Thursday, April 23, 2009

why won't Adrienne eat?


Today we went to the doctor for a follow up visit, and I was assured up and down that Adrienne was doing great.  It turns out that the fever is the result of something viral, so besides getting tylenol when needed, no other meds are necessary. She has been happy and content, although a little more lethargic and less active than normal, but it makes sense since her body has been through quite an ordeal over the past few days!  The stress of a seizure combined with the energy her body is exerting fighting the virus has her just plain tuckered out, but she is on the mend, and more importantly, no permanent damage has been done.

And now that I can rest easy on that front, I'd like to talk about the other issue that has been my constant antagonist over the past three months.  Something that, I've got to tell you, I really can't relate to, as it has to do a complete rejection of all kinds of food.  Adrienne will not eat anything solid.  And when I say will not, I mean it in a she-would-rather-be-tortured-than-be-forced-to-eat-something-solid kind of way. 

First I tried putting little finger foods on her high chair tray, cheerios, green beens, turkey, etc., with hopes that she would begin feeding herself.  No luck.  Next I tried putting tiny bits of food directly in her mouth, but we found this is where the real resistance began.  Adrienne clamps her mouth shut and then begins turning her head as far as her neck will allow in the direction farthest away from the offending food.  Again, this was a no go.  After that I tried putting solids on her spoon and feeding her that way.  Generally this method gets one piece of food in her mouth because it takes one try before she realizes I'm not giving her baby food. But I still wouldn't label this technique as successful since it almost always results in her spitting the food back out onto her shirt.  So, to put it mildly, I'm baffled.

I really don't know what else to try besides persistence. It such a strange concept to me, to dislike solid food with such a passion.  And that's really what it is.  She doesn't just not care for it; she abhors it.  With Marianna I gave her almost nothing but fruits and veggies, trying to keep her diet as healthy as possible, but since Adrienne has proved to be a real challenge where food is concerned, I've tried almost everything.  Cookie, cake, and brownies are all equally disliked and thrown to the ground.  Meat, cheese, and fruit aren't ever given a chance.  Really, the only thing that has had any kind of repeated success is a french fry.  For some reason, she is okay with eating a solid, like a fry, that she is able to hold in her hand and gradually eat.  

So that's where we stand.  She is so small, weighing just over 16 pounds, that I can't really stop giving her the baby food when she refuses to eat solids.  It just seems to me like she needs the calories!  But where does that leave me?

In a pickle.  

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you've tried these things...but playing games? like here comes the train, needs to go into the tunnel..

or you (and marianna) eating her food and making a huge deal about how yummy it is...

or when she gets that one bite in, clapping wildly and praising?

ack, i dont know what else..did you ask the doctor? i know they always say, "they won't starve themselves, they'll eat when they're hungry" but it's still frustrating. good luck!

Anonymous said...

My daughter was labeled as failure to thrive for pretty much the same reason. I was accepted into the LeBoneur Feeding Clinic (apparently hard to get into). We ended up not going because she did a complete 180. But maybe ask your doctor about it. They work with babies on different tastes, textures, and temperatures.

Michelle said...

My daughter took a long time to accept baby food and then later took her sweet time to want table food! French fries were her exception too! :) Don't be too worried about it yet, she will get there!!!

Trennia said...

Try pasta..gerber makes lil' pasta meals and other stuff. My step daughter's lil' girl is a little over two years old and refuses to fed herself but does great when others fed her! Good luck...on your lil' pickle!

Brad & Karen said...

Hi, maybe she has a gag type reflex. Our second girl didn't eat any solid food until she was almost 16 months old. The peditrican said to just keep putting small amounts on her plate or tray. He explained that was our job, and one day, she started showing interest in the food! She wasn't even overly interested in baby food! She is doing great, is now 7 and has no problems with any food groups or textures!
Hope that helps.
Karen
Vancouver, BC
Canada

Kim said...

I'm not a mom, so take my comment with a grain of salt. But I did work for a doctor once (as her nanny). What I have heard is that for the first year, getting them to try stuff is just that - try stuff. They really aren't getting much nutrition from that. If she is still taking her bottle, that is where she's getting her nutrition, and it's fine. She'll come around. When she turns 1 or so, and she's refusing to switch, that might be an issue, but I'd wait until then to worry too much.

(And my nephew will only eat mac and cheese, hot dogs, graham crackers, and waffles. He's just really picky. Oh, and green beans.)

Corinne said...

