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Old 09-01-2012, 11:04 AM   #1
karyn0995
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Problem Eater (way different than a picky eater!)

Hello,
We sail on the Fantasy 2 weeks from today and I am starting to stress. DS, who is 5, is a PROBLEM eater which is much different, and significantly more challenging, than a picky eater. His food choices are limited to about 5 things max and I am really starting to worry about his options. Things he will willingly eat include Kraft Mac n Cheese (HAS to be Kraft and yes he can tell the difference), cereal, waffles, all fruits and veggies, salad, bread and sometimes franks & beans.

On occasion he will eat pizza without sauce, or hot dogs that have NO MARKS or color. If there is anything on the hot dog to make it look "weird" he will swear them off his food list for a few months.

At home I secretly puree and mix food in to his Mac n Cheese to supplement his diet but I know this won't be possible on the cruise. I'm not betting on him eating M&C on the cruise, though, because I'm guessing it won't be Kraft. The last time we visited Disney he refused the Mickey pasta because it doesn't "look right" to him. So my questions are:

How likely is it DCL will allow me to bring packages of the microwaveable Kraft M&C on board and will they prepare it in the kitchen for him?

Will he be allowed to order breakfast items at dinner? Cereal, waffles, pancakes are always good.

Any other advice?
Many thanks!
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:10 AM   #2
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Well, if all else fails, you can always order room service and you can get cereal for him from that.

I loved my cruise but really couldn't handle the food at all. I ordered steak and a baked potato for dinner every single night except for the night that I gave up and didn't order any dinner at all. Mostly I just ate bread for dinner. Perhaps your son will do the same? I can tell you that I survived by eating decent breakfasts and eating bread for lunch (couldn't handle the lunch food either) and dinner.

I like very simple food and the Disney food is way too complex for me. There is a bread basket at every meal on your table and you can get refills on this. Hopefully this will help your son. By the way, you also can get fresh fruit up on the pool deck. Slices of cantelope and things like that--it really was quite lovely.

You can make this work and get through the week and have a wonderful cruise. We loved our cruise. I just made sure I took the stairs instead of the elevator to counteract all that bread, LOL!
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:54 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DisSarahK View Post
Well, if all else fails, you can always order room service and you can get cereal for him from that.

I loved my cruise but really couldn't handle the food at all. I ordered steak and a baked potato for dinner every single night except for the night that I gave up and didn't order any dinner at all. Mostly I just ate bread for dinner. Perhaps your son will do the same? I can tell you that I survived by eating decent breakfasts and eating bread for lunch (couldn't handle the lunch food either) and dinner.

I like very simple food and the Disney food is way too complex for me. There is a bread basket at every meal on your table and you can get refills on this. Hopefully this will help your son. By the way, you also can get fresh fruit up on the pool deck. Slices of cantelope and things like that--it really was quite lovely.

You can make this work and get through the week and have a wonderful cruise. We loved our cruise. I just made sure I took the stairs instead of the elevator to counteract all that bread, LOL!
Ok I gotta ask...how is Disney food complex?
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by DisSarahK View Post
I like very simple food and the Disney food is way too complex for me.
What do you mean, exactly? How was the food too "complex"?
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:17 AM   #5
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What is the difference between a picky eater and a problem eater?

Seriously, all, my heart goes out to you who are dealing with this, I know it can't be easy, and I've had no experience with this whatsoever, my dd will eat anything, and always has.

Not trying to flame anyone at all though, (or be flamed) just trying to understand, because I have friends and their kids have issues. At least with my friends, it seems like kids have absolutely NO problem eating all the fun stuff, the mac n cheese, hot dogs, and of course snacks and goodies. Just when it comes to what I call "real food"...they don't want to eat it. One friend's son would only eat frozen waffles and Kraft. And that was all he ate. We went to a beach house with them one summer and had to run out several times to get those big boxes of frozen waffles because he would eat them morning, noon and night. Hey, I'd like to do that too. C'mon, is this really healthy for the kid, or just avoiding a battle?

