Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Yet another incident of lying to me by difficult child 1 this morning.

    He has been lying to me for who knows how long about lunch. I asked this morning if he has lunch money, to which he quickly replied "yes". I asked him to show me, since he has a history of automatically saying yes to anything that's asked of him. He opened his backpack and showed me the SAME $5 bill he showed me YESTERDAY.

    I have a feeling that most days he skips lunch and hangs out in the library.

    With all the problems he's been having getting work done in class, I am SURE that lack of food is compounding everything.

    He says he knows it's bad for him to do, but that he just doesn't feel hungry. He's already underweight as it is and he has a GI disorder that interferes with nutrition. He cannot afford to slack on calories.

    I told him if he doesn't eat, either I will come to school every day to make sure he does, have the counselor check on him to make sure he does, or send him to the office to make sure he does. But no matter what, he HAS to eat!!!

  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    When my son was on stimulants, he really wasn't hugry at lunchtime. Is it possible he's telling you the truth about not being hungry?

    I'm wondering if you could find a solution such as having him drink Carnation Instant Breakfast at lunchtime to get calories and vitamins in without making him feel stuffed. And then have him eat a protein-rich meal when he gets home from school. Just a thought.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    My son rarely eats lunch, no matter what we pack. Often, I have to bring food in the car when I pick him up, because the difference between 11:30 and 3:30 is huge for him. I've just given up on the lunch thing. It's become Basket C.
    Best of luck.
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I know he doesn't "feel" hungry. But he really, really does need to eath SOMETHING. I can see now that the classes he struggles in are also the ones that are mid-day, when he would understandably have no energy if he hasn't eaten anything. So if it weren't affecting his school performance, I'd be inclined to let it go, but I don't think I can in this case. I'm thinking about how many calories he consumes a day, and it's probably not far from 1,000 most days. NOT GOOD.

    I try to get him to eat a good breakfast, but it often doesn't work. Here's why: I wake him at 7am to take Focalin and he goes back to sleep. If I don't give him the Focalin at that time, he is oppositional, uncooperative and a general PITA, not getting ready for school, etc. I rewake him at 8am when I'm leaving to take the other two kids to school, so that he can get ready for school (he starts at 8:55). His appetite is ALREADY impaired by now. He takes his Crohn's and allergy medications and then I practically have to sit on him to eat something. He's very picky. He doesn't like eggs. He doesn't like Instant Breakfast. Cereal or 1/2 a bagel or 1/2 a large muffin (Costco chocolate only!) he will eat. Sometimes he'll eat a banana. Some mornings I just make him a PB&J and he will eat about 1/2 to 3/4 of that. But it's very, very inconsistent.

    Then he slaps on his Daytrana patch as we leave the house at 8:30. If I had him leave at the same time as the other two, I'd be waking him at 6:30 which does not give him enough sleep. Lately, I've had a hard time with him staying up late reading. One night he was up until 3am rereading a book he'd just finished! I was furious.

    He's not hungry after school either. For dinner he eats a portion that's probably too small for his size, but that's all he wants. Then he binges late at night, getting up at 1am or later to eat whatever he feels like (and I find the aftermath of these foraging sessions all over the kitchen, the dining room and his room and his face -- yuck!). The eating part is fine, but the getting up so late is not because it sets him up for sleep problems on top of all this.

    I just emailed his counselor to ask if she had any suggestions, short of me sitting with him at lunch.

    I'm just so fed up with it all -- especially the lying. I have to second guess any answer he gives me and I hate that.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    He's lying because he's afraid you're going to get angry with him.

    How much Elavil is he taking? What if you ditched Lexapro and upped his Elavil, which will increase his appetite and help him sleep at night?

    What if you served him breakfast in bed when you bring Focalin to him (sometimes we parents have to get creative with our solutions)?

    I have a lot of experience with picky, underweight children. My daughter A just went to see her pediatrician on Monday, and she had lost 6 pounds in a year. She has definitely gotten more selective about food choices and oppositional about eating at meal times. She privately told the pediatrician she liked the way she looked, and she felt too much pressure from her psychiatrist and from me about eating. We don't have a full plan in place yet (still need to follow up with pediatrician and psychiatrist), but I do know I am going to back off from pressuring her. I realize you don't have the same issues, but I still think there's a lesson to be learned from my experience.
  6. Janna

    Janna New Member

    J is very, very small for his age, too. He's 10 and a whopping 55 lbs LOL! He's on a stimulant, Concerta, and has been for about 2 1/2 years.

