Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Got Milk???

So I may have stated in a previous post that we have been having a hard time getting Maria to eat much of anything these days. Foods she used to love, she won't even touch. The only vegetable she will eat is cooked carrots...and that's on a good day. Maybe she will eat a banana, or play in some applesauce for a while. Other than that, she will only eat starches (rice, french fries, bread, crackers, toast) and dairy products (cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt.) Of course, she will eat any junk food she sees...chips, pretzels, cookies, etc. We try not to give her these items, but most of the time she sees Gerry or myself eating them. (I know...I'm we're terrible parents!).

But I think the biggest staple in Maria's diet for the past 8 months has been milk. She doesn't care if it's whole or skim or anything in between. She likes chocolate milk or white. She asks for milk first thing in the morning, a second cup before breakfast, milk with breakfast, milk for lunch, a cup after nap, one or three before dinner, and one before bed.

Without even realizing it, we have allowed our daughter to become a full blown milk addict.

Some toddlers are attached to the sippy cup...Maria doesn't even care about that. After she chugs the milk, she either gives us the cup back, puts it in the fridge herself or sets it on the table.

While I'm guessing this is my "a-ha" moment, many of you are thinking "Duh!" No wonder she won't eat anything. I guess I just didn't realize how bad it was. When things are crazy around here (and they usually are) and I'm trying to get Naomi to sleep, or feed her or change her diaper and Maria's literally hanging on the refrigerator door handle screaming "MIIIIIILLLLKKK! MIIIIILLLLKKKK!" What else can I do but give it to her.

While speaking to a dietitian about Naomi's difficult eating habits, we mentioned Maria's lack of love for food these days. She said that Maria should only be getting 24 ounces of milk per day. TWENTY FOUR OUNCES??? Are you kidding me? Of course she wasn't. She also said that if Maria eats cheese for lunch than she should only get 16 ounces. Holy cow! I think on an average day, she's been drinking double that! We never even payed attention, just filled up the sippy cup and handed it to her.

So, we decided to start rationing out her milk. We filled a sports bottle with 24 ounces. That's all she gets for the day. When she begins begging for milk, we offer her water, or juice (juice is VERY diluted, by the way) She still doesn't like it, but guess what??? She's been eating a lot better. I wouldn't say great, but better.

She does get a cup in the morning, but now a cup is only 4 ounces, when it used to be who knows how much. The good think is, she doesn't seem to complain when it's gone. Hopefully her eating habits continue to improve and maybe a gallon of milk will last a little longer in our house!!!

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