When I was a baby I wouldn't eat anything solid either. This worried my parents a great deal. The doctors couldn't find anything wrong with me. I am almost 20 now and believe me I love eating!
She might just be going through some phase. Also does she have reflux? Because a discomfort in that area might be a possibility as to why she is not eating well.

Julie said...

I have a 14 month old with the same problem. He will hold a cheese stick and eat it. He only has 4 teeth but will gum it until he eats it. He will also hold a banana but will throw it down if I cut it up. Same thing with strips of melon. He is my 4th son and a different eater than all of the rest. He choked on everything until about a month ago.

Anonymous said...

Have you tried mixing a little bit of solid in with some baby food? I'd start with a mostly baby food combo and gradually increase the amount of solids in it. It might help her get used to the texture.

Anonymous said...

My son did not consistently eat anything (but a bottle) until he was almost twenty one months old. He did have sensory issues, but we also asked the doctor to do an x-ray to check for enlarged adenoids and tonsils (become someone suggested this to us, because they had a similar experience with their child.) Our sons tonsils were fine, but his adenoids were very enlarged. They removed them and he is a much better eater!
The surgery made a huge difference.

Stephanie D. said...

Maybe she's just not ready for really solid foods. You might try using your blender or food processor to grind up the table foods you are all eating to a not-quite-pureed consistency, but with a little bit of form to it--sort of salsa consistency. That might be a good transition.

The Portas said...

Since she's ok with a fry, have you tried a cheese stick? Maybe one that isn't super cold so it's not as firm? Or a Cheeto? (I know, not too healthy, but just to get her used to solids.) Banana?

I would suggest contacting a feeding therapist. They have amazing tricks and can really help babies who have issues with eating.

Good luck! I know that feeding worries can be so hard on the parents...

Chris and Emily said...

I'm sorry you are having such feeding issues. I had feeding issues with both my boys through for my first it was the opposite - he hated liquid feeds which was quite a problem until he was able to eat solids. Cohen isn't a big fan of solids either but we've made lots of progress over the past 2 months.

I second the putting it on her tray every time you feed her even though it seems like a waste of time and a waste of food.

Try super soft stuff first like partially mashed cooked fruits... even put them in an old baby jar if that will help "fool" her a bit. You can also thicken her baby food with crushed cheerios and then slowly crush them less( our occupational therapist had suggested that at one point). Cohen loves french fries too - another big favorite was waffles or french toast. He did best when starting with actually be able to hold a large piece of something and gum on it. he found some tastes he likes and then started begin to be more willing....

We still mainly use babyfood too but are slowly switching over...

Some babies just take longer..try not to stress about it too much... but I've been there so I known it's easier said than done.

I'd never though about the adenoid thing... that's sort of interesting.

Praying it gets better soon!!!

Jennifer said...

It may be the texture of the food that she dislikes. Maybe try pureying (spelling?) foods and gradually making them thicker and thicker.

asplashofsunshine said...

My son has been diagnosed with "Oral Aversions". He rarely eats ANYTHING. He is 3 1/2 and refuses any meats, pastas, fruits, veggies, and even candy. Trying to entice him with his Easter basket was like trying to give him a plate of peas. It is a texture thing, not taste or being stubborn.

Talk to her pediatrician about starting Occupational Therapy. They will probably wait a bit longer to start since she is so young.

Right now, my son is heading toward 4 years old, and he is only 26 lbs. His BMI is so low it isn't even on the charts. I am assured that this will correct itself with OT and with time. I hope Adrienne is the same way.

Take care.

Karlye said...

ANGIE! I am having the exact same problem with Ryder! He is almost 14 months and no luck with solid food. He will only eat fries! He does not even like the Gerber Graduate dinners.. I feel like I have tried everything and I can't just let him starve! So he is still getting baby food as well... He has only gained one pound since the beginning of December, so I feel like he really needs to calories and start eating table food, but he just won't. Sometimes if we ignore him and just set it in front of him, he will at least taste it. But he usually ends up spitting it out and throwing it on the floor. Let me know if you find ANYTHING that works for Adrienne! I kinda have a theory.. but I would rather not comment because I might get some bad feedback from others!

Lindsey said...

Hi there, sounds like it is not behavioral...even though you are seeing behaviors. She may very well have some sensory issues that makes it difficult or uncomfortable for her to eat. I would talk to you dr about getting a refferal to see an OT or feeding specialist. It definitely won't hurt anything if that is not the case but they can better evaluate it for you. I'm not sure about your situation but I believe if the DR orders it..it can be considered a medical necessity and most insurance will cover it. :)

Anonymous said...

