June 29, 2012
My granddaughter was born under weight and it took a long time for her to get to the point of being able to use a bottle. She could never get the strength or ability to breast feed. At about the age of 12 months she was diagnosed with “Falor to thrive”.
Now that she is 2.5 years old and has been dealing with Dr.’s, nutritionist, physicians, and therapist on a weekly if not by weekly basis for most of her life, she no longer does not want to eat but now has started gagging and getting sick even at the site of other people eating. She will still drink milk and pedicure, but will go days with more than two baby bights.
Unfortunately, I think that all the suggestion, and attention to eating has made matters worse. The only good point that I can see is that she does seem to drink the pedicure, which has helped. At this point I would think it would be a good idea to get her to a specialist that deals with children with eating disorders (for lack of a better personal diagnosis). Being that she is constantly vomiting whenever she is asked to eat. She was here in my house for a visit for 4 days and got sick twice. She starts to gag when you try to feed her anything.
Who do I call?? Where do I take her??
Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you, Nana
HI there. I totally and completely understand your concerns. My son is also 2.5 and was also born underweight (full term at 4lb, 14oz). He is still only in the 3rd percentile at 25 lbs. It's hard isn't it.
First thing...please ensure you are working closely with your Dr. and your nutritionist. I would not do anything without their input as they know the child's history. Is she still in failure to thrive? It is possible there is a medical reason behind all of this, and the Dr. is the best person to diagnose.
As for eating habits. I know firsthand how hard it is not to make a fuss over heating, but it is critically important. Eating should not be something that is rewarded nor punished for (not saying your doing either, just giving a bit of personal experience advice). It should be taken as a completely and totally normal activity with no fuss made whatsoever. Otherwise, it becomes a power struggle, especially at this age. So, no coaxing, hand clapping or any other mention made whatsoever. Put her meal in front of her, sit and eat with her and make meal time a very pleasant experience. It should be fun and a time to be together. But again, make no mention of what she does or doesn't eat.
A little practical advice. I load my sons meals with things like sauces, creams, etc. I add grated cheese to everything. I make gravies for him to be added to meals. I look for every opportunity to add calories. Smoothies are a big thing for him. I also make sure that I offer 3 meals and 3 snacks every single day. In a small child's world, snacks are mini meals. I add protein wherever possible...so things like peanut butter, greek yogurt, cheese.
I also do not offer milk regularly and I don't give him pediasure at all. Milk is only offered after a meal. Same thing with juice. THose things tend to fill those little bellies, making them disinterested in food. So I offer only water with meals, milk afterward. I did use pediasure for awhile, but found that he came to depend on that to fill his tummy and then ignored real food. So now I just give the whole milk after a meal, water the rest of the time, and leave it at that. It has really really made a difference.
Eating disorders are typically based on poor body image, so I highly doubt she has an actual eating disorder (mind you, I am certainly not an expert). I suspect most of this is habit. And remember that no changes work overnight, they take time. So keep in close touch with her Dr. to ensure she is not losing a dangerous amount of weight, and perhaps try what I have said. I know what it's like to deal with this and I know how much time we spend coaxing and pushing. It never worked. We now put his meal or snack in front of him, keep it high calorie, and leave it up to him. It has worked incredibly well. We are finally making progress.
Does she have medical problems other than the failure to thrive? How are her poops, normally formed or not? Does she complain of gastrointestinal problems? Does she have respiratory problems? Or anything else?
My son does not have failure to thrive but feeding him is a challenge because he is on a lean diet with as little fat as possible. Fortunately he can eat cheese and that's his favorite food. Often in the evening when he is really tired and not in the mood for food, he will have 4-8 oz milk (he can only drink goat milk) then cheese and bread. Other things he likes are jasmin rice, avocado, pasta (the 3 colors wheat pasta).
When he does not want to eat, I leave some food in front of him and pretend I am reading a newspaper - actually I do read until he calms down and sometimes he will eat his food.
Thank you so much for your input. She has not been deffanatly deturmaned that she has other medical problems. My daughter has to really watch be cause she does get constipated easly, but she also seems to have a hard time swalling, do to low musle tone. My daughter has told the Dr about the problems that we were having, and he agreed that it would be ok to try offering her food, but try not to get to concered when she does not eat. They are trying this for a month and see how it goes.
Thank you for your input. We are still using the pediasure, so she gets some nutrion. My daughter did speak with the Dr and I believe that the extreem regimated eating time, well be put on hold for a while. The Dr said that they would try it my daughters way for a month and see if she gains any weight.
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