Our Five Ring Circus: Food Fight

Monday, April 26, 2010

Food Fight

Grant and I do well dealing with Lexie's bizarre eating issues, but every so often we reach our breaking point, and end up having an argument about it.

We reached that breaking point on Thursday night, during dinner. We began blaming each other (which is ridiculous) and ended up angry, and barely speaking.

I have adjusted to the fact that she has issues, and I just deal with it. Then, reality hits, and I realize that her eating habits aren't even remotely normal. Especially when it causes an argument between my husband and I.

Especially when my husband suggests the fact that she may need therapy.

Especially when I agree with him.

It was recommended that we wait until Lexie is 4 before we take any additional steps. The doctor is hoping that she is just extremely (emphasis on extremely) picky, and will come around. If she doesn't improve in the next 10 months, we will have to search out a food therapist.

I really hope it doesn't come to that.

For now, we just keep offering. Once in a blue moon she will try something (once, though never again). We got her to eat a piece of baked potato for the first time on Saturday...after we loaded it with butter. After 3 bites, she was done, and I highly doubt she'll eat it the next time we have baked potatoes. We made a huge deal out of it, as we typically do, and rewarded her for trying a new food.

It bothers me so much that I have one child that is an extremely healthy eater, and another that refuses to eat almost everything. I did everything I was supposed to with Lexie, just as I did with Dylan, and I'm puzzled as to what set her down this path of eating issues.

I can honestly say I never expected to have a 3 year old with a feeding disorder.

On all other counts, she is perfectly normal. She is incredibly smart and funny. She talks constantly. She has a great imagination. She is carefree and energetic. She is loving and cuddly.

She is a typical 3 year old.

The 3's aren't easy! Every time I turn my back, she gets into something.

Her latest endeavor was rubbing Lubriderm all over herself...which included her shirt sleeves. When I found her, she was covered in a thick, white paste (as was the floor), and she happily explained that her "egg-zema" was itchy. (I was able to laugh about this AFTER the messy cleanup!)

To me, she is perfect. She is always making me laugh. I have to contain myself from hugging her too much. I love her to pieces.

I just wish her eating habits would improve! I want to stop worrying about her nutrition and her health. I just want her to eat normally.


  1. mary ate nothing for years also. Now its opposite for her. But it was also so bad that we argued a lot and even considered some sort of psychologist for her. I don't know why some kids are like this, but she is definately not the only one. Its a very long and hard phase. I am sure you are all doing your best.

  2. It isn't uncommon. I promise! Zack is my picky eater and according to my pediatrician, he isn't even really that picky. Zack will not touch a potato of any kind now {except fries and that is NOT a potato}, almost all meats, all vegetables but simple salad ones, most breads, sandwiches, soups, casseroles, or milk. He is the HARDEST child to feed {well, it feels like it for me anyway}. I offer him the foods he won't eat all the time but he simply won't eat them. And it's been going on for way too long for me to feel like he's just being stubborn. And, I have chosen not to give him a bad relationship with food. Instead, I want to teach him to expand on the foods he loves and not make him feel punished by forcing the foods he hates. America is one giant bad relationship with food and he won't be part of it. I serve salad with almost every dinner because I know he'll load up on it {and get his protein through hard-boiled egg}. I also serve a grain I know he'll like---we just don't eat potatoes anymore or if we do on a rare occasion, I have leftover rice for Zack.

    But there is one rule in my house concerning food. If he doesn't at least try everything I offer, there won't be a snack later. The boys love frozen gogurt tubes and I wield that as my weapon of choice when encouraging him to take a bite. And I'm an easy mom---one bite is all I'm asking for.

    I'm sorry you guys fought about it. We have too. Jason has gotten very upset with me for catering to Zack's stubborn behavior but Jason never had a bad relationship with food. I do and I'm doing everything I can not to create it with my kids!

  3. I don't know all of the specifics, and maybe it's worse than I can possibly imagine, but maybe she's not as out there as you think. My 13 year old is still a horrible eater, always has been. I don't think I have ever seen him eat a vegetable, and rarely any kind of potato. He will eat some ground beef, but very little. Just last night I MADE him eat some diced bbq chicken. Seriously, I was threatening him like a 2 year old. His diet? Mostly rice, pasta, dairy (he's a dairy hog), breads. I guess my point is, sometimes you just can't make them eat what they don't like. I hide veggies in his food. My son is very healthy and active. I don't know.

  4. I can only imagine that that is tough. I think my husband is a picky eater and he is an adult. He is turning my daughter into one. What all does she eat? It is great that you offer new things for her and that sometimes she will try. Do you think it has to do with textures or just taste?

  5. To make you feel better, we have friends who have a son that is really picky like that, except that there ARE a few things he WILL eat, like McD's and mac'n'cheese etc. And so, they let him. Every morning they go through the D.T. and get him breakfast at McD's and their doctor isn't concerned.

