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Honey_Badger

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Reply with quote  #126 
Thanks Torie!  I realize there aren't a lot of people here dealing with the issues we are -- "Selective Eating - turned ARFID".   I am posting in part just for other people who may be going through something similar (maybe who find this through a search or something?)

Tonight we went out to dinner. The dinner my son ordered (basically spaghetti) came with an appetizer salad.   I don't think he ever in his life has eaten a salad in a restaurant before...but today he was hungry when it came... and it was placed in front of him (same as for all of us) and... he ate it!!!   Just the lettuce, and not even all of the lettuce of course.  He likes only the green part of the lettuce, not the white part he explained.   The lettuce tips shall we say.  Not the bitter lettuce either.   Just the mild lettuce tips.   Whatever!   He ate lettuce in a restaurant!!!

He ordered minestrone soup too, which he usually only likes from a certain can.   What arrived was true house made minestrone, but he was able to eat the broth; and we talked about the different veggies in the soup,   He ate some of the potatoes!   Skipped the carrots, zucchini, etc.   But he ate the broth.   And he still had a little room for some of the spaghettit, and a slice of bread with butter.
Honey_Badger

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Reply with quote  #127 
OK, my son weighed himself this evening and he was up to 81 pounds.  

That's 11 pounds more than late Dec. when he was 70 pounds!  

Even allowing for fluctuations in weight from day to day that's a good increase of at least 10 pounds in 2 months!

Looking back over his charts, it took him 3 YEARS to gain the last 10 pounds.  At 10 years old he was 60 pounds, at 13 he was 70 pounds.   Three years.

And now 10 pounds in about 2 months?  My goodness!   He clearly needed to gain this weight!!

galanick

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Reply with quote  #128 
Wait to go!!! I bet he is happy. You might be having some hard days but your hard work is really showing. Keep it up.
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Honey_Badger

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Reply with quote  #129 
And I am realizing... and wondering....

My son has been *slightly* underweight (for where he should be) MOST of his life.   Surely since he was 6 years old.   He was a picky eater and maybe had a 100 calorie or so deficit every day or many days of his life since he was about 6 at least.  Maybe even earlier.

He has also always had a lot of emotional and mental difficulties.   I wonder if he has just been chronically, suboptimally nourished?   He has never really been "weight restored" exactly.   Frankly, and this will sound finny, but ... ever since he stopped breastfeeding at age 2 (and he didn't give up willingly... I had to force it) he has fallen off the weight chart.  Just a little bit, but always falling, every single year.   Yes, it got worse around age 9 when he became a partial vegetarian, and even worse two years later as he restricted meat even more.

But since he was age 2,has he ALWAYS been a little underweight?   Could that explain some of his frankly real difficulties, emotionally and mentally that we've been dealing with all his life, it seems?

What are the health ramifications, of being slightly to somewhat, to very, underweight, for 5-11 years?  During childhood?   Mental health and emotional health, as well as physically health?   Can they be reversed?

I just wonder....

  
trusttheprocessUSA

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Reply with quote  #130 

Maybe you have seen this on the UNC eating disorder blog.

http://uncexchanges.org/2014/11/12/just-a-picky-eater-or-is-it-arfid-avoidantrestrictive-food-intake-disorder-arfid/

It may lead to answers.

My nephew was the same way - from the beginning of introducing food he would only eat 5 things. His parents tried everything and my in-laws were outraged. After graduating from high school he seemed to branch out a little bit with his food choices. He was never challenged/forced/ encouraged to eat anything other than cereal, pasta with grated parmesan cheese, cheese pizza, grilled cheese sandwich, and certain desserts. He graduated from college and is a nurse. Always underweight his entire life. Since we live on opposites coasts I don't know if he has any long lasting issues other than underweight. Wish they had treatment for him 20 years ago.