    We took him off the Concerta here about 3 months ago for 6 weeks. Let me tell you, he ate like a PIG, putting on 9 pounds! LOL! But, as soon as we put him back on it, his hunger went downhill again.

    I wake up extra early to make him eat. My first son doesn't get on the bus until 7 AM, but I'm up at 5. I make them get up at 6, eat FIRST, then medications.

    I have Chrones Disease, and can tell you that there are times I really, REALLY have to watch what I eat. When I was a teenager, I was alot like Smallworld's daughter - very VERY picky, because there were things I would eat (cheese, fatty foods, etc) that would lay me out sick.

    What does the doctor say? I mean, is your son in jeopardy of becoming ill if he doesn't eat more? J, although small, is healthy. I just continue to try to give him things in between to pack on a few calories here and there, but if he doesn't eat a full meal, I really don't get angry, because it's really not his fault.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry he is lying to you. but this seems to be both an academic issue AND a health issue.

    Have you tried any of the various Balance Bars or Zone Bars? There are a LOT of different ones out there now and they are MUCH better tasting than the nutrition bars used to be. I keep a stash for husband, as if they are busy and they don't get lunch brought in (many times they can charge lunch to whatever bigwig they are working on a proposal for) then he won't take time to go get something, or even to heat something up in the microwave. he can grab a bar and have enough to tide him over until he gets home.

    I also have them for the kids. If we are going somewhere right after school I make sure thank you has one, because he gets really cranky if he doesn't get protein after school. He can even pack one as part of his lunch if there are not leftovers he is willing to eat for lunch and he doesn't want school lunch.

    I look for ones that do NOT have artificial sweeteners and have a decent amount of protein in them. Balance and Zone bars generally have a 40-30-30 ratio of carbs-fat-protein.

    Kashi has several lines that he might like. The have GoLean bars and Go Lean Rolli bars that are really GOOD (and I don't like anything that tastes even remotely like health food, LOL!). These Kashi bars also have a decent amount of fiber in them (the Rolli ones have 6 grams of fiber, which is very good for these bars). kashi also has a granola type bar that is in the pop-tart section of the store. My kids LOVE them - I have to ration them or they would eat a box in about 2 hours. They don't have as much protein, but they do have fiber and are AWESOME tasting.

    I have found these are a great solution for my thank you. He doesn't like to eat in the evening (has been this way since he started eating solid food). So whatever he eats after school may be all he eats. If I have the nutrition bars, they ensure he has at least a little bit of protein. And they are quick to eat and very portable, so they don't interfere with homework or playing.

    There are a LOT of brands out there. Target has some that taste very chocolatey-rich. But they still fit the 40-30-30 or close to it. You DO have to read the labels, because some of the "nutrition" bars are mostly all sugar. And then there are some that are almost all protein and taste rather like eating your shoes, according to my kids.

    Can you put lunch money on a card at school for him and that way you can know when he "should" need lunch $$ and even get a record from the cafeteria to show what days he is actually eating?

    I hope that getting some nutrition at lunch helps him in the classes he is having problems in.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Gcv, a little tangent here ... what sort of muffins and cereal are you giving him? You said he's taking his Crohn's medications and then you're trying to get him to eat gluten products? Or are they rice muffins, rice bagels and rice cereal?
    I just wanted to clarify.
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    SW, you're right. He is afraid I'll be angry or disappointed. I asked him how we could foster a more honest dialog without fear of this happening, because lying is just going to make things worse. He said don't get disappointed or angry. Sheesh.

    But we did talk some more and he said he's going to try to make a bigger effort to eat because he said he doesn't want me to come sit with him at lunchtime! :tongue:

    I dunno about the Elavil... I can ask psychiatrist about that. It was rx'd for his IBS and he only takes 10mg. The Lexapro has really helped his anxiety, so I hesitate messing with that unless the Elavil will address it just as well.

