We are constantly in the process of moving Shelby's diet towards being more varied and textured. Gone are the days when she gagged when a piece of food was too big or the texture was unmanageable. She seems to be gradually getting the idea of how to chew. Baby Steps. We no longer use the food processer to blend up Shelby's food and are moving towards cutting the items that can't be fork mashed into tiny pieces. The idea is to slowly get the pieces bigger and bigger and to get her chewing and eating normal table food. Here's the conundrum: Shelby is still tiny for her age--in the bottom 5th percentile, she needs to be taking in as many calories as possible. We already add formula to her whole milk and butter/olive oil to all her food. Food is not a motivator for her....she eats cheerios, but would never pick them up and put them in her mouth if they were put in front of her (she would throw them one by one on the floor).
Working on independent skills like self-feeding is difficult for her...and it reduces her food intake. Working on maturing her diet and increasing calories is also difficult. Both focus areas can make mealtime difficult and stressful for Shelby. What is most important right now, or is there a way to focus on both? For now, we're trying to end her meals with a bowl of yogurt or apple sauce that she can work on by herself. Our OT and ST are consulting on this issue. Any suggestions?
|Shelby and my great-grandmother Burney playing "boogedy" last week.|