Advertisements
Advertisements
I have 3 wonderful children. Two are from china. One was adopted at 11 months of age and had a VERY hard transition. One was brought home at 2.9 yrs of age and had an easier transition. BOTH seem to be food obsessed.
My daughter who was adopted at 11 months did hoard food. It was typically food she wasn't allowed to have often like candy. I would find the wrappers. Then chips, etc. That behaviour has subsided somewhat but she and my other adopted son are OBSESSED with food. I mean, she could be eating a meal and then ask when her next one would be. He hovers around food constantly.
She has a cholesterol problem, so we need to watch what she eats a bit, and he is getting to be quite portly. He will ask for 2nds and 3rds on meals.
I'm not sure WHAT I should be doing.
I started a "snack" draw filled with healthy foods in the bottom of the fridge. Apples, nuts, yogurt, cheese, etc.
Now the snack draw is an obsession. They could go in and grab something and then ask for another snack immediately after and keep going.
My biological son doesn't seem to exibit any of this behavior. He eats his meals and typically doesn't even think about any more food unless he really is hungry. He doesn't ask when his next meal is when he is eating.
So, how do I handle this? There isn't a lot of information on the internet. Her cholesterol (she is 5 yrs) and his chunkyness (he is 4) is a bit of a concern in how to handle, yet not have the focus always be on food.
Any suggestions? The snack draw backfired immensely.
Now what?
Kretzklan - NOT AT ALL AN "OGRE". I did it the same way with our foster son -- I knew it would be a greater issue if I allowed him to eat until he stopped screaming. So we'd be sure he had plenty to eat (and treats for dessert) and if he continued to then scream for food, we would push his highchair into the corner, turn out the kitchen light, leave the room and let him scream. NOW who sounds like the ogre???
I'd rather have dealt with it strongly then rather than have him be an obese adult always using food for comfort.
Advertisements
My 4yo has had issues with food. When he moved in, 2 months ago, he was always asking about food and when it would be time to eat or asking if he was going to get some too. He would hold food in his mouth or stuff everything in his mouth & try to swallow before chewing. It was hard to deal with at first. What I did was, as soon as he woke up I would have breakfast ready. Then shortly after that I would give him a banana or other fruit. Then I would give him a baggie with gold fishies or pretzels to carry around with him. Then we would have lunch, then an hour later a fruit & a baggie of cereal to carry around. Then dinner. Then a fruit before bed. This seemed to work because it gave him structure. He knew that when he finished his baggie it was done. He liked knowing what was coming next. He had a little bit of control over his food by being able to carry around his baggies. Now 2 months later he tells me that he isn't hungry. I have also noticed that he is not as obsessed with food. He has actually told me " Mommy I'm eatin to much baggies". He also leaves them sitting around uneaten, where before he would devour them in 2 seconds it seemed. So we have cut back on the in between meal snacks. He is content now. I have never waivered on his food times. I will stop everything to give him his foods on time. I actually mimic his school schedule for his meal times, as to not confuse things during the week. The only time he doesn't eat on schedule is if he says he is not hungry, is sleeping or turns it down. You have to kinda find what works for your family.
Two bio kids. Youngest one ate nothing but penne pasta and red sauce for almost a year. Oldest one is referred to as the four hour girl because she will ask what's for, breakfast, lunch, dinner, exactly four hours from whenever her last meal was. Oldest has been this way her whole life and now we just laugh and talk about what time it is based on when she is asking what her next meal is. Realize that there are reasons for adopted kids having food issues but just wanted to point out all kids can have such issues adoption or not.
My husband and I have recently adopted a 3yr old lil girl out of the foster care system. She has some food issues we are not sure what to make of. She will eat everything put in front of her. It seems she does not have the full factor. When i am preparing a meal she has to be watching and when setting the table she stares I at the table a if to watch if i am going to place her plate on the table.She never leaves a spot of food on her plate and she eats one item of food at a time. She never asks for more but will keep taking more if you offer it to her. We can literally get up from the dinner table and if we go somewhere and she sees someone eating she stares at them as if she is starving. When she sees food commercials on tv she will emphasize how much she likes whatever they are showing on tv. PLEASE HELP!!! Do we have a child with food issues or is it just us? We have 4 bio boys and they have never acted like this about food.
My husband and I have recently adopted a 3yr old lil girl out of the foster care system. She has some food issues we are not sure what to make of. She will eat everything put in front of her. It seems she does not have the full factor. When i am preparing a meal she has to be watching and when setting the table she stares I at the table a if to watch if i am going to place her plate on the table.She never leaves a spot of food on her plate and she eats one item of food at a time. She never asks for more but will keep taking more if you offer it to her. We can literally get up from the dinner table and if we go somewhere and she sees someone eating she stares at them as if she is starving. When she sees food commercials on tv she will emphasize how much she likes whatever they are showing on tv. PLEASE HELP!!! Do we have a child with food issues or is it just us? We have 4 bio boys and they have never acted like this about food.