How/when does the line get drawn between having some medical issue, or just wanting to eat only what you want to eat? It was especially hard for my dd, who was younger at the time, but was expected to eat dinner with us, eat what we gave her and then be "treated" with a dessert later, when this little boy got to eat his waffle with butter and syrup and then still got his ice cream. Another time, his sister didn't/wouldn't eat dinner, but we all had to cut an activity short, go home for her to eat - and you know what she ate? Hot chocolate and potato chips with dip! Just not buying into any kind of "sensory" issues with these kids - I think mom just gave up. JMO.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:31 AM   #6
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There was a similar thread on a similar subject: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2935259

Have a read thru it since the OP has since sailed and shared their on board experiences in the thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by love280mickey View Post
What is the difference between a picky eater and a problem eater?

Seriously, all, my heart goes out to you who are dealing with this, I know it can't be easy, and I've had no experience with this whatsoever, my dd will eat anything, and always has.

Not trying to flame anyone at all though, (or be flamed) just trying to understand, because I have friends and their kids have issues. At least with my friends, it seems like kids have absolutely NO problem eating all the fun stuff, the mac n cheese, hot dogs, and of course snacks and goodies. Just when it comes to what I call "real food"...they don't want to eat it. One friend's son would only eat frozen waffles and Kraft. And that was all he ate. We went to a beach house with them one summer and had to run out several times to get those big boxes of frozen waffles because he would eat them morning, noon and night. Hey, I'd like to do that too. C'mon, is this really healthy for the kid, or just avoiding a battle?

How/when does the line get drawn between having some medical issue, or just wanting to eat only what you want to eat? It was especially hard for my dd, who was younger at the time, but was expected to eat dinner with us, eat what we gave her and then be "treated" with a dessert later, when this little boy got to eat his waffle with butter and syrup and then still got his ice cream. Another time, his sister didn't/wouldn't eat dinner, but we all had to cut an activity short, go home for her to eat - and you know what she ate? Hot chocolate and potato chips with dip! Just not buying into any kind of "sensory" issues with these kids - I think mom just gave up. JMO.
Read thru the thread that I posted earlier in this thread and have quoted for you here. It's full of info on the 'problem' eaters that have sensory issues. I had my DD read the thread, since she's worked with very young children and hadn't heard of this issue.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:45 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by love280mickey View Post
Just not buying into any kind of "sensory" issues with these kids - I think mom just gave up. JMO.
When actual trained therapists and medical professionals acknowledge the disorder, I think it sounds really ignorant and judgmental to make comments like the one you just did. JMO

On reading your post a second time, it looks like you might have been just talking about the two children of your friend and not all children in general, if that is the case maybe you are right. IDK anything about the two children of your friends.
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:09 PM   #8
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When actual trained therapists and medical professionals acknowledge the disorder, I think it sounds really ignorant and judgmental to make comments like the one you just did. JMO

On reading your post a second time, it looks like you might have been just talking about the two children of your friend and not all children in general, if that is the case maybe you are right. IDK anything about the two children of your friends.
Yes, I was talking about my friend's children, who were NEVER given any formal food eating disorder/diagnosis. NOT all children who may have legitimate issues.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by love280mickey View Post
What is the difference between a picky eater and a problem eater?

Seriously, all, my heart goes out to you who are dealing with this, I know it can't be easy, and I've had no experience with this whatsoever, my dd will eat anything, and always has.

Not trying to flame anyone at all though, (or be flamed) just trying to understand, because I have friends and their kids have issues. At least with my friends, it seems like kids have absolutely NO problem eating all the fun stuff, the mac n cheese, hot dogs, and of course snacks and goodies. Just when it comes to what I call "real food"...they don't want to eat it. One friend's son would only eat frozen waffles and Kraft. And that was all he ate. We went to a beach house with them one summer and had to run out several times to get those big boxes of frozen waffles because he would eat them morning, noon and night. Hey, I'd like to do that too. C'mon, is this really healthy for the kid, or just avoiding a battle?

How/when does the line get drawn between having some medical issue, or just wanting to eat only what you want to eat? It was especially hard for my dd, who was younger at the time, but was expected to eat dinner with us, eat what we gave her and then be "treated" with a dessert later, when this little boy got to eat his waffle with butter and syrup and then still got his ice cream. Another time, his sister didn't/wouldn't eat dinner, but we all had to cut an activity short, go home for her to eat - and you know what she ate? Hot chocolate and potato chips with dip! Just not buying into any kind of "sensory" issues with these kids - I think mom just gave up. JMO.
I'll give you a brief overview on our family...but would never try to say this is the situation for all families dealing with sensory issues.

