Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fruit and Peanut Butter Surprise

My son is a terrible eater. I'm not just talking about the general "my toddler doesn't eat his vegetables" kind of kid either. I have never really been able to find a food he enjoys, and even if he seems to like a food, he only takes a few bites and will have no more. I see other mothers place their children in their high chair, put food on the tray, and the child eats it. No questions asked. As simple as this sounds, this sight always amazes me. When I place my child in his high chair to eat, he generally looks at the food, takes a few bites, and wants no more to do with it. For a period of time, he was actually throwing up what he did eat, making feedings twice as much work and twice as long as they already were. This is how he has been with solid food since the day we introduced it to him; a general disinterest in it all together.

To top off his bad eating habits, he also has (but is finally starting to grow out of) a milk protein allergy. Anything dairy makes him puke, gassy, and altogether sick. All this together leaves a tiny boy with a very small appetite who doesn't gain weight and has virtually no ways of getting access fat into him because he can't have milk. This also leaves a VERY tired and frustrated mother. We have even recently been going to a GI specialist to make sure there is nothing physically wrong with the boy. I think the frustrations of a child who doesn't eat can only be understood by someone who has been there and done that (mom?).

Through this very long process of trying to figure out something my son will eat, I have come across one saving grace. A good friend of ours calls it "fruit and peanut butter surprise." It is basically a mixture of oatmeal, strawberry banana baby food, and peanut butter. I have been feeding it to my son every morning and every night for about the last 4 months, and it has kept his weight "on the charts." Peanut butter has been my saving grace to get some fat on this kid. I have made this mush meal so many times, I don't think I'll ever eat peanut butter again. Smelling it every morning and evening through months of pregnancy nausea has deteriorated my love for the stuff.

So for four months now, I have set my child in his high chair, grabbed something for him to play with, and watched him open his mouth time and time again to eat his fruit and peanut butter surprise. Now the doctor is telling us it is time for him to learn to eat with no distractions. No more toys on the high chair, or songs to sing to distract him from what he is actually doing. I thought my son really enjoyed fruit and peanut butter surprise because he ate it so well. Come to find out, after two days with no toys on the high chair, we are back to square one. And I think I'm done. As I fought my child this morning trying to get something in his stomach before Mass, my patience was gone and all the frustration was back. I'm not going back to that point. The point where every feeding is a fight. No, I think for the next few days we will say goodbye to fruit and peanut butter surprise and see how well my son fares with feeding himself every meal. My husband says he won't starve himself. I'm not too sure about that.


  1. Peanut butter has pretty much kept me alive (and made me fat) since I got to college, I can't imagine it making me sick ever. He can't keep this up forever, and when the new baby comes you probably won't be able to sit there and sing to him every time he eats, so I think it's a good idea to try this now. Also, there's no possible way he'll really starve, because I can't see you letting him get THAT hungry.

    Good luck! Let us know how it turns out!

  2. OK here's my $.02 worth, as my Mom always said, a kid will never starve as long as there's food they will eat when they're hungry. From my experience with a kid who eats a few bites and then doesn't want anymore (Bailey) fine; just feed them healthy stuff when they are hungry & they'll stay on their own chart; not necessarily the one at the docs office. But as long as he stays on his own curve he's fine. Bailey's been in the 3-5% growth since she was 2 months old, she wasn't on the chart when she was born, as I'm sure James wasn't either.
    The way you feel about peanut butter is the way I felt about chicken noodle/rice soup. I tried to eat it when pg with Jacob, made me sick - couldn't eat or smell it untill this last fall ('09). Eventually you will like peanut butter.
    Ok now on another note, my cousin has a little girl who was born at 24 weeks (with a twin that didn't survive) & her little girl (Adara) wont eat solids, she's getting better and will be 4 this summer. Her mom sneaks in this stuff called duocal in about every food she can get it into to give her more calories. Last time I talked to her (about a month ago) she said Adara weighed 24#s I think, and her baby brother whos going to be 2 this summer weighs 30+# but he was full term.
    Hope that helps, I'll send her a pm on fb and get the info on that duocal if you'd like. It will at least boost his calorie count.
    will he eat home made mac & cheese?

  3. ok ignore my last question, duh!
    Have you tried lactaid milk? or there's some cheeses out there that aren't really cheese because there's no milk in them; Grandma uses those because lots of my family is lactose intollerant (different from James probably), just a thought.
    I've pm'd my cousin and I'll forward the pm to you on fb when it comes in.
    hang in there, you're doing a fantastic job!