Friday, July 02, 2004

You Forgot to make me lunch --and other Food Issues

HappyMomAnna
07-02-2004 09:51 AM

You forgot to make me lunch--and other food issues. It has been talked about here on the forum in the past that many of our children have food related and eating disorders. For the whole time Makala has been here we have actually been very rigid with the food issues.

We really do not want and will not allow eating all over the house, and we have not allowed 'self helping' by the younger children. I have been fixing meals and serving plates pre-fixed by me with what I expect to be the portions and the selections that will be eaten...Makala has had many issues around food. She nearly drives me crazy everyday. When I serve breakfast she wants to know when and what snack will be. Almost every other word out of her mouth is about food or eating. We cannot walk past a vending machine without a tantrum.

She sneaks into the food when no one is in the kitchen. She sneaks food into her room and hides it is odd places. She accuses me of 'forgetting' to feed her meals. She is all about food.

Sometimes one night she will LOVE what I make for dinner and the next week I make it again only to hear her proclaim that she no longer likes it. Some of her food issues are still all about controlling me--some of it is clearly about being defiant to what I want. But, the therapists brought up some interesting facts and I am trying a few new things in this area.

I was advised that sometimes anxiety makes a child's tummy feel funny and that many children feel anxiety as HUNGER. By eliminating the feeling in the tummy being about hunger Makala will have to learn other ways to deal with the feelings she gets in her tummy when she is anxious.... So...... I was advised to allow Makala to have a snack box in her bedroom and to not control food anymore.

To be consistent with the choices she has--not adding too many interesting or new items to the selection. But, to allow Makala to eat when she thinks she needs to eat. The box of food in the bedroom will NOT work in our home because of the rule about eating only at the table. NO one breaks this rule and we are not going to start with food in the bedroom under any circumstance.

HOWEVER---there has always been a box in the pantry filled with DADDY snacks and now Makala is permitted to get anything out of that box and eat it anytime.....as long as she sits at the table and picks up her trash. The first day she made herself sick. The second day she thought the permission ran over into getting out the ice cream from the freezer and I told Makala NO it is only for the food in the snack box you still cannot get food out of the freezer or fridge....

The third day I found she had mixed Seans Ocean Spray Grapefruit and the iced tea....in the fridge..... Because she decided that she was permitted to get drinks too..... Now only water and other drinks mom has to serve---and no more touching the other things...no one wants grapefruit and tea...except the baby who seems to really like it?By the fourth day Makala was asking me for other things all day long. and I have to just tell her that if she is hungry then she can eat anything in the snack box.... She has lost a great deal of interest in those things--granola bars, fish crackers, raisins, pretzels, apple chips, crackers, and a few other odds and ends that are always here.... So I also allowed the fruit bowl to be open game--it is on the counter and there are apples, bananas and peanuts in it all the time.....

I have to say that it has been nice to not hear the constant issues about food day in and day out. I am still not completely crazy about this idea...Jeremiah has been in toddler joy land because when he sees sissy eat he wants some too....so for the past several days he has had a baggy of fish crackers at his side day in and out....It is not as easy to convince him that he must stay at the table..... He has clearly been eating more too....I wonder now if I was feeding them enough? I am sure I have been but I cannot help but wonder when I see just how much they want to ram down their faces...Of course neither of them has eaten a good dinner all week....

But, it has been nice to have FOOD be a non-issue with Makala if for no other reason then to eliminate one more battle from our relationship. I am planning to make Food a NON issue for the remainder of the summer....Not sure how gong back to school will go in this area....Last time I checked most children didn't sit around ramming food down all day long..... I guess I will have to hope she is able to manage....and after school snack will likely ruin dinner for the whole year?Or food could just become not an issue.... Hears for trying something NEW.....

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