Unfortunately our son's story began in an Eastern European orphanage where everything and anything involving NURTURing and NOURISHing was severely lacking. His "bottles" contained tea, not formula or milk or anything we would consider nutritionally beneficial or even tasty to an infant or child. He was not introduced to solid foods until our family was formed....way beyond the typical age a child is given finger foods.

Thankfully the lack of nutrition only impacted his physical size (he's quite a bit smaller than other kids his age) and and not his learning, personality or other physical abilities. But getting him to eat food other than what I originally listed is a HUGE huge deal. He recently began food therapy and introducing new foods to him involves MUCH patience over many months, progressing from pictures of new food, to smelling it, then allowing it to be on the table with him, prodding with fingers, hopefully placing it on his tongue, and eventually chewing and swallowing it.

So, introducing new foods to him is not a one time attempt and can be quite stressful to all of us if we let it. Thankfully he LOVES veggies and fruits, and never puts up a fight about that!
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karyn0995
Thankfully he LOVES veggies and fruits, and never puts up a fight about that!
There is definitely no shortage of fruits and veggies on the cruise. Our DD was only 15 months on our first Disney cruise this year. She will eat most anything, but she LOVE LOVE LOVES fruits and veggies.

Between meals, the 'healthy' food place on the pool deck (Goofy's Galley on the Magic) had cut up fruit plates when they were serving and bananas and oranges 24/7 while they last until they open and restock. The bananas were a life saver for us. If she got too cranky between the set meal times, we would run up to the pool and grab a banana and let her scarf it down.

During meal times, we would eat at the Buffet for breakfast and Lunch. Lots of fresh fruit and cooked veggies, and of course breads of various sorts at the different meals. They even have deli meats and cheeses that are plain by themselves, if he is interested in that kind of thing. The kids trays for food in the buffet are so large and have separate compartments, so you can segregate foods out into their own spots. Sounds like that might be perfect for him. In fact, I love them for myself and Im not that picky! The only worry I would have for you is that the buffet could present too many options at once? If that is something that will overwhelm him, you might want to find a table first, then take turns going through the food line, while he waits at the table.

In the dining room, the kids menu always has an option for a fruit appetizer, and for entrees take a look at the whole menu (kids and adults). You can always ask for a plate of various side dishes from the other entrees if the mac and cheese doesn't work out. Take a look at the vegetarian options too. Some of the entrees may apply to his liking. There is soooo much choice for food at every meal, that I have a hard time believing there won't be enough for him to eat. Oh and if there are particular veggies he likes, I'm sure you could request those, as they should have most normal choices available every night.

Also, like other said, why not order something and if he likes the look of it, he'll eat if, if not, he won't. This applies especially to the buffet as you can just offer a nibble of different things, and if they likes it, it's easy to go back up for more!

Goodluck! I'm sure this will be a great family vacation! Food included
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karyn0995 View Post
I'll give you a brief overview on our family...but would never try to say this is the situation for all families dealing with sensory issues.

Unfortunately our son's story began in an Eastern European orphanage where everything and anything involving NURTURing and NOURISHing was severely lacking. His "bottles" contained tea, not formula or milk or anything we would consider nutritionally beneficial or even tasty to an infant or child. He was not introduced to solid foods until our family was formed....way beyond the typical age a child is given finger foods.

Thankfully the lack of nutrition only impacted his physical size (he's quite a bit smaller than other kids his age) and and not his learning, personality or other physical abilities. But getting him to eat food other than what I originally listed is a HUGE huge deal. He recently began food therapy and introducing new foods to him involves MUCH patience over many months, progressing from pictures of new food, to smelling it, then allowing it to be on the table with him, prodding with fingers, hopefully placing it on his tongue, and eventually chewing and swallowing it.

