Friday, June 3, 2011

Ola's great food adventures

Lately we have been working on food with Ola.

Now to some parents "working on food" might seem strange.

Most parents don't have to work at food with their kids. I totally took for granted how easy it was to get Poppy to eat. I started feeding her cereal at 6 months and we progressed from there. She loved to eat. She ate pretty much everything I gave her and still does.

With Ola on the other hand it's been a bit more of a challenge. The Down syndrome is obviously is a factor in this whole situation. Children with Down syndrome have a lower muscle tone that makes the whole eating process a little harder. Coupled with a smaller palate that makes them thrust out their tongues feeding can be tricky. I wrote a little bit about this in my post on Ola's highchair.

Ola has had a bit of a roller coaster ride with her eating. I started trying to giver her cereal at 6 months. After a bit of a slow start, and lots of spitting out, we had success!

lots of spillage, but she got better and she loved it!

Then this happened...

Ola in Children's hospital in October with Intususseption. Her small intestine pushed it's way through her large and out her bum. This was not a fun 5 days, but I was glad to hear that it is very common in all children. The Ds didn't have anything to do with it. Phew!

When Ola came home from the hospital I was really scared to try feeding her cereal again. I was sure that the food had something to do with it. Crazy I know, but when you just saw your daughters intestines  cereal doesn't seem very important.

Ola also had a ton of colds this winter. Every time she got a cold we would have to wait for it to pass to carry on. All she wanted was her bottle, so that is the way it was.

After a visit from our IDP practicum student in March I decided why not just try a Mum Mum cracker?

Ola did this.

She just put it in her mouth like she had been doing it for months. Needless to say the crackers have been a permanent fixture in our cupboard ever since.

Kids with Down syndrome also seem to have texture issues. So while we have been rockin' out the oatmeal cereal and all types of smooth baby food the textures seemed to be a bit off putting. She wasn't refusing them or anything, but you could see her working her little tongue to get them all sorted out in her mouth.

Slowly, I have been making her food a bit more chunky, and decided to try a few new things.

On a whim Mark offered her a little teeny tiny piece of chicken. She loved it!

Then I gave her chunky smashed avocado. She loved that!

Cheese? why the heck not! Loved it!

Oh this kid!

chunky avocado!

The next step is self feeding, I have also been doing this as well. I bought her a bowl that suctions to the table so she can reach in and grab pieces of food one at a time. She is really good at grabbing lots at once, but that also means lots in the mouth, which to me means choking! and we really don't want to go down that road agin.

If I put food on her spoon she can get it in her mouth quite easily.

sweet potatoes are this girly's favourite!

She doesn't really like it very much when I take the spoon away to refill it, but then she forgives me when she gets it back.

Poppy and I decided to let her just play with her food one night. It was a little more chunky with cubes of carrots and didn't want it so I let her just play.


It was a mess let me tell you, but she had fun, and so did I! Poppy has tried to convince me every night since to let her to do it again with no luck.

I am taking the whole food thing slowly with her but I am concerned that I was being to cautious. I am going to pick up the pace a bit, but Katie (our IDP) made a good point. Rather than try to rush it feed her at the developmental stage she's at. Ola can sit by herself, but can't crawl yet, so that puts her at about 8 months? 9 maybe? so we are right on track with food when you look at it that way and it helps take a bit of the pressure off.

Plus Basil is loving this messy stage. He makes a good housekeeper non?


Christina said...

Ya Ola! Paige will throw the food so I know how you are feeling about it!

Laura said...

I love it! Wise advice. Love the pooch lickin' the chair! Haha
The hospital photo made me sad... I'm sure glad all is well. Love your stories... I can totally relate!

Amber said...

Both times I started a baby on food, I really regretted that I do not have a dog. It really would come in SO handy.