It’s all about muscles

August 25, 2008 at 6:52 am 7 comments

     Someone showed C muscles recently, and tied muscles to protein. I’m not sure if he watched the weight lifters on the Olympics or if he saw a picture of Popeye, but enter the latest obsession: protein counts in food. Despite my attempts to talk to him about a balanced diet, he really only wants to eat high protein foods. It has nothing to do with cravings, or what his body needs, but rather with muscles and numbers. 

     This is C’s latest in a long stream of obsessions having to do with numbers. The idea of each food having a different protein content is very appealing to him. It makes sense of his world – he can compare and contrast and order. He’s starting to notice the other numbers on the labels too. Tonight he asked me what “deriby filer” is. Slow Mommy, but it took me a few minutes of questions to figure out he was talking about “dietary fiber.” Not wanting him to go overboard on that one, I again brought up the need for balance in his foods.

     Perhaps I can use this latest obsession to help him both gain weight and eat foods he has feared in the past. The “failure to thrive” diagnosis that seems to follow him around like a lost puppy could maybe blossom into something resembling more than a big head atop a skinny body. If I could mock up a label for ice cream that reads “50 g protein” on it I might be in business. Or maybe I could turn macaroni and cheese into something desirable by giving it a very high protein content. Cakes, puddings and cookies? Yup, high protein. Eat all you want, kid. Rice crackers that he loves but have zero caloric value? Nope, C, low protein content, don’t eat those.

     I think I might be on to something.

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jesch  |  August 25, 2008 at 8:20 am

    can’t wait to tell him lima beans are high in protein…

    Yup, good luck with that one, cruel Auntie J! We’re just waiting for you to get here to try good old lima beans.

  • 2. FXSmom  |  August 25, 2008 at 9:18 am

    What a funny obsession…but he could grow up to be on heck of a nutritionish or maybe the Surgeon General!?!?

    Now that’s the most useful use of an obsession I’ve heard yet. I’m liking the Surgeon General thing. He’d probably be perfect! LOL! I’ll see if I can steer him in that direction.

  • 3. robinaltman  |  August 25, 2008 at 9:43 am

    This could definitely work towards your advantage! You can pump him up! (Saturday Night Live reference)

    Yup, that confirms it. We’re of the same generation. I remember that skit! Nowadays I can’t stay up that late anymore. When I do (rarely), I’m always amazed at how much SNL has changed, yet stayed the same. Weird.

  • 4. pixiemama  |  August 25, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Mmm, protein…
    Have you tried making him smoothies with whey protein? It’s what athletes and body builders use for building muscles.

    It’s also very convenient for hiding supplements, if necessary!


    I wish I could get him to drink a smoothie – I’ve tried many times, and I think the whole combo of things freaks him out. He’s not one to eat things with too many ingredients, if that makes sense. But I keep trying, because I know that’s the way to go. Unfortunately, whey is from milk, which we can’t have. 😦 And his doc didn’t want him to have soy, so those bulk-building protein shakes (believe me, I have hoped) don’t work. But I’m going to keep trying – haven’t tried a shake/smoothie in awhile, maybe he’s ready!

  • 5. mama mara  |  August 25, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Our mutual blogfriend, pixiemama, introduced me to you. Hello!

    Isn’t it great when their obsessions are useful? I have an unfortunate friend whose son is stuck on vacuum cleaners, memorizing all brands, all models for each brand, each model’s compatible vacuum bags, etc. He knows it all, but does he ever actually operate one? Nope. Too loud.

    I knew that was going to be the ending of your story – too loud! Maybe he’ll get over it someday. C has started to get over it lately, so I’m pretty happy about that! But an obsession with vacuums is one I hope won’t happen here, but one never knows as C cycles through them from time to time. Anyway, thanks for visiting. On my way to visit you! 🙂

  • 6. goodmum  |  August 25, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    It’s confirmed, now. We’re parenting the same child. Oh, sure, they’re in different bodies; that’s just to trick us, though. Let’s not be fooled, Darcy.

    Protein is a huge obsession at our house, too! If you tell Little Man that something has protein in it, he’ll announce it to the world, every time he sees someone eating it. He’ll also tell them that it’s going to build their muscles. Then he refuses to eat it. Unless it’s chicken or cheese…. Sigh…

    Same kid. Honest.

    That is SO funny – they really are similar little dudes. He just has to read the nutrition label on every single piece of food in the house. Goodness. As obsessions go, this one isn’t to irritating or problematic – unlike the obsession with plumbing and toilets. Now that one was bad….

  • 7. embracingspirit  |  August 25, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    LOVE that! and you are right–some “areas of interests” can be a little tricky…..this one sounds ok! 🙂

    As the perseverations go, this one is mostly okay, although when he asked me if I could add some sodium to his cereal, I had to roll my eyes!


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