Food and Meal times Again
Happy New Year Everyone
I was wondering if I could pick your brains and get some ideas of strategies in relation to food and meal times.
Munchkin came to us at 20 months old and is now 3 years 5 months. She has always been a nightmare with her feeding even when in FC. Her FC noted that they would have to force feed her and she was hospitalised as she refused her bottle and would not take milk for a considerable amount of time. She would spit food out and just refuse it. Whilst in FC she was on jarred food and had free access to a treat cupboard of crisps, biscuits and chocolates as well as coke and fruit shoots. Her FC also reported that she would wake constantly during the night and could scream for up to 2 hours.
When she came to us, we had the jarred food as back ups but also tried to wean her onto solids. I used recipes designed for 6 - 9 months and 9 - 12 months as a start. We took it very slowly and she started to eat a better variety of lumpy foods. We found out she liked pasta dishes and bananas as well as toast., baked beans, grapes, yoghurt and dairylea for example.
Now, I know toddlers and children like to throw curve balls every now and then, but this is getting ridiculous. Summer last year she went on a hunger strike and refused meals, snacks (raisins, cucumber etc) and milk. We would offer her the food and if, after 25 - 30 minutes, she had not touched it, we took it and moved on with the day in the hopes that she would get bored after a couple of days and realise she was hungry. How wrong were we?
Anyway, fast forward to now and she is being a pain in the neck. Mealtimes in our house are stressful, frought and a dreaded time of the day. Munchkin refuses to eat or drink, I try and encourage but to no avail, she refuses so refuses. I take the food and let her leave the table. I have tried giving her theraputty to play with, music to listen to, eating in a different room, with the TV on, at a different table, everything. If she does not want to eat, she wont. So what happens? We are woken up at stupid o clock by a hungry child who thinks waking us all up is perfectly fine.
I will add she has a genetic anomaly, she isn't speaking either. I am not sure she recognises what hunger or thirst is as she never asks for a drink of food. SHe can feed herself and use a spoon and fork but wont if that makes sense. She would just sit and stare at it as if she doesn't know how to eat it. We try and work out of there is something wrong, like, does she need a motion, is she poorly, is she sick, but it is so hard when she is not communicating. Her latest party trick of a meal time is to pretend and force herself to fall asleep.
Has anyone got any tried and tested ideas we could try as this is getting to the point of stress and anxiety for everyone concerned.