So, what are you feeding YOUR kid?

Parker is almost 5.  (November 19th!)  He weighs 29 pounds. (sigh)  He grows taller, but not wider.

His diet consists mostly of 4.5 cans of Pediasure a day, directly into his tummy via his g-tube.

Day after day after day after day.

We noticed a big difference when we started  him on oral feeds each morning.   I was taking things like butternut squash, roasting it with lots of olive oil, and then adding fresh herbs from my garden.  I’d even make up pots  of pinto beans and make refried beans using organic butter.  I’d pop everything into the Vita-Mix, make individual servings in ice cube trays and freeze the leftovers for later.

The difference this made in Parker’s health was visually noticeable.

I’ve had to stop any and every thing I was giving Parker orally.  I’m still spiking his Pediasure with fresh, organic fruits and veggies.  Until we have all this testing done for swallow issues and refux issues I’ve got to be careful about what I put into the kid in order to protect his lungs.

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Parker’s daily Pediasure spiked with organic frozen plums from my neighbor’s trees.


But it hasn’t stopped me from thinking about nutrition and blenderized diets.   I don’t think your body was designed to eat the exact same thing day after day after day.

Especially when that exact same thing comes out of a can.

I’ll be the first to tell you that most, if not all doctors I’ve spoken with tend to brush my concerns aside telling me that formulas such as Pediasure were created to deliver complete, balanced nutrition.

But I’m not sure that it delivers optimal nutrition.

Nutrition with enough ‘umph’ to help fight off illness.

Nutrition that Parker can digest well enough to glean all those nutrients from.

Nutrition from which Parker can grow.

Right now it is pretty obvious that the volume we need to feed Parker to simply keep him where he is at weight wise is more than his tummy can handle.   We know he has reflux issues, and we know he aspirates on liquids the thinness of Pediasure.

But what do I know?  I’m just Parker’s Mom.

The one who’s heart is tied around this kid’s health and happiness.

What do you feed YOUR kids?  Anyone working with a blenderized diet?  I’d like to find others working with the issue of nutrition.

And in other news…………


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Don’t tell me Parker is anything but a totally typical Hodson boy.

About Tammy and Parker

Special Needs Blogger, and homeschooling Mom, heavily involved in advocacy for all kids with special needs in Utah.

Comments

  1. I love him watching his brother play DS. So boy. His birthday is the day before Jaxsons, how funny is that? We would love for you to come to our party if your not busy with his. I still want to send you an invite so email me your address.
    Jax is the same way, he’ll be 4 and he weighs 20 lbs. A peanut.

  2. Ugh, Tammy I can so understand where you are coming from. Nik is no longer tube fed (but we still struggle with the textures he’ll eat) after 5 years. While we were struggling with the same issues (it took so long to get Nik gaining weight!), we tried a few things. People told us we shouldn’t/couldn’t/it wouldn’t work…we didn’t listen and saw a huge difference in Nik’s weight gain, his energy levels and his bowels (became more normal).

    Rather than hikack your blog w/a lengthy description…email me at niksmother at gmail dot com. I’d be happy to share anything and everything we learned on our journey.

  3. oops, I meant hijack!

  4. You should talk to this mom:

    http://ainsleyrae.blogspot.com/search?q=blender

    She’s on one of the trach boards I frequent, and has nothing but good to say about going blenderized.

    Count yourself lucky on the pediasure front: even via g-tube, it makes Alex vomit, hours after it goes in. *shudder* Whatever is in it, my kid sure doesn’t digest it….

  5. My Noah has a feeding tube also. He gets a complete Blenderized diet and no food out of a can. He just got out of the hospital….. the doctors there wanted Noah to be on Ellacare. They said he would grow better. I told them that Noah would not be “eating” food out of can. He needed better balanced diet than that. By the way my Noah is 11yrs and weighs only 45lbs.( He lost 4 in the hospital) and is 49in. tall. I don’t think the doctors would like eating the same thing every day either.

  6. I know nothing when it comes to this type of stuff, BUT, I would have to say that even though the canned stuff is suppose to give him what he needs, I’d bet he LOVES the spikes you add. :) Fresh fruits and veggies most likely have a lot of good things that help fight off illness. I hope you are able to find more info and that his study’s give you back a little leniency. :)

  7. Thankfully Evan is off the tube feeds but Pediasure is awful stuff. The smell of it is really off putting (and if you think it is bad right from the can try being pregnant and having your kid throw it up) and I would have had Evan on a blenderized diet had Pediasure been his only source of nutrition, he was semi oral at the time. A lot of times I would push the remainder of the jar of baby food down his tube when he would not finish. Anyhow, I have heard a lot of great things about blenderized diets and that they have really improved the quality of life in the kids that have tried it out.

  8. Wow. What a tough situation. I have NO idea… but I definitely see your concerns.

    And oh yes, doesn’t he look sweet playing with his brother.

  9. No authority on this (and you’ve read me say this before, Tammy) but if you are talking weight-gain and absorption of key vitamins – fat.

  10. I have been feeding Luke homemade formula through his g-tube for almost 5 years. It’s a pretty big job, but I only make his food about every six weeks and then I freeze it in Ziploc bags. I am so happy to say that last time I took Luke into his Gastronologist he told me that Luke was at a perfect weight right now, I was almost in tears as we have not heard those words in the past five years. He is currently 6 1/2 years old and weighs 39 pounds. He is still only 10% on the weight charts, but his Dr. said that he would rather have him smaller than bigger when he has his kind of condition. Which I would agree since I have to carry him everywhere he goes, or push him in his wheelchair and I don’t have the best back. Oh well such is the life of a mom with a special needs child.

    I have a huge recipe of food that I blend in my Vita Mix, meat, vegetables, fruit, mixed grains, rice, nut butters, oils, whole milk yogurt, raw milk, Superfood, Carrot juice, Cranberry juice, I could go on and on and will if you would like to hear more about it.

    Sue Searles

  11. The canned fomulas are a higher percentage of carbs; if you want him to gain (and to gain greater cognitive function as well) you need to add fats & proteins. You could do this by adding a protein powder to the formula, using MCT oils or something like DuoCal which is a nutritional supplement used by lots of nutritionists for FTT kiddos.

    Also, if you’re only adding fruits/veggies to his formula you are diluting the fat/protein/carb ratio even further. What happens then is that he’ll acutally start burning off the carbs quicker. Fats and proteins help slow the rate of metabolism of carbs. Eliminates spikes in blood sugar which can also cause behavioral and other health issues.

    One caveat about adding the foods through the tube is that it can shorten the life of the tube. At least, that’s what happened to us.

    You have my email address. Contact me if you want any more suggestions, ok?