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I hope this is just a phase!

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Snowflake, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. Snowflake

    Snowflake Approved members

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    My daughter has always been an EXTREMELY picky eater, but we've made peace with that, and we have found a few go-to foods she's willing to eat predictably. Her diet over the past year has been monotonous but nutritious. She has been very healthy recently, and she has consistently stayed around 80% on the growth chart.

    But now, over the last 3 or so weeks, the food refusal has started up again, and this time her objections are down-right weird. Like, just for example, she won't eat pancakes if they have a "crispy" or brown edge, she says she can't swallow grits anymore, and she makes me cut the "pointy" parts off of of her chicken breast. I'm trying to roll with this, because I really don't want to go back to the bad old days right after her diagnosis at age 2 when we were sweating her carb counts at every meal.

    She is about to turn 6, which seems kind of old to develop new "sensory" issues around food, right? I would have expected all of these texture/shape complaints to have crested more around age 2 or 3 (she had some back then, but these ones are totally new).

    My husband thinks this is a control thing because she's becoming aware of how much T1/celiac dictate what and when she eats. I think DH is probably right, and I'd have definitely have control issues if I were in her shoes. But - after being burned by surprise diagnoses a couple of times now - I want to make sure that we don't miss any possible physical triggers for this new food sensitivity. She had mild infant reflux as a baby, but nothing like it since; and she also had adeno-tonsillectomy about 21 months ago, with barely even a cold since then.

    Is there anything else we need to investigate, and also any suggestions on strategies? She could end up subsisting on rice, grapes, and cheese, which I suppose is ok if this turns out just to be a few month phase...
     
  2. mmgirls

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    Anything noticeable about her throat? Tonsil's can grow back, so I would "look". The thing that struck me was the description of not being able to "swallow", not that I know what that could indicate but it certainly is a telling description for a 5/6 year old to voice.
     
  3. Ali

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    This is a very good point. I would take her to her pediatrician and have them look at her throat. As parents with young kids we sometimes make it more complicated than it is, she may truly be describing something.

    Ali
     
  4. Snowflake

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    Thanks for the good input, everyone! She has an upcoming annual checkup with the pediatrician, and also a GI followup appointment. I'll ask them both for their thoughts, and to peek at the former tonsil site. (I have a feeling the GI will send us to the dietitian, who will give us a bunch of useless Xeroxed sheets, but that's a topic for another post!! :) )

    I had another "duh!" moment this morning watching dd spend 20 minutes to consume 10 carbs -- she's lost both of her top two teeth in the last month. I wonder if that's changed the way that food feels in her mouth. Sometimes it's hard to look past T1/celiac to see just the normal ups and downs of childhood.
     
  5. quiltinmom

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    Not necessarily. My cwd has always had a more sensitive gag reflex than the other kids. Even as a baby, I had to blend applesauce or he gagged on it. He may be my pickiest eater, although he is not picky compared to most "picky eaters."

    He used to love hot cereal. He ate a bowl of oatmeal and asked for more. Corn meal was his favorite. One day that all changed. Suddenly he wouldn't eat it anymore. He absolutely refuses to touch any kind of hot cereal now. This was when he was probably 8. For a while I thought it was a control thing, but it is not. Same with a casserole that has stuffing on it; he used to eat it, but now he would skip dinner rather than eat it (which is saying something for a teenage boy). And pb&j sandwiches--the bread is "too soggy". He used to eat them all the time. It's a texture thing more than a taste problem.

    It's hard because you don't want them to go hungry, but you don't wan them to think they can manipulate you either. Maybe she is old enough to cut off her own chicken pointy parts. basically if you let her prepare her food the way she wants to eat it, it might be less of an issue. Food battles are ones parents rarely win, so I try to avoid them at all costs. It's often one of the he few things kids can exert control over, so I don't lock horns over food very often.

    It could be a control thing. If she's trying to control you, that's bad. If she's trying to control diabetes/celiac, then I'd say it's ok and will probably pass with time.


    I would try to be discreet when discussing this with the doctor, meaning, don't let her think it's a big deal, and perhaps talk with the doctor before hand out of her hearing. Take her for a routine dr. Appt not a special one just for this, for example. If it's a control thing for her, it will only embolden her to know you're worried enough to take her to the dr. If it's a real thing, she may feel guilt over it if she thinks it's cussing you angst.

    Hopefully it's nothing. But it's worth having her checked, just in case it isn't nothing. As with all behaviors, finding out the "why" is key to solving the problem.

    Good .luck!
     
  6. forHisglory

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    I don't want to give you incorrect info since I don't know your child (took down a previous post), but my T1D has sensory issues and still has percularities popping up at age 7. My favorite resource that has decreased stress for him and I is Ellyn Satters book called "Feeding your child with love and good sense." It was recommended to me by a dietician and a lactation consultant early on. It's divides responsibility between child and parent. Check it out on Amazon if you get a chance! He has bizarre things with food similar to what others have posted. If nothing medical turns up, it might help. The rest of my children are eager eaters but our firstborn T1D is just extremely sensitive texture wise. He's a healthy eater but monotonous. The exact same breakfast for over a year. How? A huge salad eater. When I get anxious I realize I'm stepping over the line and pull back. He actually responds beautifully and will be more adventerous that way. Anyhow, hope you guys figure it out! But, almost 6 is def not too old to have new issues crop up. Hope it gets better! http://www.amazon.com/Child-Mine-Fe...8&qid=1453494765&sr=8-1&keywords=Ellyn+satter
     
  7. Snowflake

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    Thanks for these thoughts. It's interesting to hear that other kids have these issues pop up even after the toddler years.

    We'll keep investigating and see if we can figure out whether there's a cause that we can actually address! And I will try to track down the Satter book -- I think I read a little of her back in the stone ages before T1/celiac and had no idea what kinds of feeding issues were awaiting us! :)

    I'm trying not to go all neurotic over these recent issues, and it definitely helps to read other people's experiences. I don't want to go back to problems we had when she was younger and we couldn't reliably pre-bolus, but maybe it's in the long-term greater good to follow her lead on what she's willing to eat for a while, even if it means screwing up her post-meal numbers on occasion...
     
  8. forHisglory

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    I totally agree. T1D and celiac make it a whole new challenge in some ways just as behavior and sugar fluctuations are not black and white cases. If you come across anything that addresses these issues in our children with the added challenges of T1/celiac please post it. It's a fine line when my son tells me he wants to eat X amount and we prebolus but he changes his mind. It could get messy if handled wrong. But so far he's never been manipulative. He gets more stubborn with my hubby. Example: you made my oatmeal with only 2 scoops of brown sugar and it's too watery. I don't want to eat it now. :/ Holes in bread loaves are another issue. I let him make most of his food now or try to serve family style meals. I won't short order cook though (it's only works 50% of the time but mainly don't have time for that). Only thing Satter suggests that I have qualms with a T1D is "having bread or crackers as an alternate always on table if they cannot accept a certain meal. We do fruit/veggies instead with a couple bread servings each). Oh, and she recommends letting a child have their fill of a big bag of chips or cookies once in a blue moon to prevent "forbidden food" mentality. If I set a plate of cookies in front of our T1 he would eat until he popped, even before diagnosis. This is where more resources on eating issues in Type 1s/celiac are needed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016

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