Since Dorian was about 13 months old and had an intestinal blockage due to diet, we’ve been working on improving our diet. We cut out a lot of sugar (but not all!), processed foods and white flour, rice and milk. These are all things that cause problems for Dorian and they have to be very limited most of the time or he ends up getting blocked up again.
Needless to say, we’ve been extremely focused on Dorian and his eating habits. And we kind of didn’t worry too much about Dante. He’s been a picky eater to the nth degree since he was about 3, but everything I read about it said to keep presenting foods and let the kid eat what he wants.
Turns out, that’s not such great advice. At least, not in our case.
Dante recently had some issues that sent him to the ER and scared the socks off me. He had a rectal prolapse. It was completely unexpected and while I knew what it was, we never expected Dante to be the one with an issue like this.
After a completely useless ER visit (it took so long for them to see him that everything was back in the right place by the time they did) we took him to see our family doctor the next day. The doctor checked him over and told us that the most common cause of this issue in children is . . . malnutrition. (other causes include parasites, which he has been treated for on a regular basis) Irving and I were pretty stunned at first, but thinking about it . . . yeah, it makes sense. The kid eats beans and tortillas 24/7, won’t touch anything green, hates all vegetables apart from carrots, so it’s not that farfetched that he would be missing a few things. Let me tell you, there are very few worse feelings as a mother than to realize that your child is sick and it’s your fault.
We were sent home with instructions to load him up with protein, iron, green veggies and Incaparina, a fortified cereal drink that is essentially the poor man’s Pediasure. So I stepped up my game in the kitchen. I made bone broth and fancy salads and all kinds of muffins full of shredded veggies. To an extent, it worked. Dante was freaked out enough by the idea of going back to the hospital (he was never in pain or anything, it was just being there) that he ventured a few bites of green beans. But after a while, he would gag on anything new and that was it. He’d rather not eat than eat anything green.
I make Shrek Shakes (green smoothies) to get some veggies into him, along with banana pancakes with spinach in them, pizza full of pureed vegetables and pasta with sauce chock full of squash and spinach and carrot. These are all things that work. I don’t hide the fact that I’m putting vegetables into the food and he’ll eat them. We’re trying to incorporate more meat and poultry into our meals, as well, though those things tend to be pricier and therefore more difficult to add.
The problem is . . . I’m searching for great ideas to get kids to eat veggies and people suggest things like dips and cheese sauce, etc. My kids won’t eat that stuff! Imagine, kids who hate dips. I don’t even know how that happens. Dante also hates eggs, which are a great alternative to meat for protein. He doesn’t like cheese, either, except on pizza and so our meals have become an ongoing battle that has turned something enjoyable into a stressful event that ends with no one wanting to eat at all.
Since the initial problem, Dante has had several more instances of prolapse and at this point, the doctor has told us that it could also be genetic, a lesser version of Dorian’s problem. If so, he may require surgery to correct it, but that is something to be determined in the future, AFTER he’s built up his system and has sufficient nutrients in his body. Which, at this point, may be never.