Monday, April 27, 2009

P is for ...

feeding picky eater

Picky eater - Most toddlers are very picky eaters. Matthew is no exception. Time to eat has become time for a power struggle, one of many to come, of him asserting his independence and control over the situation. He can shake his head "no", push the spoon away (or try to grab it), and since I've been teaching him sign language, he signs "all done" even before he has any food. Most of the time, all I have to do is try to get some of the food on his lips just so he can taste it. And usually (not all the time) once he gets that initial contact with the food, he's amiable to eating more. He drinks a good amount of formula/ milk that I'm not too worried about whether he's getting enough nutrition at this point. If he had his way, he would eat cheerios and Yogurt all the time. That's certainly not a bad thing as I know of more extreme and difficult food circumstances than what I'm experiencing with Matthew. Nevertheless, that doesn't make it less frustrating for me. And I'm not convinced that being a picky eater is a stage that he will necessarily get over. (Pointing finger at Bill). For those of you who don't know my husband, he mainly eats pizza, wheat thins, chicken, beef, and Gala apples. So the saying goes... the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

By the way, Matthew is still on jarred baby food. The only "table food" he eats to-date are cheerios, Yogurt, applesauce, and blueberry toaster waffles. Getting him to transition to regular table food is an entirely different issue, which I'll probably blog about another time.

Poop - While I'm not too worried about his nutritional intake, I am constantly concerned about his poopie diapers. Is it too hard, large, small, of 'normal' color? Ah yes, another discovery about motherhood is that you'll learn to be very comfortable talking about BM. Matthew battles constipation constantly. Thankfully, he doesn't skip more than one day at a time but he obviously struggles (sometimes crying, sometimes short of screaming) with his BM often enough for me to be concerned.

Constipation is a common problem among kids with Down syndrome and may be due to a combination of low muscle tone, poor mobility, diet and inadequate fluid intake. In some cases, hypothyroidism (underactivity of the thyroid gland) can also cause constipation. I've ruled out thyroid disorders for now since his blood test showed normal results when he was a year old. He gets another blood test when he turns 2. Matthew has low muscle tone, compared to typically developing children his age, but he crawls around a lot so I know he's getting his exercise. Foods that are high in fiber help - prunes, pears, whole grain oatmeal - so long as his pickiness doesn't interfere. I'm also trying to get him to drink more water and juice during the day. I read that low serotonin may cause constipation in individuals with Down syndrome. Curious proposition. I'll be looking into that. If anyone has heard of this, please let me know. Also, has anyone heard of Fruit Ease and NuTriVene-D?

Please share resources - Here are a few reading materials that I found useful and interesting (not listed in any particular order). If anyone has other resources, please feel free to share them with me.

1. High fiber foods listed at Mayoclinic

4. Gastrointestinal tract and Down syndrome article at National Down Syndrome Society


Anonymous said...

unPredicted Part of Parenting-
I say "unPredicted" because if, before having kids someone would have told me a large part of early parenting is becoming so intune, knowledgeable, aware & interested in someone else's (ie my kids') BM's, I'm not sure I would have believed them. Now being a parent, I realize how could I have NOT figured that would be a huge part of my parental role? What before had been assumed to be the yuckiest part of the job is now an information superhighway... how are they feeling? How are they eating? Are they anemic? Are they drinking enough? getting enough fruit? All these questions & more are answered in one place... okay, it's still kind of yucky, but not nearly as yucky as I would have thought it would be, before having kids. And if it does strike me as especially yucky some days, it's more of a "oh no- something's wrong, they're sick" than a "oooo gross..." The power of Motherhood- a love that knows no bounds.
By the way, I LOOOOVED the pic of Matthew!
Love, Kris

Ria said...

Kris, I love how you described this part of parenting as an information superhighway. That's hilarious! Yet so accurate.

The Cooking Ninja said...

Your little Matthew is so cute and a beautiful child. Hope you find a solution to his constipation problem. I went through the same problem with my daughter when she was a baby. She and I tried together a lot of times during her poopy time. I used to coat her anus with diaper rash cream (fish oil based) to help her pass her motion easier - that's the only thing that works for her when she was a baby. Now the only thing that works for her is orange juice. So we make sure she drinks some every day. She's going to be 3 soon. :)

Ria said...

Cooking Ninja, juice and diaper rash cream? I'll have to keep that in mind. Thanks for sharing! I've forwarded your site to my sis-in-law too. She really likes Indian food.

Brandie said...

This is a great post. Thanks for listing all the articles. I'd like to try the Nutrivene and I hadn't heard of Fruit Ease.