Thursday, May 28, 2009


Pushing your children past their comfort zone is usually hard. Throw in extra doctor appointments, 5 therapies a week, medications, and tube feeding, and its even harder. A few months ago, Alex went from shaking his head back and forth to avoid the spoon coming at him, to leaning in and opening his mouth. It was nothing I did, he just decided he wanted to eat. It did come along the same time he stopped throwing up a lot, so maybe his tummy, throat, ect just felt better.
So for a few months now we have been comfortable feeding him his pureed food, and he has been comfortable with it. Every once and a while I would stick an easy solid in, but I have never been constant. Its time to push! I don't want Alex on purees forever, and I certainly don't want him on his feeding tube forever, so its time to push. At every meal I am going to feed him some sort of solid, along with his pureed food. Banana, potato, cooked carrots, nutri-grain bar. You get the idea. I am also going to offer him his cup.
This started yesterday, and the first feed he did very well with the banana bites, but was very aversive to his cup, then the next two feeds he was fine with it all. This morning he also took his cup well, and handled the chunks. So long story short, I have to be consistent, and he will move forward. It will be a long road, we aren't anywhere close to taking out his button, and throwing away the tubes, but we are on the right road, as long as we don't get comfortable. Here is his pureed food, banana chunks, and some soft cookie. Also his blue cup that he drinks very well from.
Another department we are lacking in, even with his 5 therapies a week (ahem) is his sensory issues. So I am taking it upon myself to work on this with him. He doesn't love his hands to be dirty, but he tolerates it for a while, and he loves to squish his fingers together when they are covered in whip cream. The boy will not put his hands in his mouth, even covered in a sugary mess. He has to be clean, and away from food before his hands go into his mouth. Thank God he takes the spoon! So once a day we will be working on being messy.

So even though it takes more time, makes more of a mess, I have to push.
Because I am telling all of you, I will be consistent!!! That means everyday, every meal.


malette-foreveryoung said...

It take a lot patient and be consistent. I had and still have to do this with my 11yr old on all kinds of things. It is worth it in the end and very little bit of progress is progress.
You can do this because this is what your child needs

Lisa said...

Yeah for Mommy! I know how hard it is sometimes. My son has sensory issues and one of them was getting stuff on his hands.He has overcome that :)but still struggles with other ones.I'm routing for you !!! Yeah for mom and yeah for Alex!!!

Kerri H said...

This is a hard area for me also..but Logan has come so far...feeding is hard for us with the different textures of food also..sometimes I really hate dinnertimes! Oh well..we do what we need to! Good Luck and hugs to Alex from Logan!!!
By the way..he is getting ear tubes in two weeks..once again another outpatient surgery! Don't know yet if I am looking forward to that or not!!

Alicia said...

We are no where near where you guys are with feeding, but I have found that when I push Marissa, we get results.

Keep pushing, you're doing great!

Chris and Emily said...

Oh, how i hear you. We can so relate to the feeding stuff even though Cohen doesn't have a tube - he's still on almost all purees. We have been doing the same thing.. trying to do some sort of solid every meal - breakfast, lunch dinner. We have been able to go to real oatmeal, egg, waffle, or french toast with pretty good success at breakfast. Lunch and dinner are harder. He has finally taken to his straw sippy cup and will even do it all by himself!!! We are working on a regular sippy cup now...haven't tried a real cup. We do milk in a straw, juice in a snack a day is puree, one snack is "sort chewable" but you are so right - consistency with a little pushing is key!!!

You are doing a great job!!

The VW's said...

Keep on pushing Momma! Alex is doing great!

Finding Normal said...

That's my goal for this summer. Well, the part of the summer that isn't affected by cranial #3. Ugh.
I don't know how to teach her to chew. I am not a fan of giving her things that could break off and she could choke, like a breadstick or toast. I'm just too nervous. Any tips there?
Go Mama and Alex!

Brandi said...

Yes, remembering to push feeding skills is sometimes hard. In the beginning I was very determined to move Nathan along with textures, and I have to admit, I have slacked off and now see resistance to textures he had no problems with in the past. I also get pretty lazy with purees, they don't take a lot to prepare and are easy. Cutting everything into chunks takes a lot more time and energy,'s all worth it. Thanks for the post Jessica, it reminded me that I need to get back to pushing Nathan with his textures and feeding skills. My goal is to have him off of his tube by 3 and the only way to do that is to push! :)

Cathy said...

Ok, so whip cream in our home tomorrow. I did hear a clinic on this last year at our SOFT conference. How important it is that they be able to play with their foods, yuck! Thank you for the reminder about this and the fact that we must be consistant.

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Isn't that funny to have a kid that won't get messy? I have one of each. One that looks like Pigpen walking around from Charlie Brown and one that looks like Monk after she eats.
Go with your instincts, you know what he needs!

Jacqui said...

Hi Jessica

It is true that if we as parents are not intentional about stuff then it is easy for it to fall by the wayside. I guess it is like that about everything in life. I found with Matt though - the more I pushed the more he seemed disinterested. I have found Terri H-E's approach helpful - where you just keep exposing your child to as much as possible, and creating great PR for the experience. But it is up to them if they partake or not. LIke with this playing in texture thing. Matt was just not interested. So every week or so I would just introduce it putting some of food or sauce on his high chair table and mushing it around with my hand. He never showed interest until oneday he just did it and now he's ok with it.

One helpful hint that I received regarding the oral texture issue - is that gagging reinforces gagging. So if your child gags on something dont force it as it just builds the gag reflex. So you keep trying lots of things and stay away from something that elicits gags. I also found playing around with flavours of the same texture was good at helping Matt experience different sensations in his mouth.

And one last hint (I know you didn't ask for hints but I can't help myself, feel free to discard anything that doesn't fit:) )
I read that if you roll your bits of banana/avo (any slimey food) in the dry cereal then it makes it much easier to handle in the mouth.

All the best at being intentional...