This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Food issues -Letter B - Barbecue Birthday Bash

I have to admit, these letter parties make planning meals a lot easier. The kids get involved and there is more thought to it than - "start a big pot of water boiling and I'll decide what to throw in it when I get home." We've had very little leftovers too.

So tonight was going to be leftovers, but at the last minute my sister called us and asked if my niece and nephew could stay with us afterschool through bedtime (her afterschool care provider had an appointment and she had a date**). Her kids are extremely picky eaters and will usually go home and eat Kid Kuisine or beg for fast food (their usual fare - which I think is personally pretty yucky!).

My sister and her kids lived with us soon after her divorce. Her son especially did not eat vegetables. I still remember him walking around with a single pea like it was cyanide. It once took him literally 20+ tiny nibbles to eat a 1 inch piece of green bean.

My favorite story though is the night we had spaghetti and green beans. He'd been living with us for awhile so he knew veggies were required when his Mama wasn't there to protect him from them. In those days, we required kids to eat at least one piece/bite of veggie per year of age. He was 7 years old.

He'd eaten all his spaghetti and brought his plate to my husband for more noodles. My husband asked the dreaded question, "Did you eat your green beans?" My nephew looked at my husband with a serious expression and said, "I ate two and I chewed 3." Confused, my husband asked, "Are they in your tummy?" My nephew solemnly shook his head. Hubby and I still LOL about him chewing green beans and then spitting them back out?!!

I asked my sister about it later, and she said she was ok with it, because at least he got some vitamins from the juices he chewed out of them. Crazy.

Ironically, the spaghetti he was eating was my Confetti Spaghetti.

Confetti Spaghetti
  • Frozen vegetable medley - broccoli, cauliflower, carrots (chopped in blender while still frozen until they are the size of confetti)
  • Tomato sauce
  • Finely chopped mushrooms
  • Italian seasoning
  • Browned ground turkey and whole wheat noodles.

So tonight my niece and nephew got to choose our letter and meal. They picked the letter B.

For our Barbecue Bash they chose:

Barbecued Pork (we like pork chops instead of ribs because it's cheap, there's more meat, and no bones)
Baguettes (they were part of a meal deal at the grocery store - the kids had never seen long, skinny bread like these! Being white bread, they were VERY popular with my crew).
Baked potatoes (again not something we usually eat because I prefer whole grain starches and we get enough carbs elsewhere).
Baby glazed carrots (made with Smart Balance butter and sugar-free syrup, yum!)
Baked Beans
and for dessert...
Birthday cake! No, it wasn't really anyone's birthday. We just made a 2 layer boxed cake mix and iced it. We talked about candles and stuff, but no one bothered. Bear complained because he doesn't like chocolate (I know! I can't imagine either.) I had some sorbet in the freezer so he ate that.
All that complaining he did, and then he snuck down in the middle of the night and snuck a huge piece of cake (he tried to cut it so it wouldn't be obvious, but it was). I know it was him, despite his protests that he hates chocolate, because he apparently has a serious sugar addiction. Every time I search his room I find tons of candy wrappers, empty dishes with utensils stuck to them, empty icing cans (*grrr*), lots of soda cans and Monster drinks. I didn't bother to accuse him, just asked him to make sure he didn't leave the dish in his room. He said he thought he did (thereby confessing) and actually semi-apologized. I let it drop.

Forbidding Sweets
My sister's theory is that if you forbid sweets and other junk food then the kids will just crave it more. I see her point, but my kids deal with obesity, eating disorders, hoarding, gorging because they can't tell when they are full, and sugar-induced mania. We do try to have lots of healthy food and snacks always available.

When we go out to eat, we allow soda pop, but usually limit it to one glass. We encourage at least semi-balanced meals, and allow dessert (if it's in the budget). We don't eat out often though. I only buy whole grain bread and flour, sugar substitutes and skim milk. I consider Lunchables and Kid Kuisine to be expensive cr*p.

Kitty calls me a Healthaholic. I have friends that are a lot "worse."

Due to a med change and going off her Concerta for a Summer, Kitty put on 70lbs in 6 months. Despite med changes she still hasn't been able to drop back to a healthy weight. Part of her image of herself involved being skinny (and she liked to rub it in Bob's face), now she looks like she is pregnant (most of the weight is in her belly and chest), and she's miserable. She frequently threatens to starve herself and now that she's back on Concerta she skips a lot of meals, but at other times she gorges herself (no purging though thank goodness). I want to help her, but I definitely don't want to aggravate her food issues.

Bear was overweight as a child and didn't slim down until he moved in with us (foster dad didn't cook so they ate out for EVERY meal). He has a pretty distorted body image of himself too - the stretchmarks and sagging man boobs don't help. He never goes anywhere without at least a wife beater on.

Biomom is a large woman and Bear's biodad was over 300lbs (at only 5'8"). Both children equate weight with biofamily. It REALLY bothers them that I have gained so much weight, and spend a lot of time on my computer.

How do your kids handle weight and body image?


Adelaide Dupont said...

Like Kitty, until 3 years ago, I thought I was a skinny woman. I don't know myself if I would have noticed my weight, as I didn't see my body naked very much, and other people did see it with clothes. I thought I was just like Maman and Nana. Then I gained weight as a result of a psychiatric medication regime.

I was happy when my Papa told me a few days ago: Weight is not the only indicator of wellbeing.

When I was a teenager and into my 20s I was 'pale and interesting' (!) and only sometimes liked exercise. From 1996 I would drink lots of cola and caffeine.

Tudu said...

I only have one that is even aware of their body or potential to gain weight. Patches has gone from a girls size 10 to a juniors size 5-7 in 2 years. She is VERY aware of her body and it's need to put all the weight in her booty. Still a beautiful child but not considered by strangers as "the prettiest little girl they have ever seen".