We're having what I think you would call a few "issues" with the kids at the moment when it comes to meal times. Little Miss C (who is now three and a half) is becoming increasingly fussy over food and Master C (now near enough 17 months old) seems to prefer throwing food rather than eating it. Needless to say it's driving me mad and making mealtimes rather stressful for everyone.
When Netmums got in touch saying that they were looking for bloggers to review PaediaSure I jumped at the chance. I'm constantly worried that Little Miss C is not getting the balanced diet that she should, especially as she is such an active little girl and seems to burn off so much energy.
In the interest of completeness I should add that Netmums were specifically looking for reviewers over 2 years of age – I haven't therefore been giving Master C the PaediaSure that we were sent as part of my review, but it is designed for all children aged 1 to 10. As Master C's fussy eating started when he was just 11 months old (considered young for "normal" fussy eating problems) we're currently talking to our GP and Health Visitor about his eating and I'd hold off trying anything like PaediaSure on him without talking to them first.
LMC's fussy eating very much goes in phases. Some days she will just refuse to eat everything put in front of her at mealtimes, but will constantly ask for snacks between meals complaining that she's hungry. There are other days though when she will completely clear her plate and ask for seconds. If I could work out what triggers each behaviour I'm sure I'd be a rich woman!
With LMC I've been looking to use the PaediaSure as a bit of a top up for when the fussy phases hit. We were sent the chocolate flavour to review and taste-wise it's been a big hit, tasting a bit like a chocolate milkshake.
You make up the PaediaSure shake with 190ml of room temperature water and 5 scoops of the powder. This makes up 225ml of shake, which is actually quite a big drink. It's possibly a sign that LMC doesn't generally drink enough during the day, but I actually found that it took her a long time to get through that much liquid. It's suggested that you give PaediaSure between meal times and I was therefore offering it to LMC after unsuccessful meals. As it took her so long to drink it though I think that actually she was still full from the shake by the time it came to her next meal as she then used the excuse that she was "full" so as not to eat what was put in front of her!
The PaediaSure shake comes in three different flavours – strawberry, chocolate and vanilla – and whilst the chocolate one was a big hit with LMC it did feel a bit strange that I was there asking her to drink a chocolate shake, yet chocolate is something which we usually associate with being a treat. I'm not sure if she would go for the other flavours as much, but they might overcome this chocolate "issue".
I did notice that once she had finished her shake she certainly seemed recharged, much in the way that she does when she's had a good meal when hungry. I've no doubt that the PaediaSure shake was giving her the extra nutrition that she was missing from not eating properly, but it's obviously hard to see outward signs of that unless you were seeing distinct problems beforehand. It contains a balance of 26 vitamins and minerals and being especially designed for children, it contains protein, vitamin D and calcium for strong bones, as well as iron to support brain development. The people behind PaediaSure, Abbot Nutrition, have been making specialist nutrition products for years and I know that my late father had some of their products during his cancer treatment, so I'm very sure about their credentials in this business.
Our mealtimes are really quite disturbed at the moment with Master C's food throwing antics and it's therefore hard for LMC as the advice we've been given by the HV for Master C is to try to ignore him throwing his food, yet LMC sees us not putting any pressure on him to eat and therefore doesn't like it when we ask her to actually eat something. We kind of need a plan and routine that will fit both kids as I fear that trying to do different things with both of them will end up being more hassle than it's worth.
Via their Fussy Eaters website Abbot have put together a 12 week "back on track" eating plan which I would like to try to follow with both children. We have another Doctors appointment for Master C in 10 days time and as long as his test results come back clear I'll be looking to start the 12 week plan with them both after that. The first week of the plan is looking at the existing eating habits and patterns and this is exactly what we've already been doing for the GP with Master C, so it should be easy to extend this to LMC too.
Having fussy eaters is putting quite a bit of strain on mealtimes here at the moment and I have to say that having the PaediaSure to help me ensure that LMC is really getting everything she needs has helped me relax a bit about them. If I could then do the same for Master C then it would make me dread mealtimes a whole lot less. We obviously need to address the underlying problems, but I'm hoping that the 12 week plan and the support of the GP in Master C's case will help with that. Fingers crossed that this fussy eating phase doesn't go on too much longer!
Disclaimer: I am a member of the Netmums Blogging Network, a unique community of parent bloggers from around the UK who have been handpicked by the Netmums team to review products and brands on their behalf. I have been paid expenses and supplied with a product sample for this review but retain all editorial control. All my Netmums Reviews will display the Netmums logo within the post.
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