It’s dinner time as I’m typing this (yep, of course I type and pre-post blog posts! How else would I have them typed every morning?? :) ), and dinner time always brings about the “he gets this, she gets that, can this one have more?” in our home.
Like many households, we have picky kids and kids who will eat anything. We have kids with insatiable appetites, and kids with no appetite at all. Unlike many other homes, we have children that are prone to obesity and children that are probe to being underweight. We also have children that have medical reasons for not being able to eat well, with allergies, and with difficulties with certain types or textures of foods.
Dinner time has gotten MUCH better over the last few months, and steadily becoming more “normal” as time goes on, but it is still a relative form of “normal” for our household!
Here’s a little run down on the juggle that we call “family meal times” here at the Cornish home!
Dinner time gets 3 plates and 3 bowls. Emma, Micah, and Aleksa don’t do so well off of plates most of the time, so for sanity, they usually get bowls :). Micah’s food has to be cut REALLY small, cheerios size or smaller, because he doesn’t chew! Kristopher, Brianna, and Lynae eat off of plates and do just fine with that. Kris, Emma, Micah, and Aleksa all eat what I’d call a “good kid portion”, though three of them (not Kris) really have no “off” button to know they’re full. We have to monitor how much they take in and cut off meal time for them when they’ve had enough to eat!
James drinks a soy based pediatric drink (similar to Pediasure, but he’s allergic to casein- milk protein- and can’t have Pediasure). Wesley gets Pediasure through the g-tube.
Aleksa and Kristopher both drink regular milk. Micah does as well, but his has to be thickened to the consistency of honey or he aspirates (swallows in to his lungs and ends up with pneumonia!). Brianna and Lynae drink Milk sometimes or also will have Pediasures depending on how they’re doing with eating recently. Emma gets soy milk because milk gives her some digestive issues (ie: GAS!).
Meal times are pretty predictable here now, though, even though it’s a lot of different things that we have to take in to consideration.
The hardest part can sometimes be this: How do you encourage your small eaters (Brianna, Lynae, sometimes Kristopher, and James and Wesley) to eat more and still “cut off” your big eaters (Aleksa, Emma, and Micah) so they don’t have TOO much? That part can really be a juggling act at times. Can I offer some kids a high calorie piece to the meal and offer others something much less? Or give water as a second drink to some and milk or Pediasure to others? Well, the answer turns out to be YES. Because each child has different needs, and each of their needs has to be met differently!
We don’t want to give our kids an unhealthy start in life that will lead to obesity as an adult—especially our children that may be predisposed to that. By that, I mean those who have much lower tone than the others and who gain weight quickly- Aleksa and Micah and somewhat Emma at times. Healthy habits are great for EVERYONE, but more essential to those that would have a difficult time backtracking to take OFF extra weight once they become overweight. Aleksa and Micah aren’t overweight right now, but they are both on the “huskier” side of “good” weigh for their heights.
If you’d like to share… tell me, how do you manage food differences, quantities, and managing weight for your child?