When Little Dude began treatment about seven months ago, the doctors warned us that his eating habits may change. In fact, they told us a story about one little boy who would only eat one thing for the entire course of his year-long treatment: Cool Ranch Doritos. His mother had to buy it in caseloads just to keep her son eating and happy. As soon as his treatment finished, the boy could not even look at a package of Cool Ranch Doritos and his regular eating habits resumed. We laughed at the story, thinking something that extreme would never happen with Little Dude, who had a pretty varied and mostly healthy diet.
Initially, the only change we noticed was that after treatment, Little Dude was very sensitive to strong odors. Suddenly, we felt like we were living with a pregnant lady, who complained about the smells of chicken nuggets, fish and tomato soup.
The next change that happened was that he decided he didn’t want to drink orange juice anymore. We actually rejoiced over this, because we used to call him the “juice boy” as he drank way too much of it. We smugly congratulated ourselves that a bad juice habit had been resolved without any effort on our part.
And then one day, Little Dude asked for bacon. We gave him two pieces. He asked for two more. On some days, he’d eat anywhere from 4-8 slices of bacon. Bacon became his breakfast every morning, usually with sliced apple or pear on the side. And then for lunch, he’d ask for a hot dog, with ham and salami on the side. I’m talking about a meat fiesta! It was enough meat to make me wish I turned vegetarian.
But, I figured as long as he was eating, I wasn’t about to try to sway him to eat more vegetables and less sodium nitrates.
Then came the soda. Although we have Diet Coke in the house, we keep it off limits to the kids. Only my husband and I are allowed to fill our bodies will caffeine and chemicals. We allow the dudes to have sodas when we go out to eat or for “special occasions” but other than that, we have a no-soda rule.
Well, that rule was thrown by the wayside pretty quickly. Even the doctors encouraged it: As long as he’s drinking something, that’s what counts. I still do my best to limit Little Dude’s soda intake, but when you see your child with an upset stomach on a regular basis, how can you refuse him a carbonated beverage? Pass the Sprite, I say!
And so now, after many months of treatment, Little Dude’s diet has evolved into essentially eating various parts of a pig, followed by a carbonated chaser.
I figure his tastes will return to normal after treatment, just like the Doritos’ boy. And if not, at least I don’t have to worry about his protein intake since I think he’s already surpassed his lifetime quota.
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