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Eating food

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Nancy in VA, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. kim5798

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    She is 7. Let her eat. If you are worried about her weight, lets exercise more. She is a growing child. Seriously....I have a 14year old whoe has had diabetes for 10 years. We never restricted food, but it is still an issue that our kids deal with. I am dealing with eating disorder type issues now & believe me...controlling the food, locking it up...i dont think that is the answer.
     
  2. bisous

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    Interesting. We haven't dealt with food sneaking here at all so that is my first disclaimer. That said, my kids eat at scheduled intervals throughout the day--not because I am worried about their weight (AT ALL!!--we worry the opposite way if anything!) but because they eat much, much MUCH healthier when they don't fill up on snacks throughout the day. And frankly, I think it is much more "gracious" living and helps kids to be more mindful of what they are eating, how they feel "full" etc. Ellyn Satter is a nutritionist who has written lots of books on the subject of eating and we loosely follow her philosophy which includes sitting down together as a family and following a meal schedule set in advance by the family.

    This isn't to say that in the OPs situation we wouldn't try something different. Maybe that is the best and easiest answer. Nancy will have to figure that out for herself! I'm just saying that there might be big reasons for not permitting snacking throughout the day.

    I know that each family is different but it truly works for us to talk about being honest and being respectful. I would be curious to know WHY she is sneaking food. Is she hungry? Do more snacks need to be scheduled? Maybe different kinds of food introduced? Is she stressed out? Does she just want to eat junk? Each answer would necessitate a different discussion and maybe a different solution. See, sneaking and dishonesty is worrisome to me outside of the diabetes issue itself.

    It is so tough for me to gauge right now because I have a sneaky, sometimes dishonest 5 year old who is still kind of into "magical thinking" and a very concrete, honest to the core 9 year old who is well past that phase. It is tough to judge where your daughter might be and what she is thinking.

    Best of luck, Nancy. I hope you find the solution that works best for your family!
     
  3. Ali

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    Just as an aside. i have found that when one of my kids wants to eat non stop and I only offer stuff like fruit or veggies or some cheese-i.e. healthy stuff I quickly discover if the request is being driven out of hunger or for some other reason.:cwds:ali
     
  4. sheeboo

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    If you don't create a situation where lying and sneaking are possible, your daughter won't lie or sneak. Simple, really. It sounds like you've created a pretty impossible situation by punishing her for sneaking food, but also letting her know that she's not permitted to eat when she's hungry. You've left her with two choices: she wins (by fulfilling hunger and lying/sneaking) or you do (she denies the messages her body is sending).

    I'd think long and hard about this--do you really want to set up a power struggle over food? Is it worth having winners and losers? Wouldn't a partnership, like the ones StillMama, Hawkeye and others suggested, where she trusts that you'll help her get what she needs and you can trust her to be honest be preferable to what you have going on now?

    Do you want obedience or trust and honesty?

    One of my deepest wishes as a parent is to help my daughter grow into a woman who trusts her body and her inner "voice" (not to be all woo-woo, but for lack of a better word). This was important to me even long before my daughter was dx'd. The way a person learns to trust herself is by having the room to listen to her own "voice" and by making choices (which includes making mistakes). I cannot tell another person when she should or shouldn't be hungry/full/sleepy/energized/etc.

    There's a whole body of research that shows that the more a parent controls/restricts food, the more children lie and sneak. Not only that, but that they are also more likely to become obese and have very little understanding of their body's own hunger/satiated responses. Here's the tip of the iceberg--there' a lot more to read, if you're interested:
    http://www.bcm.edu/cnrc/consumer/archives/food_rules.htm
    http://www.une.edu/mhprc/infomonthly/upload/NEWS_Restrictive_Diets_May_Backfire.pdf
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019566630090343X
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/56679377/...-in-Youth-Assessment-Prevention-And-Treatment

    And, especially with girls, I think it is incredibly important that they learn to trust themselves--and what they want or don't want--above anyone else. This kind of confidence extends out to so many other critical areas, not just to food/hunger/fullness, but to other big scary things like sex, drinking, drugs, etc. If she learns that other people know her wants/needs/feeling better than she does, she may well learn to distrust herself. Yikes.

    And as an aside, the logic of: "It'll ruin your appetite" drives me nuts, personally. That's the point of eating, to "ruin" (fulfill) hunger. Some people have different hunger clocks than others.

    Good luck! Loosening the reigns might make for crazy time for a bit, but once she sees that she can trust you to support her, I'm sure her hunger and desire for snacking will even out, to the point where it's genuine rather than being propelled by what may very well be a desire for control. She needs to relearn how to listen to her own body, and she needs your help to do so safely.
     
  5. sheeboo

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    I tried to find the study that I was going to reference, but haven't had luck, so this is completely anecdotal.

    One of my daughter's nurses at CHOP contributed to a longterm study on the outcomes of children with T1 and parental involvement and relationships. She told us that they found the kids with the worst outcomes, in terms of hospitalizations for DKA during the teen years, overwhelmingly came from families where there was either too much parental control over food and management or too little (basically a "this is your disease, you deal with it approach).

    She flat out told us that restricting or being overly controlling of food would one day lead to a teen who'd decide she didn't have diabetes anymore and therefore didn't need to bolus.

    Perhaps the study rings a bell with someone who can find it for you.
     