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Son diagnosed @ 12.5 yrs old with Severe RAN 2/11. Co-morbids - anxiety, Active restriction for 3 months. He stopped eating completely 2x. He needed immediate, aggressive treatment from a provider who specialized in eating disorders, adolescents and males. We got that at Kartini Clinic. WR since 5/11. 2017 getting ready to graduate slipping lost 8lbs. Fighting our way back.
Torie

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Reply with quote  #131 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey_Badger
snip
But since he was age 2,has he ALWAYS been a little underweight?   Could that explain some of his frankly real difficulties, emotionally and mentally that we've been dealing with all his life, it seems?

What are the health ramifications, of being slightly to somewhat, to very, underweight, for 5-11 years?  During childhood?   Mental health and emotional health, as well as physically health?   Can they be reversed?

I just wonder....


Yay - 10 pounds!! Way to go!!

And yes, I think a low weight all that time could explain all kinds of things.  I would guess most or all can be reversed.
 

Keep up the good work!

-Torie

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Honey_Badger

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Reply with quote  #132 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trusttheprocessUSA
Maybe you have seen this on the UNC eating disorder blog. http://uncexchanges.org/2014/11/12/just-a-picky-eater-or-is-it-arfid-avoidantrestrictive-food-intake-disorder-arfid/ It may lead to answers.


There's a mention there that Nancy Zucker of Duke is giving a talk at an upcoming eating disorder conference on the variant of ARFID called Severe Selective Eating.  Interesting summary of the talk:  "disgust" is an emotion I see a lot in my son surrounding food.   Her focus is on very, very young children though.

http://www.aedweb.org/ICED2015/workshops.php

 

Quote:

J.
Food Scientists: Sensory-Based Exposure for Very Young Children with a Variant of Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder 
Nancy Zucker, PhD, United States; Virginia Covington, LCSW, United States; Jodi Petry, MS, United States

Young children with severe selective eating may fall under the category of AFRID if their food variety impairs functioning. In this workshop, we describe the rationale, unique considerations, and implementation of a parent-child intervention for AFRID-SE in younger children. First, we present data documenting some unique features of AFRID-SE that warrant attention in intervention design: an exaggerated disgust response and enhanced oral sensitivity. Second, we review research of unique considerations in the implementation of disgust re-conditioning and describe the framework employed by occupational therapists to address oral sensitivities in children. Third, we describe the implementation of Food Scientists, a mindfulness-based parent-child intervention. Food Scientists uses sensory experiments (e.g., observing sensory habituation) and food experiments (e.g. investigating differences in taste based on tongue placement) that manipulate “sensory super-powers” to help dyads learn about the senses, their bodies, and food. By recontextualizing disgust experiences as experimental explorations, the intervention aims to create a fun, curious, context that increases a child’s willingness to try new foods and expand the repertoire of acceptable foods. Efficacy, feasibility, and acceptability data are presented from 30 families. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the role of disgust and oral sensitivity in the emergence and maintenance of AFRID-SE.
  • Describe and explain how to address unique issues that arise in the management of AFRID-SE.
  • Teach attendees to implement sensory hierarchies, sensory experiments, and food experiments, core features of Food Scientists.
SCL

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Reply with quote  #133 
Honey_Badger,

I have had the exact same thoughts about my D.  Small at birth (5 lbs. 14 oz full term), she has always been tiny, and also fell off of her growth chart around 2.  Back up and then back down at 4.  Rinse, repeat.

She was followed extensively by a Peds. Endocrinologist for about 18 months when she was 9/10 and it was determined that she was "just petite" and would likely be a "late bloomer" based on family history.  Her father's family is extremely lean across the board and she's built like them.

She has ALWAYS been super picky and now that I know about ARFID, I could make an argument that she's been dealing with this her whole life.  (She's now diagnosed with RAN and has all of the associated fear of getting fat, body dysmorphia, etc. so I don't question that diagnosis.)  She has also always been anxious.  I know wonder if she's not been chronically malnourished.  It's hard to think about, really.

I have a hard time talking about "weight restoration" because her minimum goal weight is a good 20+ pounds more than she's EVER weighed!!  

All this to say, I think we may be on to something.  I'm following your story with interest.  Keep up the good work!

