Ellie Bear Picnic & How to Eat an Orange

We have been having some food struggles with Ellie recently.  Typical toddler behavior for sure.  That exertion of power.  The struggle for control.

For the longest time, if she threw the food, that was it.  No more.  I would offer her a couple choices and if she refused them both, so be it.  I am not a short order cook.  Actually, I am not a cook at all, but that is another story.  If Ellie didn't eat, fine.  I would try again a few hours later and that was that.  I gave her choices of food and it was her choice whether or not to eat it.

Until she lost weight.  Weight gain has been a constantly struggle for The Bellie Bear since 18 months of age.  The age that Ellie learned to run walk.  This girl is on the go all. the. time.  Even while sitting she plays with such gusto that I am certain she is burning more calories than I do running.   The Boney Chunky Chicken zips all over the place and is always climbing (this is part of her sensory processing disorder).  Ellie Bear needs to eat more calories than the average adult due to her caloric expenditure.  Anyway, she fell off her growth curve, drastically.

Unable to fatten Ellie us the usual dietary ways due to a milk intolerance that leads to spiting up resembling an exorcism, I started getting creative with Ellie's almond milk--adding in coconut oil, peanut butter, a banana, and flaxseed all pureed into a smoothy.  I am sneaky like that.

Another tactic recommended by our ECI therapist was to change mealtimes up a bit.   We had a freak day of 92 degree weather and I declared it a picnic day!  I gathered a blanket, my camera of course, and boxes of food.  Ellie and I sat, okay I sat and Ellie wandered, in the front yard under our great oak trees and are you ready?. . . The Bear ate an entire graham cracker.  Without throwing it.  It took her an entire 20 minutes of sauntering about the yard with it, but she ate it.  This from the girl who lives off raisins.

This past Friday was our 2nd nutrition consult and Ellie has gained back her weight plus a 1/2 pound!  I think it was the almond milk shakes :)



  1. Yay!!! Way to go Ellie (and mom for the almond shakes!)

  2. I have Aziza on almond milk too ... and we also have a struggle with weight loss and trying to gain it back. Aziza is also "always on the go"! I LOVE the photo of Ellie with the orange :)

  3. We have the same problem with our Cooper. Always trying to fatten the kid up!! And he does the same 'toss it if I don't like it' thing. Drives me bananas! I will have to try your almond milkshake idea.

  4. Claire is usually a pretty good eater but I've found a change a scenery works well for her at meal times too. We usually eat breakfast sitting on the kitchen floor. Whatever works!


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