It’s not supposed to be this hard…
It’s 10:34pm, I have been at this for hours and I just can’t get it right. How do I get my exclusively g-tube fed child to eat “properly”
I know most parents worry if they child is eating “properly”. But what is properly???? How many parents actually know the exact nutritional breakdown of their child’s daily diet. There are some that do, I know. Kids who have certain medical conditions need their food to be weighed – precision to the ounce is needed.
But for the rest… what is “properly”??? This isn’t a rhetorical question… I need an answer!!! Growth charts, energy levels, hydration – these are all indicators of “properly”. Most parent put healthy food in front of the kids, coax them, be role models and hope for the best. But they don’t actually “know” exactly the nutrition they are getting. But we’re not quite the same.
The problem is… I do know. I know exactly what my child is eating, because I weigh it, measure it and blend it all together every day. And meeting his nutritional needs is turning out to be next to impossible. Henry’s needs aren’t that far off from any other little 16 month old child. They are:
Calcium – 500 mg
Iron – 7 mg
Calories – 800-900 (slightly less than the average little guy)
Fibre – less than 19 grams. Since Henry’s previous commercial formula apparently had none, this must be increased slowly to give his body time to adjust.
protein – 9.9 grams
My problem is… the protein and fibre are WAY more than what he should be getting. Like 2-3 times more. Contrary to advocates of the Adkins diet, too much protein is not a good thing. It leads to kidney problems, dehydration, constipation, headaches, dizziness, confusion, fatigue and nausea (http://www.ehow.com/about_4741143_effects-much-protein-diet.html).
But how to balance it all???
One cup of soy milk and he has all the protien he needs for the whole day! He can’t have any other protien from any other sources… this makes no sense??? And how much is “too” much??? Why can’t I just pop some grains, fruits, veggies, rice milk, meat and oil into my Vitamix and flip the switch? Why can’t I trust that my little guy will get the nutrition he needs???
Because we’re in the medical world. Because we have more specialists than I can count. Because his dietition is wonderfully trying to “help”, by telling me what he’s missing and getting too much of.
Because I don’t trust myself.
How to get all the fruits, veggies, grains, meat, beans, etc that comprise a healthy, well-balanced diet – while meeting the “numbers”. I hate numbers! I hate that I have to use an excel spreadsheet to feed my child! I hate that everyone else has gone to bed and I’m still awake! I love the fact that at least it’s food I’m researching and not commercial formulas… but I still hate the rest of it (or at least I do tonight – this night, maybe I’ll change my mind tomorrow). Shawn told me to go to bed and work on it tomorrow and I know he’s right.
But for now I need to vent.
I need to say that I hate it a few more times… then maybe I’ll feel better.
But at least I will have tried.
And tomorrow… back to the spreadsheets.
ps… on a positive note, check out what his dietition said in her last email…
“If it were any other time for me, I’d be exploring Henry’s meals with you! I do think it’s exciting what you’re doing, I just want to make sure everything’s covered, and I’ve run out of time to do that, and I apologize!”
She’s “excited”… that’s a nice sentiment to hear. Unfortunately she’s going on holidays for 2 weeks…