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Mom of 15 year old daughter, RAN diagnosed Nov., 2014.  WR June, 2014.
galanick

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Reply with quote  #134 
My d is similar too. Fell off ht chart at two. Fell further at 6, the whole time doctor praising that wt % fell. They didn't even notice ht. had fallen an equal amount. At 10 briefly added wt and ht after bad arm break that kept her inactive for 9 months. However, fell into full an at 12 after becoming vegetarian. After many month wr still no growth or cycle. Really wonder how long it takes to get better after 10 years of semi starvation and one year of starvation, or if full recovery is even possible. In the Minnesota study they only were semi starved for 6 months and took over a year to recover, and they were grown adults. I don't think any one knows. I just keep feeding and hope for positive changes. Think might add some mind puzzles, lateral thinking puzzles, set after some other post about promoting brain changes. Can't hurt got to be better than playing on her phone all the time.
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trusttheprocessUSA

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Reply with quote  #135 
Honey_badger I forgot to mention how great it is that your boy gained 10 lbs in 2 months - incredible work !

SCL try to think about her being weight restored one pound at a time - maybe it will help.

My 16 yr old RAN son has doubled his weight from when he was 12 and severely sick - we got there .5 - 1lb at a time over 4 years. Battling normal growth and starvation is so hard especially for AFRID - according to this study the length of illness Is longer for AFRID.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=ARFID+timothy+walsh

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Son diagnosed @ 12.5 yrs old with Severe RAN 2/11. Co-morbids - anxiety, Active restriction for 3 months. He stopped eating completely 2x. He needed immediate, aggressive treatment from a provider who specialized in eating disorders, adolescents and males. We got that at Kartini Clinic. WR since 5/11. 2017 getting ready to graduate slipping lost 8lbs. Fighting our way back.
Honey_Badger

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Reply with quote  #136 
I went away for the weekend with my daughter's GS troop (cabin camping!)   It was such a break to be away and with 12 little girls who are all such happy, easy eaters!  Not a picky eater among the group (well not really) and such wonderful appetites!   We feasted and feasted and danced and sang and did crafts and, well you get the idea.

I left my husband home with our son and I'm afraid they didn't eat very well on their own, but I really needed the break.

I am reading two books with ideas for severe picky/selective eaters:   Love Me Feed Me and Food Chaining.     Love Me Feed Me is originally for parents of adopted kids and it focuses on young children but I am still getting good ideas.  

The author is coming out with a new book in March called:   Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating (A Step by Step Guide to Overcoming Selective Eating, Food Aversion, and Feeding Disorders).  I am VERY interested in reading this book.

http://www.amazon.com/Helping-Child-Extreme-Picky-Eating/dp/162625110X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425242684&sr=1-1&keywords=Katja+Rowell

I also have been reading this blog by a mom with a boy with extreme food aversions.  

http://foodaversions.blogspot.com/2014/10/moving-brings-change.html

Here's a quote from one of her blog posts on the tough balance between pushing a food averse kid too much and too little:

Code:
Food aversions, however,  are not based on rebellion.  They are based on fear and inability to properly chew and swallow.  It is a fine line to know when to gently push a food aversion child.  The challenge is to always be pushing the food aversion child to go one small step beyond what they are comfortable with.  Push too far and regression occurs.  Don't push enough and progress is stale. Recognizing what is a small step is key to dancing the fine line.  I have found that whatever I initially think to be a small step usually needs to be broken down into several smaller steps.  By keeping challenges within reach, trust is built and progress is made.


I think I have an overall plan for my son which is to keep just feeding him for now -- anything he wants, only things he wants; high calorie versions of things he likes.   It seems to be working.   He is gaining weight and a good pace.   As a rule of thumb I am aiming to make sure he is *offered* 3,000 calories a day.   He tends to eat about 2/3 of that and seems to be able to gain weight on about 2,000 calories a day (give or take -- I am not really measuring).  It is an incredible waste of food of course but right now I'm not going to worry about that.

It works best if I don't surprise him with new foods but just add a new food to the table.

