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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Feeding Challenges

Carter has been quite difficult to feed lately, because he only eats pudding.  I know it sounds terrible, but it's true.  He coughed so much with applesauce that we stopped doing that.  He didn't like his yogurt or jars of baby foods anymore, so we stuck with what he liked.  I thought I was doing a pretty good job, because people kept telling me he has chunky legs and he isn't dehydrated.  We are waiting for his G Tube surgery on Sept 2nd and trying to keep him maintained until then.  Since he hasn't gained weight in about 5 months, I have been trying to get him to drink or eat as much as possible.  I went from feeding him 3 times a day, to feeding him 4 times a day and sometimes twice at night.  He isn't eating as much at each sitting, but it seems to be all he can handle.  His feeding specialist said this was quite normal.  The frustrating part is feeling like I work at it so many times a day, but overall he isn't getting much at all.  And the waking up at night part has been extremely frustrating and tiring.

His feeding specialist told me to go get a food processor and start making different foods.  Why am I so stressed out about this?  Well, because I don't like cooking at all, I am alone at nights for dinner because my hubby works, and I'm not creative with food.  I am also nervous about this change because Carter doesn't seem to like many foods, but I guess I need to at least try and introduce him to new kinds.  I know most Moms probably already do this, but since my baby isn't "normal", he provides a bit more of a challenge.  So I went and bought a food processor, a mini one, and I'm going to give it a shot.  I may not do meats because eww, that grosses me out.  She suggested making a cheese sauce and mixing it with veggies or meats.  Here is the recipe, she said it is delicious:
Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a sauce pot over medium heat, then add 2 Tablespoons flour.  Mix until smooth.  Slowly add 1 Cup of milk to this and stir until it begins to get thick.  Add 1 Cup of cheese (cheddar, Swiss or Parmesan) to this and stir until melted.  Add salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg to taste.  Parmesan is great on broccoli, or if you add some pesto to this, it's great with chicken and pasta.  A combination of Swiss and Cheddar makes a really good sauce for mac and cheese. 

Sounds simple enough, and then she said to freeze in an ice tray and thaw the leftovers.  I think I'll try the cheese sauce with spinach first, then work my way to more creative things like possibly asparagus or mac & cheese.  Why cheese sauce?  Because it's high in fat, calories, calcium and more.  She said what little Carter will eat, we have to pack with as much as possible.  Any suggestions for simple things to try in my new food processor?  We are on a tight budget so I'm wondering what else to try.  I know he needs protein, so what should I try?
I know it might sound weird, but I'm having a hard time with this new change.  Some days I'm like, okay I am doing alright.  Then we have to add new things to his therapy routine, and then I get that down, and then something else comes up.  I don't complain much, but I've been getting really down about it lately.  I guess I'm nervous waiting for the next thing to happen.  Most families, not all, have healthy and normally developing kids.  Sure they have their own challenges, but it's not the same.  When I think of the future, I think that I am going to have to carry Carter around, help him dress and bathe and eat for so long...I am going to have a "baby" for a long time still and he is 20 months old.  Some days I cope well, and others like now I start to freak a little.


  1. Heather - First off - YOU are amazing. You are SO right. Your situation is far different and your challenges are something I could hardly imagine. This must be such a heart draining time.
    2nd - You will LOVE your food processor. I would totally reccomend taking it back and getting a bigger one. The glory of making your own food is that it is SO inexpensive and like the doctor said, just freeze the food in ice cube trays. Instead of doing this every night or at every meal..... have someone come over and watch Carter while you make multiple meals and freeze them in ice cube trays. I only had 3 or 4 baby food making sessions with Claire and she is 9 months old and I'm still rotating the food I made. I just pop the food cubes out once they are frozen and put them in ziploc baggies. - When I'm ready to use them, just put 1-3 cubes into a little bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or you can take out what you are planning to feed him the night before and let it thaw.
    There is no need to make anything abnormal... Add a little water to food and it pure's soooo easy.
    I was kind of grossed out about the meat thing too but it's an AWESOME way to get LOADS of fat and protien. Just make spaghetti with ground beef or chicken alfredo ... and pure.
    I want to have you over so we can make a few meals together. Maybe one night when our husbands can take care of our kids so we can focus, you could come over and we can have a mass baby food making night - what do you think? I'm going out of town tomorrow and won't be back until Wednesday ... but after that, when our husbands can take the kids, I'm totally up to helping - I have a deep freezer so there is lots of room for lots of ice cube trays..... let me know!! :)

  2. Hang in there! It'll get easier. Whit was a picky eater for so long but now she finishes her dinner faster than most kids. When we used to do calorie packing for her, we did a blended up mix of avocado and froze it the same way you're doing the cheese mix. It works pretty well. Just takes some getting used to. I'm guessing cheese will be tastier than avocado for a kid too. ;-) Good luck!

  3. Thanks cara, I wrote you on Facebook. And Nate, I hope it gets easier. Anymore tips??