Monday, March 4, 2013

Food and the Medically Complex Child

Many of us with complicated kids spend an awful lot of time trying to figure out how to feed them. For a while I thought I was going to do a separate blog just about food and a family with complicated kids. But it occurred to me that that was a silly idea all around - I might as well put it all right here.

So...I have 5 posts from that little attempt to re-post, and will then be trying to post at least a couple posts a month about feeding this family amidst all our issues, and I'll also be trying to post a little about kitchen witchery while I'm at it.

Repost #1 is below


As I've mentioned, my kids have food issues.

My daughter, Leaf, who is a year and a half old, largely eats pureed foods - crunchy things have taken months of therapy, and we haven't even begun things that don't dissolve when you drool on them enough. She also has a feeding tube, and it's still a significant source of calories most days.

My son, Acorn, (age 4 1/2) used to have a feeding tube, and is not fond of pureed foods. He eats some fruits and veggies, flat breads, mac and cheese (but only Kraft and similar types), and a handful of other things. Apparently he eats better at daycare than at home, but we have to plan for what he will eat with every meal we make. We offer some of what we're eating most nights, but he's far more likely to ignore it than to eat it.

Needless to say, finding something everyone will eat is nearly impossible.

Because of my kids' medical issues, they are eligible for medicaid....which makes them eligible for WIC until age 5. WIC only offers baby foods up to a year old, because after that they should be eating table food. Needless to say, neither of my kids met that mark.  WIC was a huge help last year when I took a leave of absence from work to handle some of their medical issues, and learning to cook around the offerings of WIC has been an interesting challenge. Plus, WIC pays for the outrageously expensive prescription formulas that we use to supplement both children's diets, and without that alone, we'd go broke.

We stocked up on jars of baby food when we could get them through WIC, but we've now run through the stock, so we need to blend our own, or buy more (and since we've had an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies, blending our own makes far more sense.

Additionally, I need to thank Vitamix - they have a wonderful program that gives a discount to families doing a blenderized diet. For those not familiar with the term, it means blending table food to feed via a feeding tube. We got a substantial discount off the retail price of a blender - and then about the time we got started blending things for her tube, little miss decided eating was far more entertaining. So we haven't blenderized as much as expected for her tube feedings, but we are blending things for her to eat by mouth....and this puppy makes the smoothest baby food ever, far nicer than my hand crank food mill.

Ours is one of these:

I'm trying, every few days, to make something different. This way she gets a variety of foods, and if I make 4-6 servings of 3 things a week, I'll stay ahead of her (and if not, I'll have a crazy cooking fest on a weekend). Plus she eats yogurt (mostly home made, from whole milk) and avocado, which are high in calories and make a good base for the rest of her meals.

This past week, I made a sweet potato, pears, and squash. Before that, I took home made applesauce, cooked a few blueberries, added it all together, and threw it in the blender.

My next challenge: meat. Because protein is important for growing children, and she's not going to get enough from other sources at the rate we're going.

....which makes me wonder whether my son would eat beans if they were cooked with some spices. Not my thing, but he's weird in his own ways.


Disclaimer: Affiliate link, if you buy using it, I make some cash.

No comments:

Post a Comment