It works best if I do NOT plate his food.   What works best is putting all the food, family style, on the table at meals, and each person serves him or herself.   If we are eating food he doesn't like, I don't put a special plate of "his" food in front of him.   I make extra food for him he will like, but serve it to the whole family in a serving bowl as well.   We help ourselves to steak and rice, but he and his sister can also have the spaghetti in the bowl as well.   I try to be sure that 2/3 of the meal on the table is food he likes or food he tolerates.

Later, perhaps in another 2 months, when he has gained more weight, I will start working on expanding his diet more.  Especially this summer, when I will have extra time with him.



 

Honey_Badger

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Reply with quote  #137 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCL

I have a hard time talking about "weight restoration" because her minimum goal weight is a good 20+ pounds more than she's EVER weighed!!  


SCL, I know just what you mean.   I want my son to be "weight restored" but right now he weighs 10 more pounds than he's ever weighed.    I guess the restoration I am looking for is, I want him back on his his weight 'centile for his age.
Honey_Badger

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Reply with quote  #138 
Grrrr.  My son is down two pounds from where he was last week.   I attribute this to me being away all weekend and my husband not pushing the food and meals.   He also had a more active weekend than usual with paintball and laser tag birthday parties.   Still.   It shows that without constant attention he will NOT feed himself properly to me.   
Amoma

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Reply with quote  #139 
Honey Badger you are doing incredible! And you seem to have good support. Does he weigh himself? I got in the routine of weighing my young D at home and to make the data as accurate as possible we do as they did in the hospital . First thing in the morning on differing days of the week. I wake her up she goes to the bathroom pees puts undies back on i come i and weigh her. Done.
There is a great instructional video on C&M productions on weighting ...
Big hugs and whoop to you for what you have done for your dear boy thusfar. Incredible !!
Torie

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Reply with quote  #140 
Honey_Badger - sorry for the dip in weight, but really, what could be a clearer confirmation of what a fabulous mom you are?  So glad you were able to get a bit of time off ... and that you have to put on your body armor and dive right back into it.  Ugh.  But you're doing a great job with your s.

Keep swimming.

-Torie

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Honey_Badger

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Reply with quote  #141 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amoma
Honey Badger you are doing incredible! And you seem to have good support. Does he weigh himself? I got in the routine of weighing my young D at home and to make the data as accurate as possible we do as they did in the hospital . First thing in the morning on differing days of the week. I wake her up she goes to the bathroom pees puts undies back on i come i and weigh her. Done. There is a great instructional video on C&M productions on weighting ... Big hugs and whoop to you for what you have done for your dear boy thusfar. Incredible !!


Thanks Amoma, I don't feel like I have good support.   We in theory have a "team" now but I have yet to actually meet with a therapist, and I have to say I'm not really sure I feel it is worth it right now to drag our sorry asses 1.5 hours away to meet with someone who I don't really think knows much about selective eating/food aversion/sensory issues etc.  They could be helpful in just hearing me and my husband and son out and giving me support but I just don't know that in the end it is really worth it.

Yes, so far he has been weighing himself; I double check every now and then and he's always reported accurately.   Our scale isn't the most accurate -- gives two different readings on me, 5 minutes apart.   So I'm not too worried yet.

Actually the concept of "state not weight" rings true here even on a daily basis.   When my son has hit some magic intake of calories, he gets really sweet and enjoyable to be around.   And when he eats enough for breakfast and lunch he seems more able to eat a proper dinner, and snacks.   I just have a mommy sense of when he is eating enough.

We had the day off of school again today and I tried to give him a great deal of food -- didn't do all that well, but am still trying.
Honey_Badger

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Reply with quote  #142 
And THANK YOU Torie.   I feel so bad when we have small eating days and so good when we have big appetite days.   I am working so hard too, to put big meals on the table that aren't repetitive.   I have now about 7 meals that my son will generally eat and my daughter is starting to get really sick of them.  Me and my husband, too of course, but we are adults and can understand.   She is little and really doesn't.

