Friday, July 9, 2010

RAD and food hoarding

Children who suffered from severe neglect sometimes hoard food.  They sometimes fear not having enough food. They sometimes just fear not having enough........There is a hole there, you know. It is sad.  When my kids hoard food I know they are hurting.  I fight my own battles with emotional eating and they are no where as severe, but I get it.

Now my boys are teens. They eat from sun up to sun down. Maybe during the night. This is not always emotional eating but is sometimes they are growing about an inch a minute. Well, maybe not quite that much. It is very hard to separate teen boy eating from emotional eating.

I have found the best way to handle food hoarding is to give them as much food as they want. "I know you need more food, so I made a lot.  Please keep eating." I make more deserts than I used too just so I can give them something sweet and yummy from me. 

I have heard of people who give their kids goodie bags to keep in their room. They do this only for the hoarder and state clearly "This is because you are afraid you will not get enough. I'll know when you are learning to trust because you won't need it any more." I have heard of successes, but have not tried it personally.

I try not to get emotional when I find empty packages in their rooms. There is already enough emotion tied into that food.

We used to have times when they would eat at the dinner table until I thought they would be sick. I'd simply say "That is all for now. Now you are doing emotional eating. Listen to your body."  There were times when they would refuse to eat. "Fine. Let me know when you are hungry."

No emotion tied to food. Tough one.

Notice I say used too because the teen years changed everything. I can no longer tell.  Maybe all teen boys have RAD : ) (humor arh arh)

Have a healing weekend


Rachel said...

we have food issues... I now keep snacks in my bedroom so Bip doesn't have the need to come and just take... he can ask and know he will get 1st thing in the morning... I like the idea of the a goodie bag....but ye teenagers, oh my goodness what do I do when he becomes a teen... is it like feeding on demand ?

Brenda said...

Well, I can only say what I do, not is right for you, but I just feed them as much as I can. I make big meals, I keep the fridge full and use words like. "Eat all you want. I bought this for you so you will have enough to eat and I want you to feel full." or if I make a desert "I made this for you. Eat as much as you want." It is amazing with those instructions how much less they want because they don't feel denied. They still eat a lot right now. They are 15, 18 and 18.

Integrity Singer said...

Sissy gorges (used to sneak and hide food)

we use Free Foods (rule adapted from tudusamom) Eat one entre with unlimited servings of fruits and veggies. Sissy still gorges but at least I know it's good food she's over eating.

Becky said...

I am so blessed to have found your blog. I have two RAD sons. We have been together for 14 years now. My younger son has some issues with food. I have a drawer in his room where I slip snacks into and he can eat them when he wants.

Laynie said...

My son hoards food. Sometimes he eats it and sometimes he just stashes it. I gave him a container with snacks he selected to keep in his room with the only condition being he put the trash back in the container, critter purposes. He ate maybe one and continued to steal from the kitchen. He is almost 13 now and you are right, the eating never stops. He will ask for snack foods or sweets only, I will request something healthy be eaten first sometimes. If he asks to do something and I say no (play video games, etc) then his 3rd or 4th request is always for food. This is usually the only time I deny it and I let him know it is because he is bored and not hungry. I now have a lock on the pantry where I keep all the sweets/salty foods. The amount of unhealthy food he was ingesting was becoming worrisome. He will still steal some but the amount is greatly lessoned since he can't always get to it. I hate the food issues, I always feel torn on how to handle it. If he just over ate anything, that would be different. Unfortunately, it is only the bad stuff. I considered not buying them, but he will have to deal with it at some point and better that he not go crazy as an adult...I guess. Sorry for the novel....

ali said...

just last night, after 2am at some point or another, he ate NINE boiled eggs that kristin was intending to make her lunches for the week out of, and EIGHT egg rolls that Courtney had bought with her 10$ in babysitting money(shes an adopted PTSD kid too- big shock!). i told him he'd have to give her the 10$ back and let it go, but what really irked me was that, as usual, he denied the whole thing. yah... the other kids wake up to eat NINE eggs LOL. the fact is, we got rid of the TV weeks ago, so now hes eating twice as much overnight because hes mad about the Tv being gone. im no dummy. he only ate the foods in the hosue that were slated for something specific and were "owned" by someone specific. then, after he got up today, he ate the ONLY cereal ive asked the kids not to eat. sure, he chose low fat "Kashi go lean" granola over frosted flakes in his mind. yah.. ok.. right.. sure. ;) RAD SUCKS.

Cecelia said...

So interesting to see this site! We have a 14 year old girl that has had issues since the 1 st day she entered out lives- food along with everything else in this blog and much much more...I am ready to try the no worry food idea, had not tried this yet.. due to tummy issues that we just got ironed out and just not going that route- it sounds like the natural way to deal. We are happy o see that we are not the only one having food isuues- I would not really wnat anyone to live with RAD- life is not a "Fairy Tale"

Brenda said...

Cecelia and Laynie,

Welcome. It is so nice to meet you both. I have not been blogging as much as I was as I am working on a master's degree and am currently working 30 yours a week in internship. I will be done this fall some time! It is a struggle but things can get better. Focus on attaching and not the lack of attachment. I think that is key.