Advertisements
Sounds like food issues to me. Get a bin just for her, with healthy snacks etc in it, give her permission to eat what is in the bin. Explain that it will be refilled each day. So if she eats it all at once, more will be there tomorrow.
Be prepared for this issue to last a while. It's tied in to trust etc... Also keep discussing "Food is Fuel". Explain portions as you serve her. Describe the digestion process.....basically go on info overload, but simple terms for he rto understand. Eventually she'll gain confidence and trust around food. Also, keep being very exact and precise regarding food so that she begins to trust. Always pre-explain what will be served/when. And don't rely on the "full feeling". She needs to logically see what is an appropriate amount of food.
My dd was 4 when we started this with her. She was never Full, she was never Hungry. It makes more sense to use portion control and calories/nutrition to determine your food choices anyway!
My older two have big food issues. With both, I had a snack box in their rooms and a fruit bowl always filled. They could take whatever they liked whenever. I never had to worry about whether they would have room for dinner, they always do! When I needed to replace the old foods with new ones, I always did it with them there, and I told them that they deserve to eat nice food, so we are replacing the old food which is going off with nice new food. In reality they usually ate nearly everything, so it was a matter of topping it up. However, the box and bowl are never filled with unhealthy things! Fruit, dried fruit, cereal bars, sometimes nuts etc. Both girls are thin, and luckily love excercise, and thats how I kept weight off
Food issues are often either long lasting or life long. Its not really surprising given that food is such an important thing for pure survival, that if you are neglected and starved of it, your brain gets wired to take take take
There is a really good blog entry by a former foster child about how to handle food issues and why she had them [URL="http://looneytunes09.wordpress.com/2011/01/23/foster-kids-and-food-its-a-****ed-up-relationship/"]here[/URL]
Basically they needed to know I would not withhold food from them ever when they wanted it - a trust thing
However, they also had trouble with knowing when they were full. That did develop over time on its own. My GG tended to confuse 'worried'/'nervous' with 'full'. because she was told that when you were worried you had a funny feeling in your tummy. She couldn't tell the difference between various tummy feelings for a long time. I told her if she had a funny feeling after eating a lot, it was probably 'full'!
My boys have food issues, too. I don't know if you've read "Nurturing Adoptions" or "Adopting the Hurt Child," but there's some info in those books about why kids end up with food issues, and how early it can start, even in early infancy.
I have one who will eat until he throws up, and one who just constantly asks/begs/looks for food. He has stolen food from the kitchen while I'm still in bed, ate a whole loaf of bread and hid the bag in his room, etc. He just turned 5.
If I let them eat what they wanted, we'd be cleaning up vomit every single day. They always want seconds or thirds, and they ask what the next meal or food offering will be before they've even finished their current meal. They claim to be hungry less than 15 minutes after eating a healthy meal with adult-size portions.
I, too, have put limits on food. They cannot stay healthy while gorging themselves, so I give them appropriate meals, and sometimes snacks, and then I reassure them that Mommy will feed them when it's breakfast/lunch/dinner time. I remind them that I've never *not* fed them. I try to use positive language, like saying "when it's time, we'll have some dinner" instead of "no, you can't have food now."
Hmmm....sounds like my 9year old bio son. He's not fat, but is a little chunkier than other kids his age. He is very active, so i dont want to limit his food, but if we are eating supper, literally 10 minutes after we get done eating, he is asking for a snack!! he eats just as much as dh and I so i know he's getting enough. He does kinda have a problem with food. I think alot of it has to do with bordem. He's 9, up until 8 months ago he had no siblings, so there isnt always someone to play with, and when you are by yourself, you dont play as much. So he woudl play with friends after school, but when they went home, and we would eat supper, then he would get bored sooo quickly and if i let him have full access to the pantry, he would eat and eat and eat. i never know if he's actually hungry, or if he's just bored and pullling my chain. I often find wrappers in his bed from granola bars, sliced cheese and a box of triscuits. He LOVES triscuits!! its sooo frustrating cuz i dont want to limit him too much because then i feel like he will steal food MORE, but on the other hand, i really need to beable to keep his weight in check. Im just not sure what to do. And another big thing is he really dislikes drinking water. Which is a huge problem cuz then he drinks Juice or milk. which im a huge fan of MILK- but not like 6 or 7 cups/day. And Juice is good in the way of Vitamin C, but has sooooo much sugar. TONS of sugar. I was buying an apple juice at the grocery store today and it had 46 grams of sugar in 1 serving!!! I put it back. So, im kinda stuck with what to do with him. I was glad to see this food thread and all the good advice. Keep it coming!!
