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Old 02-22-2012, 06:59 AM
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small_steps small_steps is offline Member
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Location: Texas
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Default He Eats Dirt!

Ok...just used that line to draw some readers lol. I do have a child...I may have posted on him before months ago..I can't remember. He's really good but he never eats. I used to think it was because the mom gave him the bottle but I don't think she gives it to him anymore (he will be 2 in April). I think he has been off the bottle for a couple of months now. I say I think because she will tell me he's off or not getting one anymore and then a few days later he will come in with one, but he hasn't in many week so I think it's for real this time. So anyway, I thought maybe his not eating was because he was drinking so much milk everyday. He only eats snack foods (goldfish, crackers, any kind of cakes or donuts). He doesn't eat any other kinds of food whether it be pizza I'm serving, chicken nuggets, hamburger helper, baked chicken...nothing. I've got to wear I only serve him a little of each food I'm serving because he literally does not touch it.

He is an excessive drooler. It's kind of gross. NOt to be mean, but it just is. he drools all over everything. when he wakes up from nap his mat is soaked with drool and so is his face. His grandma always says he is sweating (implying that it's too warm in here) but its not. None of the other children are sweating and I know that is drool because he drools when he is awake too. It's usually all down the front of his shirt throughout the day. He always puts things in his mouth...more so than my other toddlers his age. I know that is normal but his is every day all day even after I'm constantly taking things from him and telling him not to put it in his mouth. Everytime he falls down (which is often since he's a toddler) he busts his mouth open because he has a toy or something up close to his mouth. He even chipped his two front teeth because he fell down at home with something in his mouth and whatever it was chipped his teeth when he fell.

The last thing is...he does eat dirt. I have to watch him extra close outside because he will shovel it in by the spoonfuls. Again, I know that some of this is normal. I've caught my other toddlers (mainly my 1 year olds, and maybe a little older) doing this at times but not as much and like I said he is almost two. My other two year olds don't really do this anymore and if I ever catch them they may eat a little, then realize it doesn't taste good and spit it out. But not him. He eats it like it tastes good. I know they say that if they eat dirt it's because their body is craving some nutrients or something that it needs.

Anyway, sorry this is so long, but my hope is that some of this will sound familiar and someone will know what's wrong with this child if anything. I feel like something is. Big brother has lots of issues and honestly mom and dad do as well. I've talked to mom about his not eating and she says he is just really picky. He used to eat baby food about 6 months ago. Mom says he didn't get it at home but I opened a jar of baby food for one of my babies and he went crazy wanting it so bad. So I gave him some and he ate the whole jar. He wont eat it anymore though. He does like yogurt and oatmeal so I thought maybe a texture thing? But anyway, is there any kind of disorders or anything that this sounds familiar of? All that drooling and the not eating just doesn't seem to be normal. Even my pickiest of eaters eat pizza and chicken nuggets or pb&J.
Should I talk more to the mom about it? And suggest she talk to the doctor more? I know they aren't worried about him right now because big brother has so many issues (behaviorally mainly) but he does have ADHD and he also has some anger issues (so says the counselor anyway). Anyway, I'm just a little worried about him.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:00 AM
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Cat Herder Cat Herder is offline
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Not much time to answer, but this should help...

1. Several studies have clearly demonstrated that iron deficiency anemia and iron deficiency impair mental and psychomotor development in infants and toddlers. Further, follow up studies years later have shown that these deficits are long lasting and possibly irreversible, despite the correction of the
iron deficiency.

2. Research has proven that iron deficiency increases lead absorption. In other words, an iron deficient toddler will absorb more lead from the environment than an iron sufficient toddler exposed to the same amount of lead. It is well known that lead poisoning can result in a permanent loss of I.Q. points. The higher the blood lead level the more damage to the developing brain.

This high prevalence of iron deficiency during the toddler years comes as no great surprise. A number of dietary changes that often occur around one year of age make the toddler particularly vulnerable to iron deficiency due to inadequate iron intake.

Of particular concern are the results of a current study showing that 32% of a large group of one to two year olds tested were found to have blood lead levels above 5ug/dL. What all this means is that we must try to keep our young childrens' blood lead levels as low as possible, the lower the better. It is a lot easier to help protect against lead absorption by simply preventing iron deficiency than it is to try to get rid of all the environmental lead around your child which, of course, is impossible.
- Unless otherwise stated, all my posts are personal opinion and worth what you paid for them.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:07 AM
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cheerfuldom cheerfuldom is offline
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Are there any other physical issues? I have one that just stopped using bibs at 2.5 because she drooled so much. She also has feeding issues which seems partially because of trouble swallowing and a sensitive gag reflex. She does not eat much at all but like your kiddo, will do puddings and yogurts type foods or small, cracker snacky items. She has been diagnosed as poor muscle tone and has some other delays....all related to muscle and strength.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:18 AM
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countrymom countrymom is offline
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I have the dirt eater here and he's almost 4 (in may) its iron he's lacking. But his mom keeps saying he'll outgrow it. He ate a dirty kleenex out of my gravol oil stained driveway. He eats sand like its a meal, he's now sneaking in the closet and eating the dirt off of the shoes. BUT, none of this behavior happens on my watch (the driveway thing happened when mom was here) I don't know if its because he eats crap all day or what. Instead of eating meals, they feed him "snacks" which they claim are healthy. He has also drank the maple syrup out of the bottle. He starts school in sept. I can see him eating chalk and glue.
I also find that when he's here, I feed him food with more iron, less sugar. Sugar is another problem with him.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:20 AM
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small_steps small_steps is offline Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 482

Thanks Catherder,
I hadn't thought of an iron deficiency but after reading the article that actually makes sense. I'm going to research that a little more too.

Cheerfuldom, any other symptoms? Not really. He doesn't talk as much as the others and he is a strange child but he's pretty smart and seems to be at the same level on everything else as my other kids his age. He is pretty clumsy though. I was thinking it could be some sort of oral disorder like you're saying. I just wish the mom would talk more with the dr. If either one of these could be prevented or something could help him I want her to know about it. The iron deficiency can definately be treated and I'm sure the other one could be worked with too.
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anemia, eats - dirt, eats dirt, iron deficient anemia, lead levels, malnourished, nutrition, special needs

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