For those who struggle. .. here are few tips I've picked up in 3 years of feeding therapy! My daughter has been in feeding therapy v since her first heart surgery ...using bottles. .through solids and still continues.
If you can find an SOS speech therapist or feeding group in your area do the course. Firstly the part for parents (this helps you understand how eating etc actually works) and then later. .if they offer the group sessions take your child.
-sensory play before food (playdough, magic sand or gross motor stuff like jumping on a trampoline etc). I often would set my daughter up in her high chair with playdough...so it would be a non threatening situation first...plus sensory play.
I would put all the foods out on offer at same time. And didn't care what order she ate them in.
Eg. Don't offer 'sweets'/desserts last. So I'd put out 3 or 4 things. Maybe chicken, cheese, strawberries and custard. She could eat or play. If she tasted or touched that was a win. Lots of praise.
Honestly this was tedious.... very tedious. Often leaving me in tears. And took a long time. Eg 20 minutes of sensory play. .then often an hour just trying to get her to taste. Plus after would be more sensory play.
I did this for probably 10 months to a year. My whole day was around it.
She has been ng fed and was on the list to have a Peg feed put in (tube through abdomen wall straight into tummy). Most children with her syndrome don't eat orally at all. Ever.
I really was desperate to give her some normality around food.
However..this process worked with lots of support from speech therapist etc. And she eats. Not a huge range of food. .but some. And there are of course days when she refuses all the things she usually doesn't!
But I really credit the SOS (sequential oral sensory) process and group/speech feeding sessions.
For mealtimes I often put out just a tasting plate. Sometimes at the table sometimes just in the floor and I let her graze. I always have at least one familiar food on the plate.
Sorry for the long post. This is what has worked for us. It's been an intensive full on road. But she's almost 3 and half and we've had a lot of wins and gains. She still doesn't eat enough to warrant removing pediasure but that's fine with me.
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30-03-2016 07:47 #41
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30-03-2016 08:23 #42
- plain pasta, rice, cous cous, oats, cereal
- yoghurt (occasionally)
- banana (sometimes)
- junk food (tiny teddies, museli bars, lollies, chocolate, hot chips, chicken nuggets)
That's it! No meat, no veggies, no eggs, no fish. I have tried absolutely everything - bribery, punishment, yelling, letting him just not eat. He doesn't seem to get "hungry". He is happy to go to bed with an empty tum if it means not eating his dinner. I get really stressed about it. But I have zero control over it! Hopefully he gets better eventually....
30-03-2016 09:04 #43Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
I just wanted to chime and say that my DS1 had major sensory issues with food. As a baby he would eat one flavour of tinned pureed baby food only. Everything else he would gag and vomit on.
He didn't improve much through toddlerhood. I would cry, yell, get ever so frustrated... I am ashamed to admit I got angry at him a few times too.
Still this continued. I think he got to about 4 years old, when I just felt like I was at breaking point, and I decided that I just didn't have it in me to care any more (about his lack of eating). So I didn't. I just switched off. I offered food, and if he didn't eat it (he didn't), I would take it away and simply not care. And I wouldn't offer alternatives. FWIW he never woke up through the night hungry.
It didn't improve his eating, but my goodness it made mealtimes so much easier. I know it's hard, but if you can manage to switch off the emotions it really helps.
So, for years I have offered foods. Told him to take a lick. A bite as he got older. Half a food. All of one piece.
He is now 13yo and still quite fussy (no fruit other than the good ol' purees), but he will eat a great range of dinners and lunch items. He doesn't like vegetables but through my persistence he will eat for eg. one piece of each salad item/steamed vegie. He FINALLY doesn't gag on foods. I can put dinner infront of him and he will wolf down most of it, and just stalls at the vegies, he still needs some prompting with those.
So although he's not perfect, we have come so so far. I just wanted to show that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Last edited by CMF; 30-03-2016 at 09:06.
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30-03-2016 10:02 #44Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
I went through similar. Lots of tears, stress and more tears. Once I stopped stressing and just feeding my DD what I knew she would eat, I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. We also tried a feeding group and that was a waste of time.
