Saturday, September 14, 2013

Solids: Take 2

So last time I wrote about solids Dylan was occasionally swallowing some food, but things were extremely frustrating.  We have seen an Occupational Therapist bi-weekly since he was in the NICU and she suggested trying some "meltable" foods such as Baby Yum Yums, Plum wafers, and puffs.  Dylan really likes all of these!  I truly think they are basically junk food, but they have calories and they have taught Dylan to chew and swallow food when it is in his mouth, so I like them.  Now they've become a vehicle for adding to the calories into his meals.

At our last appointment I had anticipated that Dylan would be 15 pounds.  I should've learned months ago not to set a goal, but I haven't.  He was 14 pounds even and I was pretty upset.  The 6 weeks between the last two appointments were his slowest gain since he was born.  All kids slow down around this age, but we don't want Dylan to because we want him to eventually (soon) cross the 5th percentile line and get on the growth chart.  It really doesn't matter a whole lot since he is gaining and I am confident he will get there eventually, but it's definitely difficult to know that your child is smaller than 99% of the world (it's the WHO chart).  And I'm talking adjusted age (nearly 8 months) not his actual age of 11 months.

So we are really focusing on calories.

It's always bottle first.  He's averaging 21 ounces a day (with random days of 28) and he still takes about 7 bottles a day.  He just doesn't seem to increase his volume enough if we space out feedings, so we're following a more is more approach for now.

He's getting 2-3 meals of solids a day and I'm label-reading like crazy (since most of the food is pre-packaged at the moment...still working on the cooking).  Dylan is actually pretty okay with texture in his food which is awesome.  We've tried some of the Level 3 Plum "meals" and although he sometimes gags at the quinoa in them, he still eats it all and has never thrown anything up.  His favorite is the Sweet Corn and Turkey (with added formula and oatmeal cereal of course).  Then for "dessert" he gets a Plum wafer slathered with cream cheese.  I want the solids he eats to be at least 20 calories an ounce so that they are worth it (his bottles are 24 calories an ounce).  Most packages are 60 or 70 calories for about 4 ounces so a little under the mark.

Dylan has two teeth and is pretty good at "chewing" his food with the sides of his mouth.  I can't wait until he can start eating more table foods, but he's not ready yet.  I am also pretty terrified because I'm feeling an inordinate amount of pressure to start making healthy meals that all three of us can eat.  (Mr. GG and I pick up food about 6 nights a week and he's usually the one to cook on the 7th night...)  I've pinned about a million ideas, but the start of the school-year is stressful and I feel like I'm drowning (in ungraded paper and pressure to be super-mom at the same time).  Fortunately I have a couple of months until I need to get on it.  I'll probably be asking for lots of advice, so start thinking of it!

Also, if you have any high-calorie, but still relatively healthy food suggestions, I'd love to hear them.  Like, I mentioned, he's okay with a little bit of chunky texture, but he doesn't love smooth foods like yogurt.  I think mixes will be key.

I don't have any new "eating" pictures except for this one:

And some other cuties:


  1. Avocados? Yogurt? Alternatively, adding something high-calorie into the prepared baby food (like formula).

    My daughter is not on the weight chart, either. But she's growing and the doctors are never worried. So I don't worry either.

  2. Check out my Pinterest board "Feeding the Boys", I have a handful of recipes that are Ben and Will approved :) I've been lucky enough to make all of their food and I always use formula to purée with, especially for Ben who is in the 13% for his actual age (11 mo, 9.3 adjusted although they hardly consider their adjusted age any longer). Good luck!

  3. Surely plates are classified as high calorie? ;)

    I love his beautiful eyes. x

  4. He is beautiful. I'm also going to suggest avocado. It was one of the first foods we tried, my baby always loves it, and it's easy because you don't have to cook it. My babe also loves middle eastern yogurt. We buy Zdan brand yogurt at a little grocery nearby. Not sure if you can find it (or something similar) but it is cheap compared to greek yogurt and it's over 26 calories per ounce. I eat tons of it myself. You can mix it with fruit too. Another big hit around here is a mash of bananas and steamed pears. Steaming pears is really quick because they are somewhat soft to begin with. I had a lot to learn in the steaming department when I started making food. I learned (from my chef husband) to cook it "slow and low" and to cut the produce in larger chunks to retain flavor. If you steam little dices it comes out tasting like water.
    I've never put cream cheese on a Plum wafer - I'm going to try that!

  5. I really don't like feeding Reagan the puffs because to me they seem like the baby version of cheetos or something but like you I found it necessary to encourage the chewing aspect.

  6. Ok I'm hoping this comment goes through! First of all yay D for eating more!! Always a HUGE relief for preemie mamas! I'm sorry he's not gaining as fast as you'd like. It's SUCH a stressful experience to see where they fall on the charts. Does he have a good GI? Maybe they can help you figure out if this is ok or now? V's GI said they look at weight over 3 months which helped me breathe a little better when he'd have slow gain some times. For foods let's see? Can you mix fruits or veggies that are chunky in with something like Greek yogurt so he gets the calories and protein but the texture remains un-smooth? I've also been giving V oatmeal mixed with 24 cal formula. Could that work? How about green beans or maybe even blocks of cheese that he can gnaw on? I'll keep thinking and text you if we come across anything that works especially well for us! You're doing great mama!

  7. I just did a post the other day about baby food - I've been making my own with the help of a baby recipe book. I work full time out of the home so for me, it's helpful to have a book with short and easy ideas for combining different foods (like sweet potato-chicken-apple or tomato-cauliflower-cheese). I'm not sure about the calorie values on any of it, but I've read that using milk or formula as the liquid for any recipe helps (as others have suggested) and they even suggest using a pat of butter with certain foods (carrots, sweet potato) to help with absorption. Good luck to you! Hope you find some ideas that work for your little guy.

  8. First of all, you're doing an amazing job. I know (to a small extent) how frustrating/terrifying the eating thing can be. F is about average for weight (unadjusted), but C has always been on the (really) low end. It's tough because she eats, but she doesn't gain a lot. She's 16.5 months and 9 month clothing fits her perfectly, to give you an idea. Anyway, the nutritionist I met with suggested adding in an extra scoop of formula to every bottle--she drinks about 20 oz a day--and a spoonful of olive oil/canola oil/butter to her solids. I'm not sure if you're doing that already, but I do think it's helped. Good luck! He's absolutely adorable no matter what =)

  9. Do you think your wee guy would eat waffles, pancakes or mini muffins? Cauliflower pureed with cheese? Cheese on anything? Pasta with olive oil?

    Such a cute wee man!

  10. Um, that picture of Dylan with the dog? I die. So cute. I'm sure it's tough, but you're doing an awesome job, Mama! Wish I had some insight for you, but I'm struggling a bit with feeding D, too!