Monday, December 12, 2011


Makenzie and oral eating have always been an interesting combination.

There are times when she is engaged and wants to eat and there are times when she will have nothing to do with it.

In the past when she is engaged in eating I have pushed her to eat a bit more everyday. We have even gotten to the point where Makenize has been off the tube other then water for up to a month several times and then......... she stops eating. When it becomes a part of her daily life she wants nothing to do with it.

So for the last year or so I have not pushed at all. I have given Makenzie tastes of food and she loves it. She will beg for food anytime you eat in front of her and I will let her lick but that is about it.

Lately though she has made it clear she wants a bite. No I take that back....... she wants two or three ounces worth of bites.

Around Halloween I bought her some Almond yogurt and she devoured 3 ounces in 10 minutes flat. Here and there I have given her a bit more the just a lick and last week I decided to start joining her at school a couple times a week to feed Makenzie in the lunchroom with her friends. In the special needs world this is more formally know as "therapeutic feeding" or maybe a "feeding group" or how about "social eating". What ever you want to call it...... Makenzie loves to eat with others. What better place to do it then with her friends as motivators.

Today I made a bunch of baby food with fresh veggies so that I could control the consistency because baby food is usually to thin and Makenzie ends up spitting most of it out. She has done great. So great that I find myself wanting to "push" her again.

I really don't know what to do. I want Makenzie to eat but at the same time the g tube gives her what she needs without any fight. I do not put anything past my daughter these days and I believe that one day she could be tube free and able to eat anything but how to get there I do not know.

Then there is the issue of what the heck to feed her. She has not had any dairy, gluten, beef, or soy for over 3 years. This leaves me with a very limited selection of food to actually feed her that can be blended and still tastes decent.

We have had many of feeding therapists and non have really had many more ideas on any of our issues then what I already know and have tried. I have looked into intensive feeding programs but have never felt at peace with any of them nor do I feel the need to travel away from my boys for at least 8 weeks to complete those types of programs.

Any input from those mommies out there who have also struggled with this issue would be greatly appreciated and for those of you who haven't ever dealt with this kind of struggle please feel free to lift up a prayer on my behalf for wisdom and God's leading on this issue.

Makenzie is an amazing girl and whether or not she eats through her mouth or a tube does not change my love for her but I do want to give her the opportunity to enjoy life to the fullest and being able to enjoy a meal with her friends and family or maybe a Zach Anner's "Handi-Cappuccino" Milk Shake!

and with that said if you didn't catch the premiere of Rollin' with Zach you missed a great show! What an inspiration that young man is to me.

Official Trailer: Rollin' With Zach
Zach Anner is obsessed with travel. In Rollin' With Zach, he takes an authentic and often humorous approach to seeing the country, as he hosts his own half-hour travel series. Zach may have cerebral palsy, but that's never stopped him! In every episode, Zach explores a new city and conquers his "top five" list for the destination.

Believe.... Prayer Works!


T said...

I am desperate to watch Rollin' with Zach - but I can't seem to get it online because I live in the UK.

Sad times!

Kristina said...

Emma doesn't have a tube and eats by mouth or drinks smoothies, depending on her interest in food that day. She is super social and interested in eating with people so she sounds like Makenzie.

For dinners, I take whatever we are eating and I blend it up in the magic bullet. That lets me keep it a bit chunky or totally blended depending on how long I let it blend. A favorite of Emma is blended chicken and applesauce together. Another one she usually always eats is chicken, mashed potatoes and broccoli. IF needed, I add a bit of gravy or some water to make it smoother. If I blend too smooth, then I sometimes add baby cereal to it to thicken it a bit. Emma has no problems with food, but we don't give her cow's milk to drink. She drinks a combo of coconut milk + almond milk + vanilla powder. For when we are on the go, I always have some yogurt, applesauce, and the pouches of food that can be found at Target and other stores. They are 9 months + and better than the baby food in the jars that Emma won't eat.

I also use the book First Meals by Annabel Karmel. Emma loves the recipes in there and so does my other child. Many can be mashed or blended to whatever consistency you want while still tasting good.

Good luck! We also chose not to do a feeding clinic. In my research it seems they are more for children who resist eating or have texture issues rather than children who want to eat but don't have all the needed oral motor skills.

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