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  #1  
Old 01-02-2012, 06:46 PM
landd2732 landd2732 is offline
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2-year old attached to food?

I have read through previous posts regarding adopted children with food issues, but they all have appeared to be from situations where the children were food deprived. My DD is from the exact oppposite situation but still have the same problem - food-obsessed, food anxieties, and does not know when she is full (she has no 'off' switch).

DD came from foster care and when we adopted her at 8 months old, she was extremely obese, near 100% on weight charts and 20% for height. Her dr. and therapist think she was the squeaky wheel and FM gave her bottles to keep her quiet. DD is now 2 and her problem seems to be getting worse. At every mention of food, she says she wants to eat it. If she sees a food commercial, she says she wants to eat whatever is being advertised. When I prepare meals, she sits and watch me like I'm the best thing on TV. If I am preparing food and get side-tracked (ie. phone call, check in on my son, etc.), she cries hysterically because its keeping her from her food. We feed her the quanities typical for 3-5 year old and DD has gravitated closer to her natural size, 25% weight and 5% height. Her dr. has already ruled out any physical issues.

We have tried following the book 'Child of Mine' and allowing her to determine how much she wants to eat and it lead her to eating 8 hours/day for a month with no signs of her letting up. She gained a lot of weight during that time and frankly, we could not sit around and wait for her to finish eating nor could we afford to keep up the level of feeding. We have finally located a local child psychologist with a food/feeding specialty and are waiting another month before we can get in to see her. The hysterical crying and anxiety over food and meals are wearing us all down. We no longer eat out because of this.

Is it possible that she is wrongly attached to food? What else can we do to help resolve her food issues?
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2012, 08:05 AM
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carmen90 carmen90 is offline
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Does she know when she is full? I'm guessing probably not. I am one with the opposite problem to you, but GG didn't used to recognise when she was either hungry or full. She thought stomach ache, period pains, fear and anxiety were all hunger and it's taken a while for her to differentiate stomach feelings

It can be very hard dealing with food problems, and usually they are quite long term. I would probably carefully control her food intake but provide some very healthy low fat snacks at certain points in the day (does she like celery?). You could try telling her that she doesn't always know when she's full, so you wil tell her and regulate her portions? When she cries hysterically you could try comforting her as if it were something other than food upsetting her, show her you're there all the time even when there isn't food right in front of her. Does she ever experience other 'stomach feelings'? Does she talk about stomach aches, or 'butterfly feelings' when she's nervous? If not, maybe she experiences every feeling as hunger like GG used to

It's very probably that she thinks food=love and therefore the obsession. Also her body will be used to food whenvever so it's hard physically to cut down. Sometimes overeating can be sensory as well and overeating can often happen with dyspraxic children

With regards to the weight thing, how much excercise does she do? It doesn't do anything about her food issues, but I use lots of excercise to keep the weight off my kids, as GG eats all the time
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Last edited by carmen90 : 01-03-2012 at 08:10 AM.
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  #3  
Old 01-03-2012, 06:14 PM
landd2732 landd2732 is offline
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carmen90 - thanks for your reply
To answer your questions, DD does not know when she is full. We are generally a very healthy family, eat organic when we can, lowfat, mostly vegetarian diets and virtually no processed food. We also stay active DH, DS (bio) and are fit and lean. Despite this DD's height:weight ratios are off because of the sheer quantity she eats. DS runs about 90% for height and 85% for weight and DD can eat more than double the amount that he does, if we let her. The first time we wanted to see how much she could eat and stop, she ate so much and got so big and heavy that when she went to stand up, she fell over from losing her balance. She also started to reflux. We gently & firmly place our hand on her stomach to let her know that it's big & full and that's what it felt like. She has only complained a couple of times that her stomach hurts and we did explain it was from eating too much. She is only 2 so I don't know how much of that she could process.

Her dr. sees over 70% adopted children in his practice and says there is no physical causes.

We are at a loss on what to do. All suggestions/feedback welcomed

thanks
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  #4  
Old 01-06-2012, 02:11 PM
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silvaheyes silvaheyes is offline
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I wish I had some answers but we're going through the same thing basically. We've had our daughter since birth. I cut her cord and she has been with us since her first breath so she hasn't been neglected or not fed in her lifetime.

