It’s been a slow road when it comes to feeding with Eli.
It seems that speech and feeding are his weak areas- it doesn’t bother him at all, but we want Eli to be more independent and able to communicate, so for us it is a priority.
When we worked with Keep Pace ECI, our SLP was amazing! But Eli just wasn’t ready to eat solids. He could, and would frequently steal food from our plates all the time. But whole meals? Forget about it.
We tried playing with the food, eating dinner as a family, putting food in front of him and giving him the choice. Nothing. He would only self feed goldfish crackers, veggie sticks and cheez nips (all super healthy options…). Eli would cry, throw food, try to hit us, or refuse to eat all together when we would offer anything but purees. We had come to the conclusion it was a texture issue- he liked the feel of the crackers and did not want to touch or have anything else in his mouth that wasn’t of that texture.
Our new SLP with Easter Seals came and she observed the same things our original SLP saw. Eli is stubborn. Eli is capable.
So she watched Eli eat and concluded that Eli was in fact ready to eat solids. This made me nervous, because her plan was to go cold turkey on purees. So we stopped feeding Eli purees immediately. No more baby food.
This made me anxious. But Eli was successful!
For a full week, we ate dinner as a family, he would occassionally help us spoon feed him, and he would eat whatever I had made for dinner that night.
I was in shock and awe of my child. He had us all tricked!!
By the end of each meal, my husband and I would just gush over all the new foods he had tried and point out all the positives of the experience.
The next week, Eli began to refuse foods again. One meal he would eat fine, but then for lunch he would scream and throw a fit to get purees. We felt crushed because at this point we knew he could eat foods, but we couldn’t starve him to make him do it.
A few meals we did have to revert back to purees, but in the end, he went back to solids.
At the end of each meal, we have noticed that Eli is more tired from working so hard to chew, but his endurance is building and he’s getting better each day. We are working on strengthening his jaw with our SLP, as well as speech activities.
He has also begun to explore more self feeding. This is the biggest accomplishment to me. Eli has started to pick up small pieces of chicken and egg to feed to himself. He has never done this before. (So all you mama’s out there who have a child who feeds themselves, give them a hug!! It’s a lot of work when you have to feed yourself, a 3 month old and your 18 month old!) We have very much been looking forward to this day.
He is still learning and it’s all on Eli’s time, but he will pick up an individual piece and eat it. If we put too many pieces in front of him, or if we give him food while he is still chewing, he will throw the food on the table. lol
But still, this is huge!!
We are also working on positioning while in the chair. He needs to be at more of a 90 degree angle with his feet firmly planted on a surface. This will help with his focus and control at the table. I will post pictures of this later so you can see what we are doing. 🙂
In other self feeding news, we have begun a transition from the Dr. Brown’s spoons to the Sassy Toddle Spoons. They are shorter, angled and chunky to help promote self feeding. 🙂 He likes his spoon and of course likes to be in charge of scooping up his food. 😉
So, all that to say, we have a boy who is willing to touch more foods, is trying to self feed more textures and tastes, and is eating all solids from our plates. We are so so proud of the progress he has made and can’t wait to see what else he will blow us away with! 🙂