Problem Eater (way different than a picky eater!)

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by karyn0995, Sep 1, 2012.

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  1. Momma2Jax

    Momma2Jax DIS Veteran

    Jan 26, 2012
    I thought Your point was very good, it is a good time to see if there are new things he may enjoy without the pressure! My post wasn't referring to your suggestion :)
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  3. Tinknalli

    Tinknalli DIS Veteran

    Apr 19, 2011
    I can sympathize as DS 9 has some of the same issues, but they have lessened as he has gotten older. He had a wonderfule experience on the cruise. Our first lunch onboard was at Enchanted Garden. DS looked at the buffet and took nothing. We told him he could get something up on deck afterward and he sat at the table and was waiting for us to finish. The head server saw that DS was not eating and asked what the problem was. We explained that he was "very picky" and the head server asked what he would like and offered mac n cheese (nothing like kraft and DS would not eat it the entire cruise) or chicken fingers and fries. DS asked for the chicken and fries and soon had a platter in front of him.

    At breakfast the buffet was great as he found plenty of pancakes, waffles, hash browns, bacon, sausage etc.

    Lunch was never a problem as there are plenty of chicken, fries, pizza, hot dogs, rice and pasta on the buffet.

    At dinner we looked at pictures before we went and we set a goal for him to try one new thing. He decided he would have the wild boar. He loved it and still talks about it. For the rest of the week they were very accomodating from providing lettuce only salads with italian dressing, to mixing and matching items from various entrees and having the oreo cookie sunday every night for him for desert.

    Of course it would have been much harder if we had taken him when he was 4. It has been hard but we make progress all the time, building on this that he currently eats. Good luck it will get easier.

    Look at the food porn thread for pictures of the mac n cheese etc.
  4. braysmommy

    braysmommy DIS Veteran

    Dec 10, 2010
    Pasta is bigger then Kraft, but was normal and not mickey shaped,so your DS will be able to tell by looking at it that it's different. It is also a bit softer in texture which was fine for my DS.
  5. Lintasare

    Lintasare Holy Carp!

    Jul 16, 2007
    Ok I gotta is Disney food complex?
  6. racingfandj

    racingfandj Mouseketeer

    Aug 4, 2012

    Talk to your head waiter in advance. I've read they are available on embarkation day for special requests. My niece wanted to order something one night that she really liked the night before. She asked for it and the waiter told us if we had given some notice he could have had it ready, but couldn't do with short notice.

    You're obviously used to managing his eating and I think everything will go great. There were fresh fruits on the kids menu every night. I let my DD eat whatever she will and would be hard-pressed to find a day in the last 4 months that she didn't have chicken nuggets at some point. On our cruise, I think she ate the chicken strips at lunch and supper every day. Relax and have a great cruise!
  7. kuhltiffany

    kuhltiffany DIS Veteran

    Dec 28, 2011
    Food allergy and Asperger's mom here;)

    Cabanas' will be your best friend. It's open for breakfast and lunch and you can carry things out. It's got boxed cereals, milk cartons, lots of different cut up fruits, etc. I brought my own re-usable containers, loaded them up and kept them in our fridge.

    Have a great cruise!
  8. mickeymousepuppy

    mickeymousepuppy Mouseketeer

    Mar 13, 2009
    As a child therapist, I have worked with a wide variety of children food issues. It has a lot to do with tactile sensitivity, anxiety, routine, etc. I can also relate personally with my son who has ADD. He just turned 13yo and we are finally able to go places without bringing fruit salad! :cool1: We share your struggles and can empathize. It has improved significantly with age and my friends son's issues are significantly less now that he's in college. Hang in there. I bet you could start a poll of how many thousands of parents would love to see Disney serve craft mac & cheese, then forward it to Disney. Probably not in two weeks though, but you would be praised by many future cruisers. :worship:Good Luck!

    Happy Sailing!
  9. 5Dreamers

    5Dreamers Mouseketeer

    Jun 3, 2011
    We had our first cruise this May on the Fantasy. My DD, who is also 5, eats a very limited number of things. She doesn't eat mac'n'cheese or chicken fingers, won't eat most types of bread, especially won't eat buns, not even most kinds of pizza, if that gives you an idea.
    Of the five of us, she is the only one who lost weight (just a bit), the rest of loved the food and gained weight.

    I learned as we went, figuring things out a bit more each day. I started off having her try the regular kids offerings, but that never went over well. Then I started asking for something offered on the kids menu paired with something not on the menu that she might actually eat (ex.watermelon). I ended up just ordering for her the night before, and even that didn't always appeal to her. She mostly ate french fries, watermelon and strawberries.

    They definitely can bring items not on the menu. Talk with your server the first night, let him/her know what the situation is.

    I was a bit stressed that it didn't seem DD ate enough, but she did eat. We let her eat as much as she wanted, only limiting the amount of dessert type items she could have at one sitting (to prevent a sugar overdose). As I mentioned earlier, she did lose a bit of weight, but the cruise was only one week. I brought her vitamins on the cruise, and she gained back the weight after returning home to her normal foods.
    I think she also was tired from the change in routine and all the activities, the pool/aquaduck/splash zone, the detective agency, and the activities in the kids club. This may have affected her appetite as well.

    If we cruise again, I would bring a box of her favorite cereal because they didn't have it on board, and maybe a few things that can be kept in our room and eaten as needed.

    I'm sure you will still have a great cruise! Good luck!
  10. kristinfly2

    kristinfly2 Mouseketeer

    Jun 7, 2012
    Hi! As I am reading these posts and other similar ones I am so thankful our special needs daughter (9) is a great eater! She is a super slow eater but will eat almost anything! My DS5 on the other hand has always had issues with food. Even as a baby he wouldn't eat any baby foods with meat in them. He also has to smell everything before he eats it! LOL. It sounds like DCL is great about everyone's food issues! When we go on our cruise in November we will encourage everyone to try new stuff but it is a vacation!!! :)
  11. WinstonC

    WinstonC Mouseketeer

    Apr 23, 2011
    What do you mean, exactly? How was the food too "complex"?
  12. love280mickey

    love280mickey Mouseketeer

    Jun 4, 2012
    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.
  13. jilljill

    jilljill <font color=blue>Collects Disney men!<br><font col

    Jan 21, 2003
    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.
  14. SoCaOC-Mom

    SoCaOC-Mom DIS Veteran

    May 30, 2010
    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.
  15. karyn0995

    karyn0995 Mouseketeer

    Jan 17, 2012
    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! :cool1:
  16. RedxPanda

    RedxPanda DIS Veteran

    Aug 1, 2004
    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 :)
  17. Yokelridesagain

    Yokelridesagain Mouseketeer

    Dec 7, 2011
    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.
  18. mamabubble

    mamabubble Earning My Ears

    Apr 1, 2010
    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! : )
  19. love280mickey

    love280mickey Mouseketeer

    Jun 4, 2012
    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.
  20. love280mickey

    love280mickey Mouseketeer

    Jun 4, 2012
    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.
  21. ScrappinGran

    ScrappinGran Mouseketeer

    May 26, 2006
    Could you possibly bring Kraft Easy Macs with you? Would your child eat those? You'd only need hot water. It's not exactly the same as the boxed kind, but close. Just an idea. Hoping all goes well for you!
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