Our daughter doesn't know when she is full either. She will continue to eat until she is bloated and if we let her continue to eat she will go as far as eating so much to where she'll make herself sick and throw it up. Obviously we don't let her get to that point now that we know. She too is very food obsessed and will literally sit there and stare at anyone/everyone who has food even if she has just eaten and is full. She is kind of like those annoying little dogs that hangs out around the table and begs/whines for food.

In our case our daughter isn't overweight and is actually petite. She is the size of a 1 year old and she is almost 2 years old. She doesn't act like a 2 year old either and is a bit delayed, IMO.

Our doctor is just now starting to see we are serious and concerned about it. He did bloodwork which all came back within normal ranges but now we're being referred to a Geneticist for further testing to see what it could possibly be, if anything.

It's very stressful for me personally to deal with since I do it every single day. It takes a toll on our entire family though.. We just want answers but it seems there are no obvious ones in sight.
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  #5  
Old 01-07-2012, 10:09 PM
landd2732 landd2732 is offline
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Kimberly - have you had your DD tested for Prader-willi Syndrome, which does not present until about age 1? Here's an article Prader-Willi syndrome - MayoClinic.com

I had DD tested for all physiological factors that may cause overeating (e.g. hormone levels, thyroid, prader-willi) and all came back negative. DD's problem is psychological.

I'm really sorry you are going through it too.
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  #6  
Old 01-07-2012, 10:20 PM
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silvaheyes silvaheyes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landd2732
Kimberly - have you had your DD tested for Prader-willi Syndrome, which does not present until about age 1? Here's an article Prader-Willi syndrome - MayoClinic.com

I had DD tested for all physiological factors that may cause overeating (e.g. hormone levels, thyroid, prader-willi) and all came back negative. DD's problem is psychological.

I'm really sorry you are going through it too.


We did and it came back negative so we're at a loss now which is why we're going to the geneticist. :/

What does your Doctor say about it all? All of our tests have come back negative or within normal ranges so I'm thinking it's along the same lines as your DD.

Our DD sees a speech therapist and she along with everyone else we talk to about her issues says it sounds/looks like she has some major sensory problems going on also.
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  #7  
Old 02-03-2012, 07:01 PM
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silvaheyes silvaheyes is offline
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Any update? I'm curious to see how your visit went and if it is something we should look into for our daughter.
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  #8  
Old 02-06-2012, 05:05 PM
landd2732 landd2732 is offline
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Just an update to say there is no major update. We started seeing the Psychologist at children's and due to scheduling delays, we just finished our 2 of 3 intake appts, where she does an eval and then provide a diagnosis and treatment. DD has general anxiety and it manifests itself in extreme food anxiety along with other anxieties (i.e. picking at her cuticles). However, we saw her pediatrician at her 2 1/2 year well check, and DD virtually has not grown since 6 months ago, despite her eating. So now we will also see an endocrinologist next month to figure out why. We also have to take her stool sample to rule out any parasites, even though this likelihood is remote.

For now, we are doing exercises to reduce her food anxiety and general anxiety. It's a lot of work and I still see no light at the end.
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2012, 06:14 PM
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silvaheyes silvaheyes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landd2732
Just an update to say there is no major update. We started seeing the Psychologist at children's and due to scheduling delays, we just finished our 2 of 3 intake appts, where she does an eval and then provide a diagnosis and treatment. DD has general anxiety and it manifests itself in extreme food anxiety along with other anxieties (i.e. picking at her cuticles). However, we saw her pediatrician at her 2 1/2 year well check, and DD virtually has not grown since 6 months ago, despite her eating. So now we will also see an endocrinologist next month to figure out why. We also have to take her stool sample to rule out any parasites, even though this likelihood is remote.

For now, we are doing exercises to reduce her food anxiety and general anxiety. It's a lot of work and I still see no light at the end.

This sounds a lot like my daughter. She seems to have a ton of anxiety and pulls her hair out. She isn't growing/gaining either or not at a normal pace anyway.

What kind of exercises are you doing if you don't mind me asking? We're desperate at this point and want to and are willing to try almost anything.
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  #10  
Old 03-16-2012, 11:21 PM
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Linny Linny is offline
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Just to throw this out there......even if your regular chromsome panel comes back 'normal', sometimes chromosomes can have micro-deletions or micro-duplications that will not be seen on a regular chromosome test/s. If your geneticists haven't done so already, suggest they conduct a micro-array of the chromosomes to see if there are micro abnormalities.