I will say that even tho he loves to eat, its mainly all healthy stuff he snacks on. I dont buy chips, cookies, crap food. Its mainly healthy food, but even healthy food needs a limit. He loves yogurt, triscuits, dairy products, bananas, apples, veggies, grapes, etc. So, i guess we arent doing that bad in all reality. If he was eating all the sugary junk he would probably weigh another 30lbs more. His one weakness is ICE CREAM!!! Im getting to the point where i cant even buy it anymore because EVERY night we have it in the house is constantly....Can we have ice cream?? Can we have ice cream?? I guess im just gonna have to not buy it at all anymore until he starts to regulate his eating a little more. -rach
Advertisements
We limited ice cream to Sunday afternoons. Don't even bother asking....if it's not a Sunday afternoon!
A really cool thing to help illustrate calories, eating etc...it to have him write down all he eats. Noom is a really great Droid app for tracking that!
Perhaps if you give them sliced apples before dinner. I LOVE sliced apples with cheese, and as others have suggested, sometimes eating something else right before dinner will sooth their appetite. I keep whole apples in a plastic bag, in the refrigerator and they last a long time in the fruit bin, always crisp. I buy them even when they are not in season (Fuji or Brauburn are our favorites), I dont care about the cost going up during the "off season" because we will eat them sooner than we will eat other packaged foods which can also be expensive. My daughter usually asks for one when she opens the fridge, and I love to indulge in the sliced apples with her..sweet, crisp, and juicy.
My DD came home from China at 16 months and hoarded food in her cheeks, sometimes for an hour before we would notice.
Now, she doesn't hoard, but she will graze ALL night after dinner, if I let her. I mean....all night!! Till bedtime, and that's after dessert (popcycle or something else).
Im not one much for giving advise. I have issues around food myself. And you are right, if you concentrate on it with your son, he will obsess more over it. My dad was a health nut, and I grew up sneaking into the kitchen to take bites out of food, just because he was so hard on me. And I noticed, to this day, if Im alone, or after DH and DD go to bed, I will "sneak" food...it's ridiculous. I get a slight rush, thinking that Ive gotten away with something, before I realize how eye rolling my behavior really is.
Instead of bringing negative attention to it, offer him lots of healthy choices, change to organic nonfat milk (if you haven't already), let them go to the store with you to pick out the fruits and veggies...I noticed my daughter tends to eat them more if she has a hand in picking them out, personally. She also enjoys going to a fruit/vegie market, or this time of year, going where we can pick our own strawberries...exercise, AND good food. And if they enjoy getting it, they will also enjoy eating it, because they have a part in the process.
Ive also noticed (for myself) there are lots of other ways to skimp without feeling like youre doing so...fudgecycles only have 100 calories, and also, skinny cow makes a really indulgent one that's low in calories.
Ive also always made sure my daughter is doing something aerobic. She was in gymnastics for a long time, and now she's just started soccer. We play WII, although not as often as she wants to. She started getting a tummy over the summer, so Im hoping the soccer helps.
If you are making visual reminders etc. then laminators are pretty cheap, and I have even seen the pouches that go with them in dollar store type places (or for around the same price on ebay actually).
If he won't drink water, what about sugar-free drink mixes? Kool-Aid, Crystal Light, etc.
My kids also would go crazy on juice and milk if I let them. My solution has been to allow one glass of milk or juice with a meal, and then they have to switch to water. I didn't like drinking plain water when I was younger, too, so I know it takes getting used to. My kids don't complain that much as long as I've let them have something other than water first. I'm hoping they will learn the water-drinking habit now so they don't always want soda or juice later in life.
Advertisements
I cannot handle tap water....it actually makes me thirstier...we use an under cabinet RO purifier and I can drink that water non-stop and never tire of it! Try purified water?
I don't know the age or background of your children. I have only dealt with this situation once, but I will share just incase it could be helpful.
I had a second grade student that moved to my school mid year. He had many issues (he was bipolar, and his IQ was only 2 points away from him being classified as mentally retarded, bad parents, etc). Anyway, he hoarded food. I had never dealt with it before, but you would literally find him hiding in the corner eating other kids snacks or things he snuck from their lunch boxes. At classroom parties,he wouldn't play any of the games....he would just keep taking food and hiding with it. He would get very aggressive if you tried to go speak with him or if you asked him to return to his seat.
After getting some background info from him, I realized he wasn't used to having food around. At home, you ate everything you could find because it might not be there later. He went hungry a lot. I started making him stay at his desk for snack and eat. I always took extras and stuck in his backpack. He could eat them at school if he was still hungry after snack, or he always knew he had them when he got home (sorta like the other poster who put the healthy snack next to the bed so their child always knew they had it). This cut our problem down tremendously. He always knew that he didn't need to "take" snacks from the other kids, because he knew I would always put snacks in his bag for him (I also put extras for his sister). 9 times out of 10, he never ate these snacks at school. He would take them home. Every day his backpack was empty again so someone was eating them.
Maybe the snack drawer backfired because it is still "shared" with the other kids. Maybe your child would feel more secure knowing that their snacks were theirs, and no one else would eat them.
Whatever it is, I hope you are able to solve the problem. That chart was a really good idea!