Monday, June 23, 2008

Food Trouble!

I'm at my wits end! Caedmon has all but stopped eating solids. It has been a process building up to this point and I'm going to do my best to explain it quickly - sorry if it gets lengthy, but I need advice!
A few weeks back, my last week of school, he woke up one night crying and had thrown up all of his dinner (solids). After he threw up the second time, we thought perhaps I should nurse him so he didn't become dehydrated (seemed to be dry-heaving). Well, we changed sheets two MORE times! Guess that was a bad idea. Anyway, he hadn't liked supper that much - I'd put an egg yolk with his veggies. Bad mommy! He's had egg yolk before, but with his rice/oatmeal cereal and he didn't even seem to notice it. He hadn't gotten any protein in awhile and I felt the need to give it to him that night for some reason. We're still not sure of the exact reason he had trouble that night - he was fine the next day.
It took me a couple weeks to figure out why he wasn't eating squash - he'd always eaten it just fine before. Then I recalled it was squash he had eaten the night he'd thrown up his supper. O.k. figured that one out.
Then this past weekend, when we went up north, he didn't eat a whole lot and we figured it was because he was away from home and without a high chair. Got to Corey's parents and had a high chair to use. Unfortunately, I don't think I'd yet had the light bulb go on regarding the squash, and although he refused to eat one night, I figured if we could just get it in his mouth, he'd realize it was good and eat. Ooops. We got two bites in and he threw it up. Whew! Learning lessons!
So the week at the in-laws, he did o.k. with breakfast, but struggled with his veggies at supper. Decided to stick to avacado (his first food) and he ate some of it.
I thought he was coming back around till yesterday. Now he eats a few bits of breakfast and he's finished. I've been sticking mostly to avacado, and he's doing the same thing - a few bites (willingly) and then he's done.

It hit me tonight that perhaps I need to just forgo the solids for about a week and see if I can start fresh. I feel like he's leary of anything I stick in his mouth.

This is how he's feeling about solids these days!:/


gary said...

I giggled a little when I read this. Um, welcome to the next stage. It's a little scary when our little ones get sick from a certain food or just suddenly claim to stop liking things. As you know, he's still at the stage where textures are more important than tastes, and I think maybe he's crossing the threshold. His behavior is quite normal -- at least in my experience with Parker!

Small children have a way of suddenly changing their minds. After all, the foods they were eating are literally become "different" to them as they develop.

Unless you think he's allergic to certain foods (which is not abnormal at his age), he will be sure to start forming strong personal opinions about what goes into his mouth. It's up to you as a parent to respect the built-in part of a baby human that will certainly notify his mommy when he is hungry or not. Even if you switch to non-solids, there will come a moment when he will suddenly change his mind again -- and you will certainly know it.

For Laura and me, we thought that by going off solids with Parker that we were somehow "retraining" him to dislike what we were sure he liked. That's not the case at all. It's strange. It's scary. It's completely normal, and has more to do with his growth than anything negative.

Have fun with this one. It's going to happen again in a thousand different ways over the next couple years.

Anyone else out there have similar experiences or suggestions?

Keelie said...

Thank you sooo much Gary! I'm relieved to find out my son isn't the onjly child out there to do this! Did you quit solids then for awhile? Did it work, or do you recommend continuing the frustrating process of him refusing to eat them?

Keithslady said...

I've had my share of unexplainable baby food issues and Caedmon is being very normal. You're probably right on in assuming that he's associating the sickness with food. (We do it, too. My mom's last meal before contracting rheumatic fever at the age of eight was tomato soup and she never ate it again!) It won't hurt him at all to cut back on the solids to give him time to adjust. However, I'd also try different foods and let him do some experimenting. He's just about 9 months, right? He should be fine with some chewy type foods--cheerios, crackers, pasta. (They don't need molars for those, the hard gums work just fine.) Do you ever let him play with dry foods and feed himself? Maybe he wants more texture. The majority of my children (at least seven of them) did NOT like pureed food. They abhorred mush, or only tolerated it for just a few months. Maybe Caedmon would find some texture to be more interesting.

Anonymous said...

He needs a chicken bone:)
Luv ya Keelie,lol

Keelie said...

Thank you Aunt Cindy! He likes Cheerios(I have to feed them to him - hasn't figured out how to get them in his mouth yet), and he eats graham crackers himself. Always seemed to like his food a little thicker. I tried giving him a piece of banana and he didn't like it - mind you, he eats banana in his cereal almost everyday. Any other suggestions?

Yeah, yeah Kathy!:) I'll see to that chicken bone!:)

Baby Love said...

Oh solids... gosh, we are going through similiar issues... I have no idea what to feed Chris at times. He totally rejects vegetables, especially the pureed version. I have no idea what I am going to do once the baby is born. I can see myself breast feeding the baby, while spooning yogurt to Christopher. Determining what to feed your children is so very stressful... hang in there!

Keithslady said...

Suggestions? Glad you asked (and remember, you DID ask). If he likes Cheerios go ahead and try feeding him cold cereal for breakfast. If you don't want the over processed foods you can get organic cereal (expensive, but babies eat just a little at a time, nothing like "White boy bowls"!). I used rice milk for all my kids until age 4--NO ear infections! It may be in the milk section, or could be sold in aseptic (I think that's the word) packaging, ours is near the cereal. Try rice puffs or rice krispies, too.

Gabe also loved oatmeal--not baby instant mush but the one minute quick oats. I added a little bit of salt and a sweetener--molasses was OK in small measures, also used rice syrup or maple syrup. I also added raisins and chopped apples--just let the apples cook with the oats.

Vegetables soups are still a favorite. If you have a Pampered Chef chopper it is SO easy to make homemade baby bite size soups. Or, do what Grandma does and put about half of it in the blender and then it's thicker without a starchy nutritionless thickener.

When I really wanted them to eat something I used to find something else that they really liked (applesauce maybe) and hide the less desirable food under it.

The very easiest thing to do is to make healthy foods for yourself and let Caedmon eat with you--even if it's just part of the meal, or add some of his food to his bowl. I keep our leftover soup for Gabe and if we have, say, taco salad the next night I heat some soup for him and then chop up some of the tomatoes and cheese on the side. Or, if I made a pasta spinach salad I'd give him the pasta and small bits of spinach.

Muffins are also easy and can be made to be VERY healthy. You can use whole grains, oatmeal, even seven grain cereals in them and substitute applesauce for the oil and alter the sweeteners. And remember, a baby "meal" would only be about 1/4 muffin. You can even add pureed vegetables to the mix.

When I make cream of potato soup I add onion, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and spinach. When it's blended and spices are added along with a little bit of sour cream my family thinks it's wonderful. And many of them wouldn't touch half of those veges if served solo.

Gabe was kind of picky with fruits and not a big plain-banana guy either but if I chopped fruit and mixed a little vanilla yogurt in it he loved it.

OK, I'll stop. Give some of these a try if you haven't already and remember, most important of all, Caedmon looks like a very healthy, well-fed little boy and at his age, even though he's big he really doesn't need very much.

Keelie said...

Thank you thank you thank you! You should write a book! I've been reading Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron, but she doesn't really have suggestions for the kids who won't eat the way she's written. I may e-mail you more questions.

Toby said...

All I remember from Josh & Alaina is that they often took one step forward and two steps back.

I remember thinking, often, "you just mastered doing this now how come you can't do it anymore" - or 'wont' do it?!?


Best advice I have ever received: go with your gut. Especially as a mother. Take him to the doctor if you think you need to, and as often as you need to. Your pedi should be there to comfort you, instruct you, and take care of Caedmoster.

Love ya! Come see us this weekend!