Food issues and attachment??
My 3yo RAD kiddo will not stop eating or drinking unless we have him stop. At every mealtime, he also eats fast, sometime not stopping to chew much. When he has a glass of something, he will drink until it's gone, not pausing.

His first two years were spent in a good orphanage where I'm sure he had plenty to eat. Also, he has been home almost 2 years, where we always have plenty to eat.

So, can someone explain why he has food issues? I limit his food now, in that at mealtime and snacktime, I give him an adult-sized amount and that's it (when we allow him to choose every once in a while, he gorges), but any advice? Thanks.
Still trying to feel safe. P, my oldest came from an RTC when he was 11. He ate; he snuck food and lied about it; he wouldn't use his fork but just his fingers. I had to keep reassuring him that the food wouldn't go away. And try to keep enough food so he would know. He had issues of not having food with Biological Parent mom which didn't come out when he first came home.
Nice to hear there are good orphanages. My sons came from not so nice ones. They learned to eat fast and whatever you could grab cause food wasn't plentiful and if they didn't eat quickly, someone bigger would take it from them.

I'd serve him normal portions of food, normal snacks and just be sure he knows that there will be another meal, another snack, etc. I also find letting my kids help with the cooking helped. If they could make food, then they wouldn't go without.

I have only one kid who never let this behavior go. The others eventually did.
I think food is a CORE safety issue for all kids, esp with RAD. Our situation is a bit different (because R was hungry for at least a year (but probably 2 years+) , but we have gotten through our food issues.

1.I kept the fridge and cabneits full. Sometimes I even leave stufff thats a few days past its best to give the illusion of fullness. I have filled tupper ware with rice before. She can look in there as often as she likes, and kept running lists of thing she felt we "need".

2. I took her to the store OFTEN. Weekly. She got one thing from her list. And got to choose a vegetable, a protien, a kind of cereal, and a kind of ice cream.

3. I carry water bottles, trail mix and snacks in the car for a quick bite.

4. I NEVER say NO to food. I always say "YES. You can have the candy- 2 pieces after dinner." or "YES. You can have the hot dogs, do you want them for dinner or in your lunch box tomorrow." or "Yes. You can have a snack- do you want to choose a fruit or a yogurt?" R still panics when she hears no to food. For exapmle, we were at the fall festival, and she wanted pie. A co-worker of mine told her no not with out asking, R couldnt SEE me right by her, so she flipped. Of course I walked her back to the table and cut her some pie, and reminded her other adults would want her to ask me first. I also have told all the adults in her life to say YES go tell your mom to give you hand with it.

5. R spent a few nights camped out by the fridge. Until your RAD trusts you...and we know that can take years, he wont trust you to FEED him. You are just another adult who he can't trust to be safe.

6. Spoon feed him like a BABY. Teach him that Mommys give thier children food. Do it often, even daily.

The best orphangae in the world is not a replacement for a parent, which is why you are dealing with RAD. Also, and this may NOT be the case in your situation, some orphanges paint a prettier picture to parents than is realistic in the day to day of the orphanage. The same is true for foster kids, no one wants to admit the children in thier care aren't getting thier needs met.
My 3.5 y/o DD has FAS and RAD. She was also diagnosed with PICA. Not only does she eat all food she can get her hands on, she eats lots of non-food things too. We have had her for over 2.5 years! Never would I have imagined her eating issues being related to attachment. None of her docs know what to say except limit her eating because she has gained too much weight. She was taken into foster care at 6 weeks old and was in that foster home from 6 weeks until 9 months when we got her. I'd love to hear any other advice on this issue.
My advice Ashley is to talk to your childs therapist about ways to meet your childs emotional needs AND food needs. If R felt that I was restricting her food intake, that would set her over the edge. BUT I do restrict it, in ways she doesn't see. One idea is to eliminate all potential "junk" food from your home. We keep a veggie tray in the fridge that R can eat from anytime, after asking. Can you give her another oral stimulation item to stave off the PICA? Like a teether or sensory toy?
txwannabemom said...
My advice Ashley is to talk to your childs therapist about ways to meet your childs emotional needs AND food needs. If R felt that I was restricting her food intake, that would set her over the edge. BUT I do restrict it, in ways she doesn't see. One idea is to eliminate all potential "junk" food from your home. We keep a veggie tray in the fridge that R can eat from anytime, after asking. Can you give her another oral stimulation item to stave off the PICA? Like a teether or sensory toy?




When she was in EI, her OT tried several different jigglers, vibrators, vibrating toothbrushes, chewies, and even different baby teethers. She was not interested in any of them. Our current OT hasn't had a lot of ideas.

We did get rid of junk a while ago. About the junkiest things here are jello and a box of cake mix! I keep some fresh, cut up, ready to go, crunchy veggies in the fridge. That is what I offer her when she is hungry between meals.

I have a HUGE compliance issue with my mother who feeds her anything and everything. I am in nursing school and my mom watches her two-three afternoons a week. Well, she gorges her on whatever. She feeds her two and three lunches. She has gained all her extra weight since she started going there and I am positive that is why.

We don't have a behavioral therapist yet. We are trying to patiently await our consult/eval at the end of November with a Neuropsych. She has seizures so her ped and neurologist wanted her in with a Psychiatrist who could deal with the seizure issue as well. Hopefully after the evals, she will be getting set up with some behavior therapy. She is having major behavioral issues that are beyond me.
(((hugs))) I get it. Totally. No one watches R but a fellow RAD mom for this reason. Most people dont get it. Even (or perhaps esp.) close family members.

Make sure you come vent to us! We get it!
Thank you. I have been on babycenter message boards for years and years. I have met one other mama on there with a kiddo who has FAS. She referred me over here! I am on a board there for delayed kids and while they are really nice and helpful, I don't feel like anyone really understands. Here, everyone has been so incredibly welcoming and understanding. I posted under the drug exposed babies and there are quite a few with FAS kiddos.
My mom definitely doesn't get it. She thinks DD will just grow out of everything. My stepdad thinks all doctors are quacks and that every single one of them is just trying to rob us blind. He doesn't think there is anything wrong with her! I give up trying to get them to understand.
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