So tonight we had steak and scalloped potatoes and sauteed bok choi, and I made tater tots for my son.  But didn't actually make any other real food for him.  I was simply too tired to also cook up some spaghetti or something for him to just pick at.    I did put out a bunch of other "safe" food for him -- a salad with raw carrots in it and a bowl of leftover bacon bits from breakfast (ostensibly for the salad but he will just eat them plain).  

Small progress here -- son did eat one slice of beef.  I described (ostensibly for my daughter) how some slices of beef were more chewy and others were more crispy; which did she want?  My son picked and poked at the plate (which he allowed to be set near him) and then asked me to serve him one crispy slice.   I did, he ate it and said, kind of sadly, "It tastes fine, I just don't like eating cows."

I gave him a little lecture on how half his family genes are descended from the English and Swedes and Danes and how (I hope this is true) they evolved over centuries having domesticated cattle and so his body was genetically predestined to want to "make full use of all cattle products" -- that's why he does so well with milk and cheese after all.  I tried to make him feel SPECIAL in being able to digest milk well as a northern European descendent and in being able to thrive on beef.   He admits that the beef looks and tastes good to him, it's just the *thought* of eating beef that he doesn't like.   I want that to change..... somehow.   His body will be so much happier when he can eat beef I believe.

After dinner I asked him very matter of factly as he was helping clean up to put the steak slices into a plastic bag for me, and this is big.... he DID.   He had no trouble carrying the plate in, touching the beef, etc.   In the past he would have gagged and been repulsed.   Somewhere I've read the steps to being comfortable with foods -- starting with tolerating being in the same room and smelling (still not there with eggs); then with being able to sit next to it while eating; then being able to touch it, then lick it, then put it in your mouth, then chew it; and finally swallow it.   So he made some major progress on that hierarchy today; I hope in another week to continue the exposure.

The other small progress was he helped himself to a side salad again.   He told me he didn't like ranch dressing on salad; he just likes that for dipping his carrots; for a salad he prefers a vinagrette.   LOL.   He didn't actually eat the salad, but I knew he wouldn't; nevertheless I whipped up a little vinagrette for him and even sprinkled some Italian herbs in it, and gave him a whisk and asked him to whip the vinagrette up.   He basically nibbled the lettuce and maybe ate a few carrots.  But the idea is in his head now - "I sometimes eat a side salad".


Honey_Badger

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Reply with quote  #143 
I just want to add that I would have no problem with him being a vegetarian if he would actually eat food!

If he ate nuts and seeds and nut butters and oils and grains and beans and lentils, and fruits and vegetables there would be no problem at all and I'd even very happily cook those meals.

Amoma

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Reply with quote  #144 
Oh Honey Badger I so feel for you.....My oldest brother developed an ED at age 14. So your son's approximate age. I have a warm place in my heart for parents of boys on here....

You are doing so much good for him with the exposure and constant emphasis on complete nutrition....

Hugs....
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Reply with quote  #145 
I have real trouble with thinking we have reintroduced fear foods and then them becoming a huge issue all over again.

I've adopted my own style of basic exposure response, basically bringing all fear foods back in and insisting on them being tried and then eaten over several weeks.

For us it works for awhile and then the fears come back and the foods are back on the scary list.

Ugh. So over it!

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Son 9yrs when he became unwell 2013, ED slide from April 2014, dx at 10yrs July 2014, 2 hospitalisations - dx so many times Behavioural Anorexia, EDNOS, ARFID. FBT from August 2014. Anxiety, Emetophobia. 12.5yrs old now! In recovery, gets better every day with constant vigilance, life returns.
Honey_Badger

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Reply with quote  #146 
I am looking into ideas of ways to increase appetite for kids who reach satiety quickly.

