Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Diet Debacle

We're going on a diet! *grinds face into corner of table for an hour* No, really, I'm so excited.

Mera and Geri have both been suffering from (TMI warning) terrible constipation for so long I honestly am not sure when it started. I've been dosing them with Miralax recently, just to make them comfortable, but I know this treatment ought not to be done forever. Something has to change, and it has to happen in their diets.

I'm French, so this one hurts. 
Geri, I already kinda knew her diet needed tweaking. She would live on nothing but carbs if I let her. Mac and cheese, spaghetti, bread, graham crackers... I could keep her fed for a year without ever making anything that grows touch her lips. I know that isn't a good plan, but with her feeding problems I have felt that my hands were tied. I was also concerned because, aside from the obvious potty problem, there is also an issue with normal weight obesity. What's that? Apparently, when a child has been nutritionally deprived and malnourished for a long period of time (oh, say, about 4 years) their body behaves as if it is obese at a normal weight. The heart, liver, kidneys, etc. all get affected at what would be, on any other child, a pretty average weight. Right now, Geri is in about the 75th percentile for weight and height. On any other kid, that would be just fine and dandy, but on her it's possibly dangerous. Her doctor also specifically warned us about carbs for her, simply because her metabolism is so messed up at this point.

Don't try to look all innocent, Cow. You know what you did.
Mera is another fun study. When she was born, she was severely dairy sensitive. Not just lactose, but all dairy. I was nursing her, and I couldn't even eat bread because of the whey used in it. I could not have a glass of cow's milk, but I could have goat's milk. Which, by the way, is not really the "gimme" it might sound like. Stuff tastes weird. The cheese from it is great, but the actual milk tastes a little like feet smell. Just saying, is all.

So here we are, two members of our family have specific food exclusions. Mera has to be "no dairy" and Geri needs to be "low carb," but she is also "doesn't enjoy chewing solid foods." Nick is "please don't make me change my diet" and TJ is "wanna ride bikes?" I'm trying to figure out how the heck I'm going to feed them all.

For now, I'm cutting the milk and milk products for Mera. I'm not yet making her totally give up anything with whey in it, because I think her system is stronger now and I want to see if just taking out the milk will do it. However, I'm trying to make sure Geri doesn't get all those carbs and the girls are always together at meal times and I can't give one girl one thing and another girl another because that would start all sorts of hell breaking loose. Here's where I am so far.

Pick me! Pick me!
1. Vanilla Almond Milk. I tried giving both girls fruit and applesauce for breakfast. Geri hardly ate anything and I hate to send her to school so hungry. She loves cereal, which has carbs but if I make the rest of the day carb-free I feel like it's ok, but if Mera sees her eating some then she'll want it too and that. mean. milk. Now I can give them both cereal, mera with almond milk and Geri with cow's milk, and no one is the wiser.

2. Goat's Milk and Soy Yogurt. The girls also love yogurt. If I give Geri the dairy version and Mera the non-dairy, it should be ok. Or I could just give them both non-dairy, but it's real expensive.

3. Chicken Nuggets. No, not a health food. I get that. But it's very low carb, no dairy (I'm not counting whey, remember) and easy to eat. It also gets Geri in a chewing frame of mind, so she'll attempt he fruit and veggies I give her.

4. Applesauce. I buy the Buddy Fruits, which have no sugar or preservatives. Just apples and other fruit. A serving of fruit, something in the tummy, no chewing. Works for everyone.

5. Fish. Geri loves fish, so I'm praying that will bring us through a lot of mealtimes.

Today was the first day, and I'm not sure how long it will take for their "systems" to improve if I'm on the right track. Anyone have any educated guesses? Any tips or advice for a changed diet? Recipes? Want to come and cook for us while I go have a good cry? Seriously, this is such a huge change and it feels like I have SO MANY hurdles to deal with in all of it. Money (have you SEEN how much quinoa costs?!?!), time, feeding difficulties, taste buds that have a lot of programming in their history... This is a lot. The things we do because we love our kids and want them to be able to poop. Hallmark should put that on a card. Your welcome.


  1. Dave is lactose intolerant and has tried all the non-milks. His favorites are almond milk and rice milk (he prefers the rice milk). And Trader Joe's makes a yummy soy "ice cream" - the kind we get is cherry chocolate chip - has cherries and chocolate chips in it, obviously. And it's really good. The nephews eat it without detecting it's not milk.

  2. ... applesauce is crazy easy to make. I never went buy a recipe - just boiled apples (and sometimes pears), threw in a ball with cinnamon and a touch of brown sugar, and mashed up with a potato masher. We kept the skins on.

    You could obviously forego the cinnamon and brown sugar for the kids if it's going to be an everyday thing.

  3. You're singing a song of my life...

    Rex lives for carbs and yogurt and has become a very picky, controlling eater lately. I never know what he is going to accept from one meal to the next. He might enjoy one food on Monday and reject the very same thing as revolting on Wednesday. He suffers from chronic constipation and takes Miralax about twice a week which all doctors tell me can be a life-long regimen with no side effects.

    Emilia who eats absolutely everything as far as flavor is concerned cannot have dairy and prefers soft and soft solid food.

    I'll shoot you some ideas in an email since I have been doing this dance for a year now.

  4. Ha! Cillian can't have milk either! I had some cheese and it tore his poor little guts up.

    If you're looking for recipes, I recently came across http://civilizedcavemancooking.com/ if that helps. This one might too http://www.elanaspantry.com/special-diets/