Monday, April 18, 2011

{Pureed Food for Children with Cerebral Palsy}

Sweet Potatoes-1

Ok, so sorry for the official sounding title, but after trying to search the internet with those exact search terms and coming up empty handed, I wanted to make sure other clueless in the kitchen mothers with children with feeding issues, like me, could find what they are looking for.

Anyway, Angela is an eating superstar -- really she is.  I originally went into this whole feeding thing really just wanting to give Angela the experience of food.  I figured she would always be tube fed -- and that was ok with me.  Well, I think Angela might have other plans.  She is beginning to take almost 4oz of pureed food during her evening feed.  I was thinking if I could give her a meal by mouth that had enough calories to supplement her evening feed we may just be able to get her off those darn tube feeds someday in the future.  As a disclaimer, we are moving forward with extreme caution.  Even though Angela did pass her swallow study, she still does not know how to swallow very well.  We are using tons of oral stimulation including using her electric tooth brush on her tongue and cheeks before meals and also only giving her 30mins to attempt to feed, which is funny since can eat up to 4oz now in about 15mins.  Anyway, we are watching for any and all signs of distress -- but so far she really is doing great!

Sweet Potatoes-3

I know a lot of moms who read this blog have children with some type of medical or developmental issue, but for those who do not, let me explain why eating is so difficult for Angela.  Basically her muscles in her mouth -- just like throughout the rest of her body just do not function in the way they should.  Angela's mouth has very low tone.  It's hard for her to keep her tongue and drool inside her mouth and she really does not yet have an intentional swallow.  This makes feeding very difficult.  

Sweet Potatoes-2

Because feeding is so difficult, I want to try to condense her calories in the smallest about of food possible. With the help of some friends and also my own ideas I came up with this simple recipe:

4 Average Size Sweet Potatoes, Boiled for about 20min until Soft, Peeled and Cubed.

8oz No Sugar Added Canned Pears, Cubed.

2tbs Coconut Oil

2tbs Agave Nectar

1tbs Cinnamon

I basically threw this all in my below average blender and made sure all the chunks were out.  I used a large 60ml syringe to transfer the puree into the baby food containers, this way I could ensure there were no chunks in the food.  I was able to fill seven 4oz jars.  I used my less than average nutrition skills to calculate the nutritional content in each jar.  Each 4oz jar has about 140 calories and about 5 grams of fat.

Sweet Potatoes-4

I had Madison taste it and she gave it two thumbs up!  I can't wait to see what Angela thinks of it tomorrow!


Stacy said...

Can I tell you what an awesome mom you are!!!!!!!!
I remember doing the same thing with Billy when he was younger...mixing and matching and loving every minute of it! Mini food processor to the rescue!
God is so good to have blessed Angela to have such and awesome family!

Phyllis said...

That is awesome!! I am so glad she is doing so well with the feedings. Its a good sign!

Makenzies Miracle said...

Thank You so much!! I am going to have to try making that for Makenzie!

I am so happy Angela is going so well with eating! What a super star!!!

JayCee said...

Wow - making the food yourself?
Good are a great Mom!

The Byrds said...

Thank you for sharing this recipe! We also try to get the most calories into everything my son eats. We should really just buy stock in Whole Foods :)

Abbey said...

Yay for you and Angela~ As a mom of twins with both dysphagia and very low oral muscle tone, I am cheering along side you! My guys eat incredibly well for how low of tone they have. I think its because they LOVE food. I pray the same for Angela. I remember when eating the entire lid of baby food was a huge victory for my GJ guy - and now he eats 100% of calories by mouth. Amazing what these kids can do!

Missy said...

I like that recipe!

So pleased to hear that Angela is doing so well. She is so lucky and blessed to be a part of your wonderful family

Anonymous said...

your a great Mom !!!
Im soo happy for the little girl:)

Laura said...

Loved this receipe. Made if for my little guy last night. Please share if you come up with anymore..I'm not that creative! Glad to hear Angela is taking some by mouth...keep up the great work!