  6. TheLegoRef

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    I'm not saying snacking is bad, but to the people who are saying not to restrict snacking like that, what do you do to make sure the kid eats dinner? D or not D, if the kid is snacking right up to dinner, they're not going to be hungry. I wasn't allowed to snack whenever I wanted right up to dinner, and I haven't been to a person's house where the kids just ate whenever they wanted. If my kids ate whenever they wanted, they'd graze all day, and not end up eating the meals I had prepared. We have snack after school, then don't eat again until dinner (which is only 3 hours later, that's not much time). I'm trying not to say this is wrong, but I don't see how free grazing would work out very well. What do you do, allow snacks whenever, except for up to a certain time before a meal?
     
  7. Beach bum

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    My kids have a snack when they get home at 2:30, and on nights where they dance, they have a hearty snack (fruit and yogurt) before. On off nights I will allow a snack up to 1 hour prior, but it's got to be something like an apple, cheese stick or a few crackers. Nothing too big. If they find they can't survive until dinner:rolleyes: I allow them to peel a carrot and eat that.
     
  8. kiwikid

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    Rachel is a HUGE eater. Our Dietitian suggested that she be allowed a "meal size snack" when she got home from school, and then if she were hungry again before dinner - she got to prepare the veges for dinner and she could eat as many as she liked while she did them. It would Keep her Busy, Fill her tummy and ensure she ate her vegetables.... :cwds:

    We try to stick to vege and fruit snacks but its hard when they are always "starving"..
     
  9. 3kidlets

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    I don't restrict Hana's snacking or eating at all. If's she hungry, she eats. Just like myself, my husband and my other kids. I keep as much healthy stuff around here as I can, but I'm not saying we never have junkie type foods in the house either. However, she like healthy food - fruit, veggies dip, tortillas wrapped with grilled chicken, but she'll occasionally reach for the chips. As long as she's not eating junk all the time, I"m fine. She's a growing, 11 year old athlete. She needs to fuel her body when she's hungry. And yeah, sometimes she's eating a snack 30 minutes before dinner. I don't care. As long as she eats the majority of her dinner, what does it matter?
    I refuse to ever let food be an issue in my house with any of my kids. My best friend growing up had a mother who restricted food. No snacks in the house. Restricted what she ate. It was a nightmare. My friend was bulimic by the time she was 16. Vomiting, hoarding food, lying. She was bald from malnutrition by the time she was 18. 20 something years later, she isn't bulimic anymore but it took a toll on her body and her mind. Started abusing pills when she became a nurse at 22. Never able to conceive a child. She is healthier now but not healthy. I know this is an extreme case but there is not doubt it came from the food control that started very early in her childhood.
    Add that on top of T1 with our children and I think it is a recipe for disaster.
    I am in no way saying that is what is happening in your home. But if your child is hungry, have healthy options around so she can eat whenever she wants. Smaller meals throughout the day are healthier anyway.
     
  10. danismom79

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    If my daughter is not hungry at dinnertime, she doesn't eat dinner, or she eats a little. I wrap the food up, and she can have it the next day. If she's been grazing on stuff like cheese, crackers, bits of veggies here and there, she's accumulated a decent "meal" over time. It's just the 2 of us, so I'm a bit lax around mealtimes. I don't feel the need to be so rigid in our eating rituals.
     
  11. danismom79

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    I know a pair of sisters who went the opposite direction. When they left home, they started eating all the time, just because they could. One is about 400 lbs now, the other is no longer with us. Their mom was really strict in general, though, so their issues weren't all about food. It was probably the easiest way for them to rebel.
     
  12. selketine

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    I'd suggest it at least in the short term to take the argument out of the way over eating food. I think an older child is going to be able to better manage their eating so you can set a cut off time generally before meals and they stop eating - typically.
     
  13. Mimi

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    We've had times where dd was sneaking food. She is 11 so it may be easier for her to articulate why she's doing it than a 7 year old. But one of the things I repeatedly remind her and have since dx is that if I say no to a snack it's very rarely because of d. It may be too close to a meal time or that the snack she is asking for is too junky etc. If you don't already (which you probably do, you're a wise one) some reminders of this for her may help.

    Of course, there are times with d when a certain type of food may not be the wisest choice so I'll suggest alternatives or say no...but those times are very few. As others have said, I don't want food to become an issue because of this stupid disease.

    I wish you all the best in dealing with this. I know how frustrating it can be.
     
  14. caspi

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    My kids have a snack when they get home from school and then if they're hungry later, closer to dinner, they know they can have carrots/broccoli and dip, an apple, some slices of cheese, etc. I'm not advocating eating a huge slice of chocolate cake a half hour before dinner, lol. ;) IMO telling them they can't eat makes them want it more.
     
  15. joan

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    I remember reading a few months back that your daughter had a seizure that was possibly the result of low blood sugar. Do you think she is trying to avoid this from happening by eating and keeping her blood sugar high?
     
  16. Ali

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    This is a very interesting idea. As a T1 I will say that seizures and frankly most lows are very scary, even after 40 years, and as a 7 year old it most be really scary. I would not assume this is the reason, it could be hunger, it could be some other control issue, attention needs, etc,etc, but good to be aware of all the possibilities. The trick will be finding out the why without suggesting to her the why, and frankly at 7 she may not be able to articulate her reason. I think she is your third kid so I suspect you know all this already:cwds::cwds:ali
     
  17. katerinas

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    Have you considered that this may have nothing to do with food? Maybe she needs more attention. When did it start? Maybe something happened that she doesn't know how to deal with and she is asking for help in a way that she knows will attract your attention. Maybe she needs more of you, I noticed she is the youngest one, we sometimes assume that they are more mature and ready to take on responsibility. I don't really know. It just doesn't feel to me as a practical issue or a disciple issue.
     

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