|This is fun, but you don't expect me to eat any of this, do you?|
A couple of months ago I wrote a blog about Jack's food issues. At that time he'd just been to the doctor's and measured 5'2" and 91 pounds. Last week he went to the doctor's again (monthly visit). This time he measured 5"3" and 90 pounds (with all his clothes on). This morning on our scale at home he weighed 86 pounds!
The problem is he'd rather design and play video games than eat. He gets so fixated on what he's working on, that he's not interested in food. In addition, he has a very narrow range of foods he'll eat. Sometimes I'll fix something I know is a favorite and he'll eat a couple of bites, then tell me, "It tastes funny." Or make an attempt at a few bites and then say, "I'm full."
People who have children who eat normally--who come and tell them they need a snack when they're hungry--will judge me for this. I can't tell you how many times I've been told, "Just make him eat! Make him sit there till he cleans his plate." That just seems so cruel to me. If he's really not hungry, how can it be a good thing to force him to eat? Won't that just make the problem worse?
I've been at other people's houses and heard their children call, "Mom! I'm hungry!" This is a cry rarely heard in our house. Even when he was a toddler, I would have to remember to feed him now and then. While my friends' children would go to the refrigerator and indicate they wanted something to eat, my son never did that. He's just never been that interested in food.
This is such a foreign concept to me! I've always loved food and have battled my weight most of my life. My problem is I that love and am willing to try just about everything, while Jack is extremely suspicious of anything new or different. Even things I think he'll love if he'd just try them. I can't tell you how many times I've struggled just to get him to taste something new. Forget the "no thank you bite." Not gonna happen.
Once on a vacation trip when he was 7 1/2, my friend tried to bribe him by offering to buy him a DS (which he wanted more than anything else in the world at that time) if he'd only taste what she was offering. Still wouldn't do it. "But will you still buy me a DS?" he asked. When she explained to him that that wasn't the deal, he cried (and she felt really bad about it!) but she was right. That wasn't the deal.
I've really been trying to push the snacks and the extra glasses of (soy) milk the past few days. I even gave him a root beer float last night for dessert, a particular favorite. I'd even be tempted to try Pediasure, if I thought he'd actually drink it, but I don't see that happening.
In this age of so much childhood obesity, I find it kind of ironic that we have the opposite problem in our house. I know I'm not alone in this. Anybody else have a child with super-sensitive tastebuds who's a challenge to feed? Any suggestions for getting some extra calories into him?