Monday, September 26, 2011

Our Biggie-est Hurdle

It's been mentioned a few times, but one of the defining characteristics of our leviathan son is that...

Jace doesn't eat.

It is probably the one aspect of parenting that has caused me the most exasperation.

And, having spent two years with a tube-fed daughter, I think that's noteworthy.

While LC did require a G-tube for nearly two years of her life, it wasn't because she wasn't willing or able to eat.  LC was unable to suck.  So, when she was in the bottle-sucking stage of her development, she had to have an alternate route for nutrition delivery.  She began eating solid foods at the same as her non-toobied peers.  She's always had an adventurous and hearty appetite.  She rarely refuses food and is eager to try new things.  Eating has, honestly, never been an issue with Pudge.

And then came Biggie.

Biggie...who religiously gains at LEAST one pound/month eats the following.

Every.  Day.

One yogurt (room temperature.  He won't eat it cold.)

One serving of instant oatmeal, prepared with brown sugar and a tablespoon of peanut butter.

One 8 oz bottle of warm soy milk at nap time.

One 8 oz bottle of Pediasure at bedtime.

Throw in an occasional snack of Chee-tos Puffs and that is Biggie's daily diet.

Every.  Day.

So, recently, Biggs began attending weekly feeding therapy with the knock out therapist who taught LC how to successfully drink.

It's been a slow and painful process.

One of our current goals is to find foods that Biggs is willing to accept and hopefully use them to segue into other foods.  We're specifically trying to introduce flavors and foods that can act as dips, so that we can use them on top of new foods when they're introduced.

We're also trying to get him to independently engage with food, since mealtime delivery of all foods (even the daily yogurt and oatmeal) is always done by a parent and ALWAYS met with a fit from Jace.  We are guaranteed at least five minutes of wailing before we can successfully coax him into his first bite.   He obviously won't attempt to self-feed, since he'd prefer to be a non-eater if at all possible. 

One way to work toward those goals simultaneously is to present Jace with new foods that are ones he can interact with and play with, withOUT feeling pressure to eat. 

So, (outside of mealtime) he and I spend time together wallowing in various foods.

Today was ranch dressing day.
He usually begins these sessions with his security foot on the table.  And I let him.  Because this isn't meal time.  This is play time.  And putting his foot there seems to be his way of letting me know we're keeping this casual.

  Eventually, the foot comes down and he gets more active in his play.  Don't be fooled by the mouth covered in dressing, though.  That is all mom-applied.  I sneak swipes of what he's playing in across his mouth as he's distracted with the mess-making.  He can't stand to have the stuff on his lips, so he licks it off.  He's irked that I've done it, but he's usually busy enough making a mess that he doesn't pitch too impressive a fit.

We're a work in progress.  And I can guarantee this kid will have another birthday cake left untouched this year. 
But you never know what the next year might bring...


  1. Oh Biggs I was so hoping you would at least have a pinky full of icing this year. Hoping this time next year you are eating to keep up with your weight! =)

  2. I think I'm going to have to steal your idea of Biggie's week before the birthday celebration next week for Quade's (he'll be 2 on the 8th). We're in the same boat with birthday cake at our house too. Quade will eat certain things (hot dogs and french fries mostly), but if it's sweet you might as well consider it food for the floor. :)

  3. Our household eating issues are more safety related- the Quail aspirates on thin liquids and didn't come with excellent motor strength and planning in the eating department- but we're working on those too. is frustraing though that something so basic is, well, so's hoping you find your gateway drug of foods! maybe an oatmeal/peanut butter cake with a yogurt based frosting for his birthday!??!

  4. I will no longer complain that Sutter won't eat anything green!

  5. Gabriel is on the non-eating journey as well. It is a never ending struggle in our house. I am so glad that your little guy will play with his food. Gabriel started touching his food during playtime this summer. It is so exciting to watch him at least touch food. We will keep working on getting it to mouth.


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