2012, 09:59 AM) View Post

I think Steph has seen a dietician for one or both of her children and has had success, so hopefully she'll pop in here and let you know how she went.


Well remembered!!!

H was frighteningly bad, so much so that it was causing Hubby and I to fight over whose fault it was sad.gif He wasn't even eating enough to have enough energy to get through the day. I had tried everything I could think of to get him to eat, but it only got worse and worse.

I went to a lady in Miranda (link here who does a lot with kids including being a consultant to a home delivery baby food company and the Nikelodeon (sp) TV station.

H went from eating nothing to having three decent meals in a day. She suggested a number of things, some things I did with huge success and some I didn't do as I knew it wouldn't work in our family (like letting breakfast take an hour to eat ohmy.gif )

She suggested ways to introduce new food as well as how to get any food into him at all. I did a post ages back about some of her suggestions, will try and dig them out and link there, I have to say though going to her was the BEST thing I could have done for his eating so I would highly recommend it.

ETA here is the thread.
Man going through some of the threads brings back the memories of just how frustrating it was!!!! Now remember her techniques she taught me were aimed at a 3&1/2 year old, she may have different ideas of suggestions for someone Raya's age or differences to what you already have done.

If you do go, do a food diary for a week and also try and write a list of everything she does eat before you go. That way you may save yourself an appointment. I took mine in the first appointment and she commented that she quite often sends mums away to do one and then gets them to come back in a week, I don't think we would have survived waiting another week!
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#9 Camilla

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 01:56 PM

We are going through this at the moment with Emme (right down to the Movicol thing too) and are starting to tear our hair out. She will at least eat strawberries and I can hide cauliflower in mashed potato (I have to be careful about the balance). She is extremely stubborn and strong willed. I am just trying to be patient and let her come around but I suspect we will need to do something more drastic soon. On the other side, Josh has now lost quite a few kgs and has gone from eating everything we put in front of him, to having to really push him to eat. He now is iron and vitamin C deficient. No idea what else because they lost the blood tests mad.gif. Please share any breakthroughs you get!

ETA - OMG I just saw my post on that other thread! I can't believe we haven't gotten anywhere in over a year! It is still just as bad sad.gif.
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#10 Princessgirl

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 02:04 PM

I just wanted to mention about the multi vitamin thing, I saw in the chemist a few months ago that you can buy kids vitamins coated in chocolate - I've had one and they taste a bit like a choc coated sultana. I can't remember which brand it was but it might be worth a try?

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#11 nephthys

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 05:32 PM

Big hugs. DS1 is a horrid eater but no where near this bad. Every meal is a fight for us too but I can usually get some food down (we've resorted to bribery). I think like you that there's a time and place for eating and I won't let DS1 call the shots too much. It's one of the few things they can control and boy, do they try to. (Thankfully DS2 is a fabulous eater!)

I'd only suggest getting creative with hiding food. Psyllium husks go well in almost everything (even sauce!). You could try getting in some LSA in her muffins. I have multi-vitamins in lolly form, he calls them 'jelly teddies'. tongue.gif

The only other thing I can think of, and I'm not sure if you'd be open to this idea given her age, but could you put her on toddler formula instead of regular milk? They've got lots of vitamins and pro-biotics which would do her some good.

Good luck. You have my empathy and sympathy.
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#12 hanes

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 08:00 PM

If it will give you piece of mind and there's a chance you might be able to try some new strategies, then make the appointment with the Dietician. It can't hurt.

For what it's worth, when I was a child I ate very few veggies and only if they were smothered in gravy. I wasn't much better with fruit. But generally much better now!

I second the jelly teddy vitamins. I've been using them here too smile.gif
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#13 mango

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 08:18 PM

I can't help too much but she may have a genuine aversion to things. I grew up refusing to eat a lot of foods because they would make me physically ill but didn't know how to express it but as a power struggle. in the end I resorted to shoving as much in my mouth as a could then spitting (and throwing up) them into the toilet just to be allowed to leave the table, it was horrible. given you know you have ahistory of intolerances, it could still be playing a part now.

Eta: I still do not each much in the way of fruit. I find most fruit very bitter/acidy, burns my throat and I can feel the acid in my stomach. I will eat most vegetables now though (definitely not peas, bluegh, and a few other things) and my range is widening still now. I can now tolerate a tomato pasta sauce and am now in love with homemade sauce (i still won't eat a slice of tomato though).




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