Good article here:   http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v27/n10/full/0802391a.html

Effect of sensory perception of foods on appetite and food intake: a review of studies on humans

Some ideas that might be worth incorporating in my son's diet to encourage appetite:

- increase variety by going to buffet restaurants

- instead of serving 3 scoops of  one flavor of ice cream, serve three scoops of 3 different flavors

- try to have a mix of all 5 flavors in a meal or snack -- something sweet, salty, umami (brothy/meaty), sour and maybe even bitter (theory being, people fill up on one flavor but still have room for other flavors)

- order or make two different types of pizza, both of which he likes.   Encourage him to eat one slice of both pizzas instead of 2 slices of same pizza.

Interesting point here:

Quote:
 In a study, by Hill et al,8 where the effect of palatability on appetite was measured solely using VAS, a difference in ratings of desire to eat was observed as soon as the subjects saw the food, the difference mostly being due to an increase in ratings in response to the highly preferred meal. The difference persisted throughout the meal declining only after the meal had ended8 (see Table 1). In addition, the investigators found that 2 h after the test meal, ratings of desire to eat and hunger were significantly higher after consumption of the preferred food.8


Which I interpret to mean that when people see food they think they will like, it increases their appetite.  And when people ate a meal they didn't find delicious, it made them less hungry for the next meal!    Eating yummy food increases appetite for the next meal.   For kids who don't find many foods palatable, this can create a vicious cycle of lack of appetite, which hopefully can be remedied by feeding them many meals they DO find yummy.


Another interesting finding:
Quote:

Cornell et al62 demonstrated that individual's food consumption could be affected by a period of pre-exposure to sensory aspects of food prior to eating. The combination of a brief taste and sight of either pizza or ice cream presented a few minutes prior to eating stimulated subjects to eat beyond the point of satiety. 


This I have discovered on my own!   When I have reason to believe my son will like a food I am serving, I let him see it and have a little taste of it 15 minutes before dinner to "whet his appetite" and it seems to work.   He has better eating days when I do this.   Of course if the meal didn't turn out yummy or I made a bad food, it just serves to make him completely uninterested in the meal, so it can backfire.

Of course I realize that this article is just a summary of some findings, some of which contradict each other; and it is also a bit dated.   Still it is nice to feel I have some leads to work on. 





galanick

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Reply with quote  #147 
I find that if I can prime the pump with something d likes more likely that she will eat well. If wait till she gets too hungry or sees food not her favorite first less likely to eat.

Last week we walked in restaurant and it had strong smell of fish. First thing 8 year old said was it stinks of fish in here, my chicken nugget and fries is going to taste like fish and I won't eat. Got her started on buttered bread and by time chicken came she just eat with no comment. ( yeah little nutrition in her diet but at least calories).

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Honey_Badger

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Reply with quote  #148 
Oh my goodness, bread butter, chicken nuggets and fries?   Sounds like GREAT nutrition to my ears!  Good going!
Honey_Badger

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Reply with quote  #149 
Well my son barely ate anything for dinner last night, despite my turning cartwheels to put a variety of foods on the table.   My husband, I, daughter and sleepover friend all ate ribs, which I knew son wouldn't touch and didn't expect.  But daughter has been complaining that we keep having the same meals over and over (true) so I have decided to make one or two nights a week more normal family meals again, not just meals wholly designed for my son.   So we had ribs, biscuits, steamed green beans and a side salad.   I also placed on the table 3 different types of crackers (including Ritz), a bowl of bacon buts, sliced pepperoni in a packet (3 different flavors) and a bowl of hummus.   Son ate 10 crackers and several slices of pepperoni and put maybe 1/4 cup total of hummus on the crackers and drank a Chug milk.   Nibbled on the bacon bits.  Refused the green beans -- said "I like green beans but don't want them today".   (But I know it's because I put some nuts on them.)  He had a little buttered popcorn before bed, but it was a very "small eating" day.  

He had gone sledding in the morning which is a lot more exercise than usual, and what I am noticing is that if he has more exercise, his appetite actually gets worse.   I think the more he eats the more he wants to eat, and the more he expends energy (or the less he eats) the less he wants to eat so I really have to stay on top of getting calories in him.