My daughter was a 27 week preemie and she has gone through the same thing.She had trouble with textures of solid foods. Just keep offering she will one day accept them. Don't stop putting them in front of her. My Sophie is 3 years old and only just reached 20 pounds but she is finally taking solids. IT is a long road but she will take them one day.

Elisha said...

mix something solid in with the babyfood...with my boys I did cheerios in yogurt... you could put whole peas in the babyfood peas...probably start with a softer solid and maybe you'll trick her by mixing it in and slowly work up to something like the cheerios and yogurt...good luck! Have you tried something like a popsicle? Maybe the real fruit ones... then she doesnt have to eat it...just suck it and that might help her just get used to having solids in her mouth.

Anonymous said...

She's not a year old yet, right? Eating solids under a year is really not for nutrition at all, it's more a learning thing, playing, and finding out about texture. Almost 100% of her nutrition should be coming from her bottles. If you are concerned about her weight I would focus more on giving her bottles more often and just keep up with putting different foods on the tray of her high chair for her to play with. Some babies don't eat solids until after a year and that is perfectly normal. I've heard a theory that babies that refuse solids for longer have sensitivities or allergies and they are naturally wary of foods for that reason. I have no idea if that's true or not but I suppose it could be. I would just let her take her own time with it. She'll figure it out eventually!!

Ali

angie said...

We went through extensive feeding therapy with my oldest. A few things that our therapist told us (and some of them go against what others are saying....so, I'm just offering what she said to us...and it worked)
1) Babies learn so much through exploration with their hands....so, put pudding on her tray and let her play in it a little, then encourage her to eat it. Also do this with jell-o and anything else you can think of.

2) Mixed textures is a step above eating single textures, so mixing things with baby food was not the best option for us. They have to learn to handle a single texture before moving on to two textures together.

3) A food called "Pirates Booty" was awesome for us. It is in most health food stores and I think Wal-Mart carries it now too. It is like a more healthy cheeto...and it gets them used to textures, but again they can hold onto it and feel it.

I hope that this helps....sometimes kids have oral aversions...just because. She is pretty young, and I'm sure that she will be eating soon. She looks really healthy, and if she is still taking a bottle then she is doing just fine:).

Hugs!

Lee said...

I understand, Angie! Christian is 10 months and is the same way. He is in the 10-25 percentile in weight. He still eats the pureed stuff like baby food, and also yogurt, rice cereal, and oatmeal. With the exception of crackers. He has fun with those. Everything else I try (like peas that aren't mashed, for example) gets held hostage in his mouth until he eventually has a big wad of food with drool accompanying and it just falls into his lap. He is still breastfed so I know he is getting a lot of nutrients that way and I guess I figure (hope) eventually he'll come around. Hang in there! I'm in the same boat. Let me know if you figure out what works and I'll try it, too.

Nikk said...

I've been following your blog since a few months before Poppy was born. I'm so happy that you have found peace and Adrienne has been a blessed addition to your family. I had a similar situation with my second born son. My first born was a fantastic eater - we would and still does, eat just about anything and everything. My second son was more than one before he would start eating anything solid. He was more independent so I thought he would love the finger foods. He still wanted the baby food, and would drink copious amounts of milk. A little while after his first birthday he started to become interested in more solid foods. And today at four he eats like a trooper - loves his salads and veges. And would still drink milk all day if I let him. I'm sure she'll be fine.

Megan said...

I agree with many others that you might want to figure out if she has sensory problems. A friend of mine has a little girl who had HUGE sensory problems because she got something like 16 teeth before she was 10 months. It took a therapist and a lot of work, but she's now doing much better with eating.

I thought I'd share a little story my parents used to tell me as well. I think Adrienne's a little young for this but I think it's good advice for many with picky children. As far as I know, it's true.

There was a little boy about 2-3 who would only drink milk. His parents couldn't get him to eat anything else. They took him to a specialist and the specialist said he would work with him but the parents had to give him (the dr) complete controll and not interfere. Each mealtime, the doctor presented the boy with a tray filled with all types of foods, lots of different choices, but no milk. He was told that he would have 30 minutes to eat whatever he wanted and at the end of the time limit, the food would be removed. The whole first day the boy didn't touch anything. On the second day, he didn't eat anything for breakfast. He was told the same thing each meal-time. Sometime on the second day, the boy ate everything on the tray and from that time on, he ate food.

I've heard frequently that kids won't starve themselves. If they have no other options, they'll eventually eat what's presented to them. I probably wouldn't be inclined to try this with a baby and I would first rule out any medical/sensory problems before trying it on a toddler or a child. But it sounds like a good idea to me.