11/7/08

Texture torture

Children can be rather particular about textures; especially boys it seems. And come to think of it, even grown boys who are husbands and fathers can be funny about textures. My husband even has a problem with the texture of fabric I might wear to bed.
Getting children dressed can be a problem if the fabrics don't feel right, but an even more frustrating challenge, is food textures. And when you have three children with different food favorites, different disgusts, different allergies, and different texture preferences; meals can be quite the logistical challenge.
Even something as mundane and everyday as chicken. One expresses a preference for crunchy chicken strips but is allergic to egg. One likes the dark meat and loves it teriyaki style. The third hates dark meat and prefers it with no crust - and will even resort to peeling the crust off.

But getting back to texture by itself - Orangeboy definitely has had his challenges with food textures. Earlier in his life he would gag on anything that resembled a dairy product, even if it was soy milk, and he would gag on any canned fruit, but especially canned pears. His siblings, of course, loved their fruit canned.
And every time I would take Orangeboy to his Pediatrician, the doctor would recommend that I try to get some more calories into him to encourage weight gain and he would suggest that I try Ensure or milkshakes. (I would chuckle silently to myself.)

These days, Orangeboy can handle drinking a little soymilk without gagging - usually. And he will now eat cereal in milk, but this is still not his preference. Now that he can pour milk for himself, he tries to put in as little milk as possible and still call it cereal in milk. If I'm not looking he will try to eat his cereal dry.
Why don't I just let him?
Two reasons:
1) One he needs the calories and calcium, and multivitamins for kids contain little or no calcium.
2) (And this is the best reason) He likes frosted mini-wheats.

I mean REALLY! A child who couldn't swallow canned pears and who gagged up more milk geysers than I care to think about wants to sit there and CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH away on DRY WHEAT BICUITS! I'm sorry, I just can't deal with that. I picture it shredding his gums, the sound bugs me, the length of time between the first crunch and the (finally) swallow.... aarrrghh!

So this morning, I played the part of the antagonist. I made him pour soymilk over his bowl full of mini-wheats. Usually he just sighs and eats with an expression that looks like I just put ketchup on his filet mignon. But today was a bad morning. He whined that I made him put too much on it. He said it was "over the top" of the cereal - but I beg to differ - and started to sigh repeatedly. I know what repeated sighs lead to.
Sure enough, soon he had big crocodile tears gushing out of his eyes and pooling at the bottom of his glasses. He slowly pushed a sweet, soggy wheat biscuit into his mouth between each sob.

I am such a terrible mother. Torturing him like that! Making him eat sweet, frosted mini-wheats soaked in that awful sweet and creamy soymilk. The horror. Poor Orangeboy! What's next? Canned pears in syrup over cinnamon crepes with whipped non-dairy topping?!!

10 comments:

  1. *Shudder* At age 32, I cannot fathom what would possess someone to put milk of any sort on cereal. Seriously. Especially frosted mini-wheats, which are a delightfully sweet and crunchy food on their own.

    I obviously have some of Orangeboy's sensory preferences. LOL. So from that perspective, I'm going to ask. Have you tried a calcium supplement, separate from a multi-vitamin, instead of milk?

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  2. LOL

    I "torture" my older one too. Mine's got a patented exasperated sigh. Really dramatic.

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  3. Thank you so much for your perspective Quirky Mom. That's really interesting to know.

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  4. My DS couldn't tolerate dairy when younger, so he's had almost no dairy his entire life. He eats dry cereal all the time (though he recently is requesting rice milk). We supplement with a calcium chew (Lil Critters brand), and for calores/protein he eats mostly fish sticks or ground turkey. Working around so much with three kids sounds really hard!

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  5. P.S. I hope my comment didn't sound critical, which it wasn't intended to be. (I can be bad about that sometimes, and even afterwards I don't see what offends people.) If it did, I'm sorry. My intention was really just to say that I know how Orangeboy feels about this one, and I would refuse to eat cereal with milk.

    I know how hard it is to be the mom who doesn't understand why her kid is refusing something seemingly harmless, even something that you think is tasty and wonderful, because my kid does it. So I really sympathize with both of you on this one...

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  6. To Quirky Mom: Not at all. I totally appreciate your comments. In fact, I talked with him this afternoon about the possibility of him drinking a little milk alongside his cereal. I told him he could CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH, swallow and then sip.
    He said, "Well - I - think - that - might - work." He said it in the stiff, measured way that he uses when he's not really wanting to do something, but we'll try it.
    He does take other supplements, but it is also the calorie thing. He tends to want to avoid calorie dense foods much of the time. He is 9 and only weighs 45 pounds. We have tried so many things to get him to gain weight - to no avail.

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  7. Uhh!!! Horrors!
    I know, though, the "horror" that moms can experience when trying to feed a sensory-sensitive kid... I have given in... only introducing new foods occassionally, but not often enough.
    Bad mommy!
    http://learningaspergian.blogspot.com

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  8. Sounds like he hates cereal in milk as much as you hate hearing the crunching....

    I am not going to tell you that you are wrong as I have totally been there. Like evry time Egg makes a mess with food, he enjoys the thrill off sensory food plunging... It is easy to see the obvious when it's in front of you, not when it's happening. Hence why supernanny can fix things, she is an observer not a mother. Like Quirky Mom I want to be careful I am not rude, half the time I only write half of what I am thinking and it makes no sense :0)

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  9. Wow! Posts about Mom being mean get more comments!
    This morning I let him eat his dry biscuits - and kept away and didn't even look at him while he ate them. I have to say though, it took him so long to chew and swallow them that he only had time to eat a few. He ate more when they were under milk -but we'll keep trying to find a comfortable compromise.

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  10. How about toast, I am JOKING :0)

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If you get the facetious, sarcastic, or humorous quality in this post, please comment! At least LOL.