Dinner has always been the biggest struggle. I know DD will eat pumpkin and sweet potato, so after a while I added small pasta to it and then carrot and so on. The biggest part for me was to stop stressing and just go with the flow. I was a very fussy eater as a child, but love my vegetables now.
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30-03-2016 11:37 #45
This issue is the bane of my life. First with DS (who now at 16 is incredibly fussy, just like his father!) and I vowed that when I had DD I'd never have another fussy child. No matter what I did/have done, at around 2.5 she became fussy and at 3.5 is only really just starting to come out of it a little.
I had a plan. I was on a mission with her and swore she'd eat everything and anything, I'd make sure of it. Wrong!
From her first tastes of real food I loosely followed baby led weaning. She never ate a single jarred food, I made all of her meals from scratch, fresh veg/fruit and meats etc. Still ended up with a fussy eater down the track. To her credit, she does try pretty much everything but it's a real hassle getting her to eat much of anything at all.
I was determined to at least have her regularly eat a few certain foods - eggs, (still battle to get her eating them but I offer them every second day or so, scrambled or boiled) rice, pasta, veg with every dinner (even it's 5 peas- she actually loves broccoli and baby corn spears) tuna straight from the tin (loves without my ever having to force, weird because I hate it myself unless it's cooked in a mornay etc) porridge/weetbix every morning (doesn't always happen, I will sit and spoon feed her that because I just want it in her!) and fruit- we are struggling with fruit. She used to eat it all but eats nothing now, occasionally grapes or a nectarine but rarely. Not even sultanas. And is allergic to oranges, mandarins, watermelon and tomatoes, those were her favourites).
To answer your question, I honestly give her what I know she'll eat but am forever trying to offer new foods, mostly to no avail. I like her to at least have a couple of bites of each food on her plate. If she flat out doesn't eat/try dinner, I feel Ok about that because she gets a cup of warm milk before bed. She doesn't get that as an alternative though, it's not offered in place of food but for my peace of mind I know she's getting the nutrients from that, at least. She's also on a daily vitamin.
I am not saying that I've never given her an alternative meal, sometimes if it's been a couple of hours I've given her something like fruit toast.
30-03-2016 11:50 #46
30-03-2016 12:04 #47
DS has been a problem not eating his dinner...we started sending him to bed without food (he is nearly five) but found if he doesn't eat enough in the evening he wakes up in the night and spews!! (I do the same thing when i get over hungry) I felt awful
So now it is a struggle to know what to do. Usually he is only allowed fruit or natural yog if he doesn't eat his dinner. It is tough though, and makes mealtimes stressful.
No real advice, but I feel your pain!
30-03-2016 12:17 #48
As many people would know, I'm dealing with a very fussy eater to the point where I would spend around 75% of the day in the kitchen making all sorts of different foods.
I went to countless Drs, therapists, even a chromosome test to see if that's affecting her eating.
I have not read everyone post. I will later as I have to rush off soon.
Our job is to offer and they choose if they eat it or not.
If the child likes a particular food, just keep on giving it.
If your concerned about nutrients, give a multivit or make a smoothie (fresh produce) rather than vitamin supplement.
Sorry if I have not answered any of the answers. But I am sure other posters have done a great job, it's very hard, I often end up crying.
Don't give in, make it fun. They must starve themselves (I need to still learn this)
Ask anyone that sees or knows me. I'm forever chasing her with food.
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30-03-2016 17:05 #49
I found reacting, especially cheers etc, could startle him and make him worry he had done something wrong because mum/dad were loud. No reaction at all seems to be working best for us.
I think if I didn't already have a non-fussy eater I would be a lot more emotional about it all. Thankfully I know that what I do/have done is not to blame for his fussiness - it's all him!
30-03-2016 18:14 #50
So, DD didn't touch her dinner tonight. Well OK, that's a lie, she had one bite of broccoli and one mouthful of rice. That's it.
I thought of this thread straight away. Now I'm stressing out. She's had nothing since porridge this morning, a few bites of toast and some crackers.
Why won't they just eat???
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