Wow, it's already been 4 1/2 weeks since we had our official "Feeding Intervention"!! Last time, I reported our new "game plan" and we are continuing with it........just tweaking it as we go along. Oh yeah, and remember THIS post, when Landon conquered his 1st stage 3 meal.......he hasn't done it since (SURPRISE)! LOL That's OK, the most important thing about that isolated event is the fact that Landon CAN.DO.IT!!
Originally we were suppose to add 2 pediasure's to Landon's feeding schedule, and after a week of trying to fit those in, Landon's teacher's and I have decided that that is nearly IMPOSSIBLE!! We have already battled reflux, and after 3 months of medication, I am happy to say.....Landon has been "spit up" free. However, adding this much more fluid to his diet has slowly brought back the reflux, and that just isn't working for Landon (or me). With much help from Landon's teachers we have played around with his eating schedule over the past couple of weeks to get the most into him without stirring up the reflux. Small steps are the key! Amazingly Landon has been taking his multi-vitamin, straight up!! No masking it or hiding it in any food. We have now worked our way up to 3, six ounce, bottles a day. Those bottles (yes, BOTTLES....remember, I was given strict orders NOT to STRESS Landon out, ha!) are a 1/2 & 1/2 mixture of whole milk and pediasure. Landon was not very accepting of pediasure alone. I am happy to say that this seems to be Landon's "happy medium", and it is working. Just 2 weeks ago I brought Landon to the pediatrician for an ear check (which was clear) due to a bacterial infection, and he weighed in at 19 pounds, 4 ounces........that is almost 1 pound in 4 weeks!! WOOHOO!! That is Landon's BIGGEST weight gain since birth!!! 20lbs........HERE.WE.COME!!!! lol
We have been continuing to do our exercises with a palette of sweet/sour sauces (i.e. fudge, caramel, strawberry sauce, lemon juice, etc.) and we have been dipping his chew tube in the sauce and letting him explore the different tastes. The object is to introduce Landon's palette to a variety of different flavors in hopes that he will be MORE willing to try new things. By approaching it this way, we are allowing Landon to "control" the situation......stress free!! For "homework", we started off having Landon watch Mason & Elijah use the chew tubes (without giving him a turn). I know, sounds cruel!!! If he saw how much fun his brothers were having using these tubes then maybe he would willingly do it on his own. Once he showed interest in the tubes, we would then give him one and have him copy us dipping it in a sauce and putting it in his mouth. SUCCESS!!
Each session always begins with a palette of flavors! The past 2 weeks Landon's feeding specialist (Ms. Chris) would follow the palette with different types of crunchy foods (Kix cereal, graham crackers, veggie sticks, cheese curls and Ritz crackers). I am actually quite impressed with how much easier Landon will transition between the two...........and how accepting he is! Ms. Chris approaches each session very playfully (taking turns) and Landon really seems to enjoy this! Of all the crunchy foods that Landon has been experimenting with, the one that I find he does very well with is the Ritz cracker. When Landon takes a bite of the cracker it breaks immediately into a bunch of pieces. His first reaction is to push the "bigger" piece out of his mouth, but those particular crackers leave tons of crumbs on his tongue that forces him to use his tongue to move the crumbs around to form a bolus for him to swallow. Spitting it out becomes more difficult when it becomes wet (because it sticks to his tongue). The alternative is to give his tongue a good workout by moving the food back and forth until it works its way to the back of his mouth and he eventually swallow it. WOW, never in a million years would I have put that much thought into the art of eating!! LOL Crazy as it sounds, it IS actually working!!
So, I am happy to report that so far, this has been a positive experience, albeit a SLOW one!! But Landon is at least willing to TRY some new things. Landon does continue to mainly eat stage 2 purees, but his menu IS increasing on the textured side! SMALL steps.........hey, I'll take it!!