October 5, 2018
Today was another success in our addressing Barclay’s restrictive eating. Normally each morning when Barclay wakes up he asks for his “Green Cup”. Desperate to get calories into him, “Green Cup” is a 10 ounce mixture of half Pediasure, half milk we serve to him in his green sippy cup. Once he starts to drink it, the hunger diminishes and of course he’s not too compliant accepting breakfast. This morning when he asked for “Green Cup” I refused. He wasn’t supper happy about this new plan. I got him ready and let him run around a few minutes. Then I put him in his high chair and gave him some of his moderately preferred foods. He got a mixture of some raisins, dry cereal and half of a granola bar. The only beverage I gave him was water. He nibbled at everything pretty well only finishing the raisins. After about 5 minutes I gave him the cup of Pediasure/milk and he drank that. So what I learned this morning was Barclay has us pretty trained! He prefers drinking his calories rather than eating them and that’s going to change.
At school his therapists recording a video of him eating. Since they pushed his lunchtime out by 45 minutes, and he hadn’t eaten much in the way of breakfast, he was pretty hungry. They first offered him his Bento Box of moderately preferred foods. I sent a mixture of the same things I had offered him for breakfast. He nibbled at them for a few minutes and then they gave him his mac and cheese. He ate it all within 3 1/2 minutes! There are times he will take an hour to eat and then not finish the meal because he is no longer hungry. When I picked him up they showed me the video in front of him and he was so proud!
These examples may seem like such small successes, but to our family, they are HUGE! Breaking down issues, like restrictive eating, is a very long process. You don’t want to push too hard, or it can have the opposite effect. But at the same time, this is a very important issue and I wish I hadn’t let it get to this point. Barclay has developed some very poor eating habits. The whirlwind of the last year as we’ve struggled through the often murky waters of his diagnoses, made me push some things to the bottom of the priority list. Everything can’t be number one. But, looking back, I can see how if I had done some things differently he wouldn’t be here. I hope if you have a child who is beginning to show signs of restrictive eating that you start to address it now.
I will continue to journal this process in hopes that our story can help yours!