    I made him a turkey sandwich for breakfast today, and he really liked it and ate it quickly. He asked for another for lunch, so I sent one with him. So maybe we just need to be more creative with the breakfast options and send lunch with him instead (he's always wanted to just buy lunch).

    Janna, when he was diagnosis'd with Crohn's at age 11, he weighed 57 pounds and looked absolutely emaciated. He's now 14 1/2 and weighs 96.5 pounds (lost two since December) and is 5' 3.5" -- which finally puts him in the 25th percentile for height (first time in 3 years) and about the 16th for weight (finally on the charts!). He should probably be in about the 50th, since that's where he was from birth to about kindergarten when we think the Crohn's started. He's in remission, and can eat a normal diet, and tolerates most things fine as long as the fiber isn't excessive. He's in his prime growing years, which is why I worry about adequate nutrition. The window for catch-up growth is going to start closing soon.

    Susie, I was sending Promax bars with him for a snack -- they have a LOT of protein and a decent amount of calories and not too much fiber which he can only take so much of. He got a bit burned out on them for a while, but I bought some more yesterday and he took one today. I think my talk with him (calm this time) helped :)

    Terry, he has Crohn's, which is different from Celiac. You can have both, but having one does not mean you also have the other. He processes gluten just fine. His immune system, on the other hand, is overactive (the reasons are what researchers are still trying to solve) and caused chronic, severe inflammation in his small intestine and the upper part of his large intestine. He developed scar tissue at the end of his small bowel. Anyway, his medications have put him into remission for now, thankfully. But he still has a lot of catch-up growth to do.

    Thanks everyone for your helpful suggestions. I guess part of me needed to vent a little (must be PMS) because it's such an on-going issue on top of all the other issues and I was feeling weary. One kid doesn't eat enough. One kid eats too much. And yet another is now saying she won't eat chicken (thanks, Herbert)!
  10. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I have had digestive issues myself...and it was so frustrating knowing that anything I eat (without knowing which food or ingredient exactly) might make me disastrously ill for a while. It definitely put me off eating--anything. I always wished that there was a way that I could just stop eating for a while--and then I wouldn't have to worry about abdominal pain.

    Crohn's must be terrible to live with! Does your son have a select assortment of foods that are proven not to irritate his digestive tract? Perhaps having a few "safe" foods available at lunchtime each day would make him more willing to eat. Lunch, after all, is always the riskiest meal--it is the one you eat while you are away from the comfort and privacy of your own home.

    Maybe, due to his condition, he could actually come home for an extended lunch period each day? Then he could feel "safe" while eating--knowing that if he has intestional discomfort, at least he is already at home and doesn't have to face the possibility of getting sick at school.

    Just a suggestion...

  11. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    DF, I really think it's more a matter of his ADHD medications supressing his appetite than anything. He eats fine on the weekends when we're around to ensure that meals and snacks are served. The only time he has any bowel issues is if he's overdone it on fruit (and I suppose most of us who don't have Crohn's could say that as well). That's why I don't think this is a digestive issue. He's been in remission with no symptoms (aside from an anxiety-related IBS attack last Spring) and no internal signs (he was scoped last April) for over a year now -- labs are perfect, too.

    Thanks, though, for your thoughtful concern. :D
  12. Jena

    Jena New Member


    I'm sorry it's so frustrating when their either not eating due to medications or eating too much. I know what you mean I worry as well.

    What I tried when we went thru this period or time frame due to a medication change and difficult child's anxiety was worsening as well, and academically she was tanking too. Couldn't focus and your soo right it was due to lack of protein.

    I tried using mixer and making shakes for her every morning, than if she didn't eat lunch at least I knew that she had water on her and that kick of fruit in the a.m. in the shake seemed to do the trick.

    I'd let her pick the ingredients, banannas anything at all a few fruits than you can mix maybe plain yogurt and apple juice or just some low fat vanilla ice cream.

    I wish you luck, I hope you find something that works for you and him.

  13. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    That's a good idea Jennifer. We've tried smoothies in the past, and sometimes he'll drink them, and sometimes he's just not that excited. We may get back to trying that again, too. I also add an Instant Breakfast packet to them for some extra oomph.