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Old November 13th, 2014, 10:03 AM
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Re: grandson not eating well

Welcome maddysgrammy6.

My son is now 19 years old. He was a "picky eater" from birth. I'll spare you the details, but he also would only eat chicken nuggets. Honestly, he was such a "picky eater" that I was thrilled that he would eat SOMETHING. My son would go days without eating if chicken nuggets weren't available. He seemed almost terrified of food. My husband and I were so worried about him.

Long story short, it turns out that my son has other eventually diagnosed issues which make his "picky eating" make sense. It wasn't about the food as in "what's healthy and what's not" or how it tasted. For him it was about the way the food felt in his mouth and his extreme dislike of what he calls "surprises." He wasn't "picky" - the reality is that the wrong texture or even temperature (he won't eat cold foods) makes him gag and sometimes throw up. He actually had to have occupational therapy for it.

Thankfully puberty hit and with it came the appetite teenage boys are known for. He went through a spurt of being willing to try new things. Since I had always been understanding of his issues and willing to work with him, he trusted me and his eating repertoire expanded exponentially.

He still won't eat any kind of fruit and is limited on what vegetables he'll eat. Sandwiches are beyond his ability to eat and he gags at the sight or smell of peanut butter. Tomato chunks are his nemesis. His diet isn't healthy by any means, but he does his best and only eats chicken fingers (thankfully not nuggets) occasionally.

My advice is to stop battling about the food. Figure out what it is that he doesn't like about other food, and figure out ways to work around it. My son drank warm milk with the nastiest smelling liquid vitamin in it for years because that was the only way I could make sure he was getting any sort of nutrients. My son would eat bread, so I got a bread machine and made bread with pureed vegetables in it. We went from eating bread to eating the edge of the pizza crust to eating a teeny bit of tomato sauce on the pizza crust to eating a teeny bit of tomato sauce and an iota of spinach on the pizza crust before he figured out he could eat pizza. This took months. Your son has to trust your daughter when it comes to food.

If meal time is a battle, both your grandson and daughter have already lost.
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