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avoidable heartache around feeding and adoption?

Posted by on May 3, 2011 in Blog Posts | 6 comments

If you are fostering, considering adopting, waiting to have your child home with you, or have an adopted child and are struggling with feeding or weight worries, then this webinar is for you! Begin to learn to feed with confidence and bring peace back to the family table.

May 17th, 2011, from noon-1 pm through children’s home society and family services. Click on the link for registration page.

From their website:
“Feeding was absolutely central to attachment with our two children.”  Adopting families have special concerns around feeding, from unknown feeding history, neglectful or even abusive feeding past,  to weight and growth concerns. Dr. Rowell will share the Trust Model of feeding, (resourced on adoption web-sites, including University of Minnesota’s International Adoption Clinic) paying special attention to concerns with adoption, and illustrating key principles with case studies. There will be time at the end for your questions

I have just had too many conversations with clients and others who have been generous enough to share their experiences,  who have struggled around feeding. These struggles are all-too-common for all the families I work with, but adoption does bring up special consideration around food, feeding, trust and attachment.  I believe that this valuable information might save a lot of heartache…

-From two mothers who happened to call on the same day from opposite ends of the country, both with their toddler daughters having a history of malnourisment in their early months, then experiencing rapid weight gain, and incredibly, both placed on calorie restricion by their well-meaning but ignorant pediatricians (with predictable and unpleasant consequences.) One mom sadly shared  that all her time and attention, hours spent with an attachment therapist, seemed for nothing as they were constantly battling around food.

– Or the dad who called, confused and concerned about his son who is still “underweight” in spite of every effort to get the child to eat more, all of which seemed to make things worse.

We will review some cases, share words from parents who found that feeding was the cornerstone to attachment, and have time for individual questions.

Please spread the word. Oh, and if you’d like to share your experiences around adoption and feeding, good or bad, I’d love to hear from you.

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  1. Lynn

    I am unable to attend the session today. Will you be offering this again? We have an almost three year old son who since the age of 9 months (age we adopted him) is always wanting food. He will even go up to strangers and try and take their food away from them. We have spent the last year slowing down his eating, but he gets really upset if we interupt his eating by asking him to slow down. Anway, this webinar sounds like it could help so just curious if it will be offered again.


    • katja

      Hi Lynn,
      Yes, I will touch on this briefly. If you can’t do the live webinar time, I believe you can access it for two weeks after the fact. Contact CHSFS. Children who have experienced food scarcity will often find that even attempts just to slow them down feels like restriction, like you are trying to get him to eat less. This can be very scary for kids who have known hunger. Also, perhaps a phone call or two would be helpful. This is a common scenario, and one that can be improved for you all, I believe. Hang in there! A great resource in general is Satter’s “Your Child’s Weight, Helping Without Harming” almost all of it would be applicable, even with his history. Hope that helps!

  2. Beth

    I am looking forward to hearing the discussion tomorrow. I have a 3 yr old adopted son and I am always unsatisfied with the small amount he eats. He doesn’t have an ounce of fat on him and just never seems very interested in eating. He will eat a specified number of bites of a variety of foods if I promise him a sweet treat afterwards. Should I do that? My main concern is that he isn’t learning good hand-eye coordination by practicing spooning things into his mouth. I’m so envious when watching his young cousins spoon cereal or yogurt or applesauce into their mouths with hardly a spill. He pours half of it on his shirt because he’s just not interested in eating it and doesn’t focus on it. Are you going to tell me to not worry about it? That he won’t still be dripping yogurt everywhere when he’s an adult?

    • katja

      Beth, Glad you will be listening in! It’s normal to struggle with spoons for a long time. My M is 5 1/2 and only in the last year has she gotten better with spoons. it is normal for kids to use a combination of utensils and hands into grade school. The important thing is not making it into a battle, giving him opportunities to learn. There are probably other ways to work on hand eye coordination? Just a start, but I look forward to today. Gotta go!

  3. Joan

    I am interested in learning ways to help with our child who joined our family through adoption 7 years ago at age 19 months. He appears to continue to have some oral sensitivity issues with textures, does not intitiate eating (will just sit at the table and takes at least 30 minutes to 45 minutes to finish eating), and seems to chew and chew and chew (does not swallow). Upon joining our family he appeared to not know how to chew, did not know how to feed himself, screamed for the next bite of food before the food had been chewed/swallowed, seemed overwhelmed by the sights, sounds, smells at the dinner table. Meal times are so much better than 7 years ago and we can now go out to restaurants. My hope is to have the meal finished more timely without frequent reminders to feed himself and have meal time as something to look forward to for our son rather than something he seems to dread. He approaches the table assessing if he will “like” the food. He is not underweight, I think in the 10 to 25% range for body weight. I am not concerned with “bulking” him up, I would like him to “like” food.

    • katja

      will you be able to listen in tomorrow on the webinar? Also, this is something I could help you with with a phone call or two. Secrets to Feeding a Healthy Family is a great book. there are many variables, and a quick answer from a general email may miss something, but this is the kind of thing I will touch on tomorrow…