    So... there's that! :) It'll get better. It has to!

  6. Ugh I can't imagine. I went through a few years with El when she had tummy issues and caused her to not want to eat much. She drank though so we were blessed with a healthy milk/water drinker. It's so hard I hope it corrects itself and or the therapy is easy and enjoyable for both you and Lexie. Good luck!

  7. I'm sorry you guys struggle so much with it. I can't remember...do they think it's a texture issue for her? I was picky (not nearly that picky), but the root cause was texture. I didn't like steak or beef because I had to chew it too many times and it made me feel sick. Mushrooms were (and still are!!) too slimy. Cottage cheese is too lumpy, etc.

    I hope things get better, or that a therapist can help.

  8. My kiddos are pretty good eaters, but Henry has a bunch of foods that he refused to eat. He will literally make himself throw up if we make him take a bite of any kind of potato other than french fries. He also hate any kind of squishy bean or pea! I know his probably isn't as bad as Lexie's, but I know what it is like to fight to get your kid to eat too!

  9. My son was never a picky eater, nut all of a sudden when he was four he was!! It is such a battle that I have to go through with him!!! Hopefully its just a phase they go through.. because he has gotten a lot better.. hang in there :)

  10. I can only imagine how frustrating this must be for you...my little one {she is 5} would live on mac and cheese and "noodles" if I would let her...I make her try new stuff even though I'm not sure that is the right thing to do?!

    hopefully Lexi will grow to try new things...:)

  11. I hear ya! There are so many things Graham can't eat. On top of it, he's picky. Every meal I wind up offering him several different full meals to get him to eat. Also, he used to feed himself. Now he won't eat unless I feed him. So aggravating. Have you tried feeding Lexie?

  12. psst... I tagged you and your awesome photography skills..

  13. I think I've mentioned it before, but she and T are so much alike. T is an extremely picky eater. When she was a year old, we saw an occupational therapist because they determined she had a food-texture-aversion. This was at the same time we moved to Dallas. I talked to our new pediastrician there, and he said if we wanted to continue OT, he would recommend someone there. We decided to wait it out a bit. I remember our OT telling us that if the texture aversion wasn't corrected, it would show itself in the form of a picky eater later in her toddler years. She doesn't like anything with the slightest texture to it, so it makes getting her eat very tough. She often spits things out and simply says she doesn't like it. She won't eat things like strawberries because of the texture. When we moved back to Michigan and saw our original pediastrician again, she said that if by age 4 things don't improve, she will send us back to the OT again. It's so tough, because she is overall healthy and happy, she just doesn't eat!

  14. Having a child with any kind of an eating issue is so intensely frustrating. I think it is made even more difficult by society's perceptions of what it is (or isn't). So many people think it's just funny or cute or quirky or that we somehow caused it or allowed it to happen. It's hard. Thanks for sharing what you are going through, hopefully others will learn from it and you will make some progress together.

  15. I think so many parents experience the same struggles and we usually beat ourselves up over what we could have done differently. Or at least I do.

    Our kiddo would eat nothing but strawberries and peanutbutter sandwiches all day if I let him. I don't know what to make of it, but he's caught up from his preemie weight so doctors aren't worried.

    She seems like a typical silly and energetic 3-year old, I hope it's just a phase and your poor Momma's heart can relax!

  16. That's such a tough situation for all of you. Hopefully it's just a phase she'll grow out of. This really is a hard age!

  17. I can't even imagine how hard that must be on you guys. Hang in there. I hope things get easier on you and don't blame anyone. This is one of those things you can't explain really. No ones fault. You're a wonderful mother.

    LOL @ the Lubriderm incident. Alaina is on this bath kick. Everytime she gets a boo boo or she's sick or just because, she wants to get a bath. It amazes me how much she's like her mother lol. Too bad the doctor told me to limit her bath taking, so I have to be the bad guy and tell her later. :/ Take care

  18. How hard is this?! I feel for you, truly. I know you have been long worried about this and it has to be hard. My boys are picky, but not where I am totally worried as you are. You are good parents, who are trying to do the right thing. Sometimes it is nice to vent it out a bit, and talk/write about it. Best of luck to you in these coming months.

  19. Sarah had the same problem as a small child, but now will eat almost anything. In fact, she is pretty adventurous about trying new things. Don't worry about Lexie....she will outgrow this worrisome problem.

  20. My youngest daughter has celiac and a number of parents of celiac children have told me that their children were very picky eaters for the year or two after their diagnosis--that they were almost afraid of food because they'd felt so bad for so long. Maybe Lexi is still a bit afraid of food after having diarrhea for so long? The parents whose kids were older said that they eventually outgrew it--that they just kept encouraging them to try a bite every night and as they started to realize that no tummy problems were the new norm, they ventured out a bit more. Good luck.


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