“She’ll grow out of it”, they said. “It’s a phase”, they said. And of course my favorite, “You’re the mom, you have to make her eat”. Right…why didn’t I think of that?
Dealing with food aversion or other food sensory disorders is difficult to say the least. Granted, my Ladybug doesn’t have as severe a case, it still presents it’s daily challenges. Not only is it tough as a mother, but on my growing girl mostly. Food battles began before she was even a year old. Here we are approaching her 3rd birthday and we are finally understanding more about the issue at hand. I wrote about our rocky food start and my “picky eater” when Ladybug was just over a year old. Oh my, how things have changed.
As time went on, I found it harder and harder to move forward with foods. Ladybug was not simply rejecting new foods, she was experiencing extreme reactions. At times, she would gag, even vomit after the tiniest taste. Other times, she would completely meltdown and turn down the remainder of the meal. Soon, she was unwilling to try anything new and panicked at the mere mention of trying something different. Even the smell of a food would trigger tears.
Ladybug didn’t fall into the typical “picky toddler” category and I was beginning to worry about her nutrition and overall health. Her diet consisted of mostly of freeze dried fruits and veggies, processed foods and very little calcium or proteins. She was constantly constipated and not sleeping well, how could I not be concerned? Although her pediatrician assured me that Ladybug was growing just fine, I expressed my concerns and she referred us to occupational therapy.
After a quick assessment, the therapist told me we were dealing with some type of sensory disorder, later classified as food aversion disorder. So here we are, only a few sessions into food therapy, and we have made so much progress already! Ladybug is finally taking risks and enjoying foods. We are learning about the food chaining process and gaining understanding as well. Realistically, along with the triumphs, I expect setbacks. But for now, I’m feeling optimistic and patient which is what Ladybug really needs from me at this moment.