So, introducing new foods to him is not a one time attempt and can be quite stressful to all of us if we let it. Thankfully he LOVES veggies and fruits, and never puts up a fight about that!
yes, I can sympathize wholeheartedly about the orphanage situation, and we call ourselves very lucky regarding our daughter, who came to us from a Russian orphanage. Her diet at 14 months included pickles and onions (something she still loves till today). Her lack of healthy food choices had not impacted her quite as severe as your son. We did go through some of the food hoarding and rapid weight gain when she came home, because she ate everything in sight, but eventually that tapered off. Fresh fruits and veggies are all time favorites (again not offered very much at the orphanage). And yes, she does smell everything as well.
I wish you all the best and hope you and your family have a delightful cruise experience.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karyn0995 View Post
....He recently began food therapy and introducing new foods to him involves MUCH patience over many months, progressing from pictures of new food, to smelling it, then allowing it to be on the table with him, prodding with fingers, hopefully placing it on his tongue, and eventually chewing and swallowing it.

So, introducing new foods to him is not a one time attempt and can be quite stressful to all of us...
We are going through this with my 4 yr old DS. There are very limited foods that he will eat and they have to be pureed because he does not chew (sensory issues - he is getting therapy). He can tell the difference between "organic" applesauce and "regular" applesauce even if it's from the same brand!!!! Has to drink dairy free/soy free milk because his body does not digest the protein in regular milk. Going on vacation is VERY STRESSFUL as he gets older due to the non-chewing.

We were very nervous going on our WC cruise on 08/18/12. With that being said....we had no problem at all. We explained the problem to our servers on the first night and they were very good. Every night after our meal, we went over his lunch and dinner for the next day. His food would already be prepared and even dessert was provided as soon as we walked into the restaurant. They even gave me a 32 oz carton of dairy free/soy free milk to keep in the room.

I am sure that your servers will work with you. Just explain to them when you meet them on the first day and you can plan his meals ahead of time. This really made a difference on our vacation. I could not have asked for more. I was so afraid of my DS being hungry for 7 days.
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Old 09-02-2012, 09:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karyn0995 View Post
I'll give you a brief overview on our family...but would never try to say this is the situation for all families dealing with sensory issues.

Unfortunately our son's story began in an Eastern European orphanage where everything and anything involving NURTURing and NOURISHing was severely lacking. His "bottles" contained tea, not formula or milk or anything we would consider nutritionally beneficial or even tasty to an infant or child. He was not introduced to solid foods until our family was formed....way beyond the typical age a child is given finger foods.

Thankfully the lack of nutrition only impacted his physical size (he's quite a bit smaller than other kids his age) and and not his learning, personality or other physical abilities. But getting him to eat food other than what I originally listed is a HUGE huge deal. He recently began food therapy and introducing new foods to him involves MUCH patience over many months, progressing from pictures of new food, to smelling it, then allowing it to be on the table with him, prodding with fingers, hopefully placing it on his tongue, and eventually chewing and swallowing it.

So, introducing new foods to him is not a one time attempt and can be quite stressful to all of us if we let it. Thankfully he LOVES veggies and fruits, and never puts up a fight about that!
Blessings to you and your family. After a very rough start, he found Angels here on earth - your family.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:31 AM   #14
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What is the difference between a picky eater and a problem eater?

How/when does the line get drawn between having some medical issue, or just wanting to eat only what you want to eat?
A child who is not gaining weight appropriately, or losing weight, when offered an age appropriate, varied diet is likely to have a medical problem of some sort.

A child who would rather eat ice cream than grilled chicken and broccoli probably doesn't.

As with many conditions, there's no black and white line between "wide range of normal" and "medical diagnosis". SOME children (perhaps your friends' children) may be in a grey area...however, others (including the children in these two threads) clearly are not. Regardless of whether you have personally encountered them or not, there are children (often in the context of some serious medical or social issue in early life) who will starve if offered a diet that typical children would eat. In the most extreme cases, some children literally won't eat anything.
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:11 PM   #15
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Thanks so much for this thread! We are cruising on the 23rd and have been worried about the same things concerning food. My son also likes the taste of Kraft or Annie's mac and cheese. Just thought of an idea. Maybe they can serve plain pasta with butter and if we bring some of the cheese sauce with us we can add it to the pasta. It's worth a try! : )
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