Friday, April 18, 2008

Sometimes I forget how lucky I am

Nora is such a good eater and sometimes I take that for granted. Last Sunday at church, Nora and I sat next to a couple with a baby about the same age as Nora. This little boy is a bit shorter and much thinner than Nora. Both of the kids got fussy at the same time so we went to the back of the church so we wouldn't disturb others.

Through talking with his mom, I found out that Tim has texture/eating issues. His mom is obviously worried sick about him and doing everything in her power to try and help her son.

"Is he hungry?" I asked since he wasn't settling down.

"Probably, He wouldn't eat anything this morning before church and when he refuses food we just can't force him to eat at all!" She said. I could see that this is obviously something she worries about constantly. There was this thinly veiled panic right below the surface in her eyes. I offered a fudge dipped coconut bar that I had in my diaper bag. She had said that he probably wouldn't eat it, but we could give it a shot. He ended up eating 3/4 of it before calling it quits. And he drank some milk that I went and got from the restaurant. His mom had to break the bar up into pea sized amounts and put it into his mouth for him.

In contrast, Nora probably weight 25lbs, wears 18 month clothes, and often is seen shoving food into her mouth with both hands. The only foods I help her eat are soupy runny foods that she can't get her hands around- and since that is a lot of effort- I often don't fix those types of foods for her. She loves all sorts of flavors and textures. She even eats scrambled eggs with gusto.

So sometimes I forget how lucky I am to have a child that eats her food. It seems like something so natural that babies wouldn't have issues with it- but I think it is just those types of things that can affect our lives the most if they aren't quite on target. I can't imagine the stress and worry I would have if Nora suddenly decided to stop eating and was dropping weight! I imagine Nora is close to the 50th percentile in height and weight. I can't even imagine if she drop to the 3rd percentile like this little boy.

Tim's mom looked like she was torn between crying in relief that her baby ate something and jumping for joy that there was now something else that she could feed him. Now granted, a fudge dipped coconut bar may not seem like the most nutritious thing to be feeding a child, but I think at some point the calorie factor starts to become more important than making sure you are feeding your child the "perfect" meal.

I felt very humbled this morning as I remembered Tim's mom and her struggles as I plopped Nora into her high chair, cut up a banana, scrambled an egg, and gave her a cup of orange juice to drink.

Tim's mom says he often gags on bread like items, but I am wondering if he would eat banana bread that had been sort of compressed so it wasn't a bread texture. I want to help her so much. Anyone have any ideas? I know they give him the weight gain Ensure but sometimes he won't even drink milk or anything.


GardenGoose said...

aww poor baby Tim..hope she finds some answers for the little very sweet of you to want to help his mom to find solutions. I don't have any answers but with them the absolute best.

N Marie said...

Maybe he has some type of food allergy? Or maybe there's something in the food that's making him reject it? Does she feed him conventional foods? I know organic can be expensive and hard to get sometimes, but that might help. Also, if he's still on "baby food," maybe if she took fresh fruits and cooked fresh vegetables and pureed them in the food processor/blender and made her own homemade baby food, he might like that?

I don't know, I don't have any children yet, but I though I might offer that advice.

Anonymous said...

I work at a daycare, and sometimes kids are willing to try foods if they see someone their own age eating it. Maybe Tim's mom could try this at a playdate: After washing the kids' hands, give them a tray of finger foods that the other child likes. Tim may try to steal some, as children will do.

My Beautiful Nora Girl

Nora's Musings