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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It's dreen. Why is it dreen?

I thought today would be a good day for some humor, so watch this video. If you don't watch the video, the rest of what I'm about to say won't make sense or be funny. It still might not be funny but the video is. :)

So back to my story. I've been racking my brain trying to think of ways to more or less trick Raya into expanding her very limited diet. She will eat a little bit of all kinds of carbs, but the only sources of protein she gets right now orally are peanut butter and her precious "sour cream", aka plain Greek yogurt. Peanut butter is a lot harder for her to eat because she won't eat anything WITH it. She will use either her fingers or a cracker (like a wheat thin or pita chip) to scoop it up, but she won't eat the cracker. Go ahead and try sometime to just eat a spoonful of peanut butter by itself. Tough.
Anyway, she eats a lot more of the Greek yogurt than peanut butter, so I've been trying to find something I could gradually mix in so that she doesn't realize she's eating another flavor until she's gotten used to it in small amounts. Sneaky, eh? :) I've added things like garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, and curry powder just to give it a little flavor other than just plain ol' yogurt, and she's fine with those, but if I try to put in anything else, she won't eat it. We've tried putting a couple of tiny drops of orange juice in it with her feeding therapist and she refused to eat it after that. I also tried baby food bananas since they're the baby food with the closest texture to the yogurt, but the flavor was too strong for her even with the very small amount that I mixed in. We even had a sample of some flavored Greek yogurt at Costco the other day and she didn't like that. It was the same brand I get for her but it had some blueberry stuff to mix in with it and she was not a fan.
Then I decided I'd try avocado. (this is where the "dreen" part comes in. If you didn't watch the video, you won't get it. :) I carefully measured out the right amount of avocado and weighed it so I'd know exactly how many calories it was (I know, a little excessive, right?) and then I mashed it until it was as smooth as it could possibly be and mixed it in with a little bit of the yogurt. I left some by itself in the cup, then in the middle there was the blended stuff, and then the plain yogurt was on the other side of the cup. With high hopes, I handed it to a very eager Raya who was yelling, "Dimme my tah-TEEM! pease." (at least she uses manners when she yells & demands things :)
I had dipped the spoon into a little bit of yogurt and a little bit of avocado before I handed it to her. She took it, looked at it, looked up at me, looked back at the spoon, and then looked at me again with her head cocked to the side and her eyebrow raised as if to say, "It's dreen. Why is it dreen?" I smiled and said, "Look, Raya! It's yummy avocado!" and then tried to help her get the spoon in her mouth. She clamped it shut. Then when she had regained control over the spoon, she attempted to wipe the avocado off of it but couldn't, so she gave up on the spoon and went back to her pita chip. She picked up the cup, held it out to me and said, "Here, Mommy. No-wannit." I tried one last time to feed her a bite of the yogurt+avocado and was met with this face:
Nice try, Mom. *sigh* at least I tried. :) If anybody has any ideas of other white foods that are similar in texture to plain Greek yogurt but don't have much (if any) flavor of their own (especially sweet), I'm open to suggestion. Preferrably fruit & vegetable in nature and no, she doesn't like mashed potatoes. (See, this is difficult! :)

The green doesn't end there though. I'm rather enjoying this "blenderized diet" stuff. I think most people who do BD switch over to 100% BD but we're sticking to about 2/3 commercial formula and 1/3 food, which ends up being a combination of whatever calories she eats for the day plus blenderized food to equal the rest of her calorie needs for the day. I am really enjoying making food for her. In part, I think it's because when she got her feeding tube and had to be put on specialized formula, I felt like I had been robbed of the most important job a mother can do, which is be the person in charge of what went into her body. We are gaining some of that freedom back and it's a very cool feeling to be able to feed her whatever I want her to have. Even better is the fact that since she doesn't taste any of it, I can give her things that a normal 2 year old would refuse to eat. :)
Last night, I had roasted a big butternut squash to portion out in little baggies and freeze for quick ingredients to put in her food, so I put some of that in her blend. With that, I added a container of Gerber apples & chicken baby food (because I need the containers so I can make more food for her :), 2 ounces of formula to help it blend, and then I grabbed a handful of spinach from the garden (LOVE growing things in my back yard that we can eat, especially in January :), and added a little water and ended up with this:
The spinach in our garden is the DARKEST green spinach I've ever seen. I only put in 1 ounce of spinach compared to 4 oz of squash and all the other pale colored ingredients, and the spinach totally took over. :) So once again, we laughed because we were thinking about the Kid History video and the healthy food. :)
I was a little concerned that she was going to throw up after this because it was more volume than she's ever gotten at once, and this is the girl that used to vomit if somebody looked at her wrong. We could never give her more than an ounce or two of liquid in her stomach at a time or she would throw up until every drop of it was out of her.
Anyway, the blend was 10 oz and 200 calories and easily could have been more if I'd added a little coconut oil or peanut butter. I gave her the first 2 syringes & a 2 ounce water flush and then waited a little while (about 45 minutes) before I gave her the rest. I was afraid it would go through her too fast (dumping syndrome) and make her sick but that didn't happen either. I swear she really did throw up all the time, I'm not making that up even though she's trying really hard to make it look like I am. :)


  1. maybe this is a statement of the obvious or not what you are looking for, but would vanilla protein powder work?
    I tried making protein powder fudge-cicles for my niece that has sensory issues and she didn't fall for it.

  2. Will she eat actual sour cream? Thats white and similar texture. I have a super good recipe for EASY Greek Yogurt, that was WAY cheaper plus you can make it with whole milk and add just a tiny flavor to it.

  3. Sour cream was the first food that she started eating consistently and I switched her to Greek yogurt because it's a little healthier & has more protein in it. I saw your recipe for the Greek yogurt though and I SO need to try it! So far she won't eat any flavored yogurts at all but maybe if I made it myself I could make it weak enough that she'd eat it. Thanks for the suggestions, ladies! :)

  4. Will she do hummus in the yogurt? If you leave out all of the flavor ingredients it would taste just like yogurt, and the texture is similar.
    Or pasta? you could blend it up really smooth and mix with the yogurt.
    Oatmeal? But I think you already did oatmeal


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