“Mork and Mindy”, a gorgeous brother and sister, were our first real introduction to children with food issues.
You learn so much in foster care training, but nothing really makes sense until you are living it.
These two darling kiddies, came to us as an emergency placement when their mum surrendered them.
They had two main issues we were dealing with on a daily basis and the one that sticks with me the most is their food issue.
I have NEVER seen two little people eat like them. Bearing in mind they are 4 and 7 years of age, a day in the food life of them consisted of:
Breakfast – cereal
2nd breakfast – toast (I’m sure they are little hobbitses)
Morning snack – fruit
Lunch – 2 1/2 sandwiches
Dinner and dessert.
These were skinny little kids, so like little camels, they were just filling their humps.
Obviously they weren’t used to having food on tap and we weren’t used to going through a loaf of bread a day.
This little problem came to light one morning. “Mork and Mindy” had had their first breakfast, and we would have toast with them at second breakfast, and one morning, it turned out there were only 4 slices of bread left. Seeing as the kiddies had already had cereal, I thought it reasonable that each person had one piece of toast, and then go shopping for top up groceries and if they wanted a second piece, they could have it once we got back.
“Mork” had a meltdown. There was no explaining to him that he could have more as soon as we got back, that, as he’d already had cereal he would be ok and not perish in the short time to get to the shops and back, and apparently completely unreasonable of me to eat a piece of toast myself.
It was such a dilemma.
Do I give him my piece of toast?
How does this help him learn about sharing (Mork was the 7 year old)
How do I reassure him that we aren’t purposefully trying to starve him?
In the end, MM went without his toast, and when we went shopping we got 2 loaves of bread so there would be plenty for breakfast in the morning.
Such a learning curve for us.
We now make sure we take kiddies grocery shopping as soon after they arrive as we can so they can help, we can get some of their favourites, and they can see plenty of food coming into the house. We also put a list of the main meals for the week on a whiteboard so they can choose something from the list for dinner. We’ve also got a plan if we find a munchkin hoarding food to give them a container of snacks that they can keep in their room so they have the safety net of knowing there is food just for them.
Any other suggestions?