Thursday, July 7, 2011

Peanut butter and fruit

We've been having some problems with food lately. Drew won't eat anything other than fruit and peanut butter. If it were Lily or Ella, it wouldn't be a big deal - eat if you're hungry, don't if you're not. But kids with CF need a lot of fat because their bodies don't produce the enzymes to break it down and allow the body to absorb it. Drew takes artificial enzymes every time he eats that do the same thing that the natural enzymes you and I produce do, but he still needs an abundance of both fat and salt in his diet to ensure proper growth. When all the boy will eat is peanut butter and fruit, it makes things a little tricky.

He wasn't always picky. It started gradually, with him pushing away most veggies. Then he got weird with meat. He use to devour hot dogs and now won't touch them. For a while, he loved chicken nuggets and spaghetti and meatballs and grilled cheese. Then he would only eat chicken nuggets if you left them whole as opposed to cutting them. Weird, I know. Then, slowly, over the course of the last month, he has decided he's not eating anything that's not peanut butter or fruit. Well, except for breakfast where he is usually willing to eat yogurt or oatmeal or cream of wheat.

I know peanut butter is both salty and fatty, perfect for a CFer, but can one really survive on peanut butter alone? Every meal, I offer him the same thing the girls are getting. He sits for 20 minutes, not protesting, just not eating. If you try to put something in his mouth, he clenches his jaw, turns his head and pushes you away. After we are all finished eating, I will offer him peanut butter - on toast, between crackers, in a blob on his tray - and he scarfs it down. I know he's hungry because he will whine and complain and open the pantry hoping for a goldfish or a graham cracker (two other things on the list of things he will eat) but once he's up in his seat the battle of the wills begin. I refuse to start with peanut butter every night. And again, if it were the girls I wouldn't force the issue, as I know sometimes kids just aren't hungry. But I worry about him not getting enough calories in. You might laugh at that given his size, but if he gets sick, I'd rather have a few extra pounds in our back pocket to spare.

Today I tried to sneak grilled cheese by putting peanut butter on the bread. Wouldn't you know that he was taking a bite, chewing it up, and spitting back out the bread and cheese. He was essentially sucking the peanut butter off of it and giving it back to me! I'm at a loss.

The dietician has a close eye on him, and when push comes to shove and he won't eat anything (there are meals where he straight up refuses to eat anything, peanut butter included) we give him an Ensure. He loves that stuff. I think it smells like formula. But we just need to make sure that most days he's getting in the fat that he needs and learns that skipping meals isn't okay. I'm still hopeful that it's just a toddler phase and he'll get over it soon. In the back of my mind, I fear the G-tube, but i guess you just do what you've gotta do. In the meantime, I'm open to any and all suggestions.

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