Today I gave him box mac n cheese and a glass of OJ for breakfast which he seemed eager for.   I tried to mix the cheesy/salty taste with the sour/sweet of OJ and am hoping he asks for more.
Honey_Badger

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Reply with quote  #150 

Really good weekend in terms of eating new foods!  Family meals/buffet style seems to be a good thing.

Last night we went to a friend's house for dinner.   They out on the table sliced ham, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, homemade baked apples, steamed broccoli, steamed baby carrots, and whole wheat bread and butter.  All foods very plain because two of their family members have food allergies, are vegetarian, etc.   The first four foods on the list were new to my son (he's had mashed potatoes before, but not this lady's mashed potatoes....sigh) and he sat next to the high school aged son of the family who is a VERY strict vegetarian and I believe has been encouraging/pressuring my son to not eat meat.    Anyhow, this son of the family told me son, "Ew, that spinach looks nasty" but my son said, "Looks OK to me!" and TOOK a spoonful.  And when I speared a slice of ham (for my daughter) he piped up "I'll take that please".   He ate and entire slice of ham.   Something I don't think he's done since age 4.   He ate a few spoonfuls of the mashed potatoes (I can tell they were too lumpy for him but he tried them), said the baked apples (basically apple sauce) tasted good, nibbled the broccoli a little bit, and helped himself to a big glass of whole milk.   (My friend knows about his weight gain  and food texture issues and always keeps a half gallon of whole milk in the fridge for him!)    So major success of this meal:   without any pressure to try new foods, he tried 4... and he ate ham!!   The meal was a very happy one.

This morning I told everyone in the family they had to do housecleaning for 2 hours and then we were going out to a buffet lunch.   My son was NOT happy about this as he had other plans for the morning.   He was very upset at being told we were going to drive 30 minutes away to go to a Indian buffet restaurant.   He tried negotiating and cajoling with me to stop on the way at a hamburger place instead (closer, quicker, and he can get french fries there) but I held firm.   No one in the family wanted Indian food but me.  AT the restaurant he sat in the car, very upset saying "I hate Indian food, I don't want to eat here" and I finally said he had to come in and sit with us, but if he was still hungry I would stop at the burger place on the way back and get him his fries.  So he came in.

The restaurant was full of native Indian looking families all happily eating from the buffet, with lots of little kids.   My son sat grumpily at the table while we other three helped ourselves to the food.   Son ordered a mango lasso which is a low fat mango/yogurt drink I believe.   About halfway through it he started getting interested in the food we were eating. It was unlike any Indian food we have ever had before.   There were some breads that were deep fried; I don't know what they were made of or called.  But he took one, and took some tamarind sauce to dip it in; took some rice and some kind of chicken in a sauce dish, and then went BACK for some more food.   Small servings, but all of this was unfamiliar to him!   I got up to get his sister seconds of something and he asked me to bring one back for him.   Then I got up and saw a yellow lentil soup dish that I thought he would like.   I got a small bowl of it and brought it back to the table and gave it to his sister and said "Hey, you might want to try this".  She took a taste and said, "Good. What is it?"   I said, "It is a vegetarian soup made of yellow lentils." He said "Can I try a taste?" and tried a small bit.   He looked intently at it and asked, "Can I have the rest?" I said,  "I'll get you your own!" and got him his own bowl.   Very very very casually.   He ate the entire (small) bowl of soup.

AFter lunch he said he was full and didn't want to stop off for french fries.   All told, I think he ate about 8 new foods this weekend.   I don't think his calorie intake was anything amazing, but it wasn't bad.   I think the idea of going out to buffets is a really good one for expanding new foods without too much pressure and am going to keep looking for more buffets.   (I think a key though is that the restaurants can't have "french fries" or other really familiar foods as an option.)

Just trying to document our experiences both positive and negative.   I know a lot of people here aren't dealing with selective eating, but some people are, and perhaps this report will be useful to someone.

Oh, I am waiting a few more days to weight him again.   But his face looks suddenly a lot more "solid" than it did a couple of weeks ago.   Much less wan and pinched.   He seems more sturdy!   I am hoping that means more weight gain.

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