Sunday, August 23, 2009

What’s Up With That Appetite?!?

My 3 year old just brought me a third Butterfinger fun size to open.  And I opened it.  I know…chocolate??  Why start that habit at such a young age?  I can’t help it.  He's eating.  And it makes my heart sing happy tunes and fast food jingles.

This child was a fat baby.  HUGE.  He only weighed seven and a half pounds at birth, but by 5 months of age he was 25 pounds.  Yes!  I know.  Like I said….HUGE.  Being a heart kid, we were told to expect feeding problems and high calorie formula early on.  That never happened.  He had horrible problems with SVT (a fast heart arrhythmia) and the medical team would struggle to find an IV site under all that fluff.  And once he was feeling better, the nurses would bring his favorite formula in those cute little four ounce glass bottles….two at a time.  We’d be buzzing the nurse for more. “Keep ‘em coming. He’s still going.”

Then he hit the baby food stage.  Oh, he liked that, too.  Until he hit the 2nd stage.  That’s when the baby food becomes a bit more textured.  He ate, but not as well, so he ended up drinking way more formula than he should.  He held his baby weight, never losing an ounce, but he didn’t gain either.  From 5 months old until 22 months old he weighed 25 pounds.  He was put on Pediasure.  Vanilla.  Three bottles a day. For 16 months. Oh, how he loves vanilla Pediasure.  If Abbott Labs decided to have a “Got Pediasure?” campaign, Eli would be their man.  Anyway, can you say limited diet?  No meat, no fruit, no veggies.  Bread.  He just wanted bread. And noodles.  He gets that from me.  (It’s probably genetic.)

It’s been six months since his open heart surgery and immediately after surgery we noticed a bit of weight gain.  His heart isn’t working as hard so his food is sticking to his ribs. Literally.  So, the cardiologist said those dreaded words….."No more Pediasure”.  I was immediately worried about his nutrition and his addiction. lol! The next thing I knew we were being referred to the children’s hospital for feeding group-an intensive feeding therapy.  (He was diagnosed last fall with sensory/texture feeding issues.)

We started weaning the Pediasure down to one each day by mixing it with vanilla soy milk.  He transitioned well and the next thing I know, somebody has decided that food is good.  All food. (well, almost)  Bananas (gomeenas)??, apples, cheese. Oh. my. gosh. the cheese.  Even a bite of chicken. And strawberry Nutrigrain bars-two at a time. The feeding therapy group doesn’t even start until September.  Whoa…..  Okay. After years of begging this child to eat…  Now how do I slow him down??  Maybe I should look into OA instead….

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