Saturday, September 11, 2010

Update Operation Fatness

Well, Operation Fatness has been through many phases. We keep having to shake things up when something we are doing stops working. Right now I think we are taking a little rest in a stable place. We have found something that works for him and works for me:

Crew has two foods that he loves.

1. Yogurt.

2. A concoction I came up with. It is a blended mixture of 1 can peaches with heavy syrup, 2 bananas, 4 ounces of heavy cream. Blended up it makes 3.5 cups of smoothie mix. That is 152 delicious calories per half cup.

These represent his base foods. You would be surprised what you can hide in these foods.

Some examples of what I can hide in half a cup of yogurt or half a cup of smoothie:
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
2 tbs ricotta cheese and 2 tbs multigrain cereal
1/4 cup oatmeal, 2 tbs cream
half an avocado
2-4 tbs of "anything else".

"Anything Else"
I keep a separate container of "anything else" and these are generally pureed meats and veggies. He used to happily eat smashed peas for breakfast; now he refuses anything with even the faintest green tint (little toddler-to-be). Right now there is a pureed bucket of chicken mixed with steamed broccoli and butter sitting in my fridge. In the past I've had chicken with spinach and carrot juice; scrambled eggs with cheese and butter; green beans with rice. I've had lots of things.

I'll usually try the stuff I know he doesn't love first. Sometimes he'll give it a good effort for several bites. Once he resists with gusto, I switch it up and give him what he loves. Because I no longer insist that he eat the meats and veggies straight up, he is actually much more willing to try them once in a while. He has stopped being so concerned about what may be coming. He has become more relaxed about eating again. He doesn't immediately smack my hand away and purse his lips if I come at him with a spoon.

Little Boys Cannot Live on Yogurt Alone
He only thinks he is winning. If you think I'm letting him survive on a diet of fruit and fat, you've grossly underestimated my obsessive personality. I keep a few tbs of the dismissed "anything else" in a separate bowl. I'll put a little of it on the spoon and then slather it in yogurt or smoothie. If he won't eat his veggies and meats straight, I'll sneak them in under his favorite foods. I actually have this weird feeling that he knows exactly what I'm doing but has decided to turn a blind eye. I don't really care. He's eating what I need him to eat and he's really happy about it. Tearless meals are a welcome relief.

Sigh... the games we play.

My Way or the Highway
One trick I have also adopted came from the OT that visited us recently. She encouraged me to make sure that we always finished meals on my terms. Being a mean mom anyway, that really suits me. If I see that he is legitimately starting to get full and he is beginning to push his food away, I always make him take "one more bite", so that he knows that I am the final decision maker. It has cut down on a lot of the mid-meal drama.

Palate Cleanser
I have discovered that offering him sips of drink during his meals really helps him wash things out of his mouth and keep him going. I set aside a cup with 1 ounce pediasure and 1 ounce cream (180 cals!) When he starts to slow down and get tired of clearing out his mouth on his own, when the arm starts raising and the brows start furrowing, I try a drink first. Usually it diverts his attention away from his desire to refuse food and we can go back to eating. This happens repeatedly. But back and forth, back and forth, we can usually make it to the bottom of the bowl and always to the bottom of the cup. I hold the cup for him. I also often very gently cup his chin with my hand to help him organize himself and be serious about opening his mouth.

Mostly, we are finding success for the moment. It is still a struggle to get him to take in enough calories, and we have a few ideas in the pipeline, but we are in a much better place than we were a few months ago. And we're far less despondent than we were a few weeks ago.

No comments: