“Mummy I’m hungry”

Research series:
Aspects of Sensory Processing Disorder.

I have wondered now for over a year how a 4 year old child could be hungry for what seems every minute of the day!
Most mornings Lou has already eaten more than me by 10 am!  A bowl of cereal at 6am, a banana, toast,  raisins etc! I try to offer the most healthy options I can but it’s so hard when Lou is a dry and beige food lover! I couldn’t understand why Lou is forever saying “I’m hungry,” I wondered if it was boredom but I then researched if it could be some connection to her Sensory Processing Disorder. I found out that fact we have 8 senses, the usual: taste, touch, hear, see and smell. But there is also proprioception and vestibular and an internal sense called interoception.

Interoception is a relatively unheard of sensory system. It is the sense responsible for detecting internal regulation responses, such as respiration, hunger, heart rate, and the need for digestive elimination.

From:

SPD Life

This means that Lou literally cannot regulate her hunger, she never feels full and therefore doesn’t feel satisfied that she’s eaten enough. When I spoke to my mum about this she said that I had this problem too as a child, I had a few weight issues until I was about 14 then went through a period where I ate hardly anything due to a social pressure of looking thin as a teenager. From the age of 21 my weight started to rise again and then even more after having 2 children! I have lost 3 stone since Moo’s birth in March 2015, but I am still struggling to feel full and I often see myself as greedy. As an adult I can self regulate and will tell myself that enough us enough, but at 4 years old Lou won’t have this self control yet. Luckily diets such as Slimming World help me to keep a control on my weight and I’ve still got a way to go.
I do worry about Lou’s weight and she is just like me as a child – solid and tall for her age – she is currently in age 6 to 7 years clothes!

Unfortunately Lou is not a fan of many vegetables especially potato, she’s not keen on pasta either, the all important filling foods! I am currently trialling using a sectioned plate as if certain foods aren’t touching she will eat them, she doesn’t like sauces but is a massive fan of chicken! She would literally eat the same thing everyday if she could!

The only thing other than this I can do is to continue to offer a variety of fruits and vegetables as she may find that she likes them,  up until a few months ago Lou would only eat bananas, now she will try apples, pineapple and sometimes satsuma. I will also wait in anticipation for this Occupational Therapy appointment that Lou has now been waiting for since October 2015!

Some people may think that I adhere to Lou as a ‘fussy eater’ but I’d say it’s not being ‘fussy’ it’s Sensory Processing Disorder ๐Ÿ™‚ And awareness is key to understanding her needs.

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