Sincerely,

Linny
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:26 PM
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mamsie mamsie is offline
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I'm right there with ya.

We just adopted our son in October 2011 from an orphanage in Eastern Europe where he was WELL fed, very chubby little guy. He is also two years old. He is absolutely obsessed with food and has extremely high anxiety over food. I just took him to see a child psychologist and am hopeful she can help guide me as to how to handle this with him. We tried so many things from books and other adoptive parents and experienced foster parents. We're all at a loss.
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  #12  
Old 03-28-2012, 08:02 AM
landd2732 landd2732 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamsie
We just adopted our son in October 2011 from an orphanage in Eastern Europe where he was WELL fed, very chubby little guy. He is also two years old. He is absolutely obsessed with food and has extremely high anxiety over food. I just took him to see a child psychologist and am hopeful she can help guide me as to how to handle this with him. We tried so many things from books and other adoptive parents and experienced foster parents. We're all at a loss.

Mamsie - I feel your pain. When I tell people AD has food issues, people think that she just wants an extra slice of pizza or something similar and do not realize how pervasive and intrusive it can truly be. We lived with AD crying hysterically and inconsolably (arched back and all!) for almost the first year of being home. AD is still very obsessed and anxious. Last week we began including her in dessert time when we have them. On day 2, we did not have dessert because we were all full from dinner and that night she was highly agitated. She had multiple full meltdowns over little things. She cried in bed almost all through the night. When DH checked on her in the middle of the night, she said she didn't know why she was crying, but then in the morning she told him she cried because she didn't get dessert. She still remembers that night and can tell you in great detail about it. A couple of days later while she was eating her dessert, she squatted in her chair and pooped in her pants while she ate (she has been potty trained for 8 months now with no poop accidents) and only started screaming after she took her last bite.

Under her current dr., we are now beginning a parent-child interaction training called P.R.I.D.E. You can find more info at Parent-Child Interaction Therapy. With older children the dr.s can do cognitive behavior therapy coupled with medicine, but with younger children like ours, they can only do these types of therapy. The goal is to over time decrease the perceived value of food while increasing the perceived value of something else, in this case, highly positive, structured interactions with a parent or caregiver. According to our dr. this method has been highly researched with lots of data supporting its success and implemented in a wide variety of behavior-modification types of therapy for young children. Many of the therapy-types of books borrow concepts from this training (ie. Beyond Love and Logic)

I have gone through so many therapists and we're only on day 4 of implementing this training, so I don't know what to make of it yet. You can also couple this training with techniques like leaving food baskets, etc., but we are already on the brink and could only muster up enough energy to implement this training. PM me if you have more questions. Good luck with your dr. visit.

Last edited by landd2732 : 03-28-2012 at 08:09 AM.
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  #13  
Old 02-18-2013, 11:20 PM
Siobhan9 Siobhan9 is offline
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Sensory integration Disorder

A child that does not recognize when they are satiated could also have sensory processing issues. I also agree with the microarray comment.

BTW my 11yo son is obsessed with food, and over 95 percentile for weight but average for height. He did go through a period of starvation in early infancy and also in utero, plus quite possible his birth parents suffered terribly. He is pre-diabetic. We tried the 'Child of Mine' approach and it didn't work, partly because it was too confusing to other family members. We eat very healthfully, with most meals at home, but my child just eats WAY too much. He will complain of a stomach ache after over eating, but next time around, is frantic that he won't get enough to eat. Writes long lists of favorite foods, menus, etc. I wish I had answers too!

Siobhan
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  #14  
Old 03-07-2013, 11:50 AM
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Momsalot Momsalot is offline
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We have the same problem with our 4 yo fs.

We give him 3 meals a day. No snacks or desserts b/c he doesn't understand that and would beg for food all the time.

He has to drink a cup of water before every meal.

Breakfast is very filling, like oatmeal or peanut butter on pancakes w/syrup or an omelet with leftover veggies. And milk and always fruit like an apple, orange or banana - skin on apple.

Lunch is at head start, but days off he gets a veggie (carrots and dip) sandwich, fruit and milk.


Supper he always has to eat a salad first, then his veggies, then starch and protein. Then he gets another fruit and whatever the treat is (pretzels, yogurt, sometimes cookies or pie). All at this one sitting. I kind of line everything up like a train, so that visually he can see all this food before him.
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