Sunday, November 22, 2009

What does Emma eat?

Emma enjoying her birthday cake

One topic that often comes up with parents of children that are poor weight gainers is food, glorious food! I've already done a post on the challenges of getting Emma to eat and I'm so thrilled that she has recently gained a lot of ground in eating better! I think a lot of the changes we made to the diet along with all the oral motor exercises are a large reason for her improvement, so I thought I would share a bit more on this subject.

We like to provide a lot of variety in Emma's diet and do not have any real dietary restrictions other than keeping her consumption of whole milk to an absolute minimum to help with her reflux. Here is what Emma could eat on a typical day:
  • Emma's main drink is a mixture of mostly almond milk, a bit of unsweetened coconut milk and Metagenics Ultracare for Kids. This replaced the Pediasure that left Emma with constipation and reflux issues - since switching drinks we've pretty much eliminated both. I'm not recommending this for others, but if you do want to consider this drink please check with your nutritionist for the recipe.
  • For breakfast we do a variety of different things, depending on the day. We do smoothies on the days that we have to be out of the house quick since it gives her great nutrition and she drinks it without any problems. Other days she could have some organic baby cereal or oatmeal with an adder. This fall her favorite way to eat cereal is with apple butter or pumpkin butter mixed in. We also give her eggs, pancakes, waffles, meat, etc. for breakfast - basically whatever we eat I blend or mash it up so she can eat it easier.
  • For lunch she either has leftovers from dinner the night before or a YoBaby yogurt. This yogurt tends to be a bit runny so I add graham cracker crumbs or other food to give it a better texture for her to eat. I also usually give a fruit - mashed banana, applesauce, etc. I have recently started to add avocado or veggies to the fruit mixture.
  • Dinner is a variety of things. Emma is pretty happy eating what we eat after I mash or blend it up for her. A lot of the food I make is organic and I like to make recipes from the book First Meals by Annabel Karmel. I also make Emma some great stews. Kate did a guest post on Ellen's To the Max blog and her son's nutritionist offered up a stew recipe and I've recently made some for Emma and she just LOVES it! This stew recipe is a staple in my kitchen now. The stew I made for Emma today consisted of flounder, parsnips, carrots, sweet potato, turnips, onions, zucchini and parsley. I have to say it's really tasty and Julia even loved it! The nice thing about the stew is that I can mash it instead of pureeing it.
  • Emma is also showing great interest in more solid foods. She likes to take bites of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches from Julia, buttered toast, goldfish crackers, baby teething biscuits, thin-crust pizza, etc. It's nice to see her so interested in table food and giving her small portions of these helps her work on her oral motor skills so that she will be able to move to more table food in the future.
As for supplements, we are currently giving the following:
  • Super Nu-Thera with P-5-P liquid vitamin formulated specifically for brain development. I mix this into her drink in the morning.
  • Vitamin C (250 mg) powder is mixed in her drink with the vitamin.
  • Vitamin E capsule - I puncture the capsule and add the liquid to food or a drink and then I swallow the capsule shell to prevent waste.
  • Omega-3 Fish Oil for brain development and overall health. The old brand we were using had a really strong fish smell that was hard to get out of Emma's bibs and clothes so we switched to the Barlean's Lemon Swirl and it's delicious and has no smell! Everyone in our house takes this after dinner to help keep us all healthy.
  • PhosphaLine was just added to the mix this week. This is specifically to help increase Emma's speech and language development. This is not so tasty and I blend it in with applesauce so Emma doesn't mind the taste. I'm keeping tabs on how well this works as Emma's nutritionist said that we'll know if it's helping or not by the time the bottle is consumed to decide if this is something we want to keep in the mix.

2 Comments from readers:

Tara Bennett said...

You always give me so much to think about. I appreciate all your wisdom more than you know :)

We use Carlson's Omega-3 for kids, it smells like lemon and Chloe seems to actually like it. We were also using one that was way to fishy, so I'm glad we switched :)

Michelle said...

We have an apt. with the nutritionist this Wednesday; I'm glad to be reading your post and anxious to have the nutritionist review some of what you have posted. Abby still suffers from a lot of reflux despite a surgical procedure to correct this...she mostly drinks Pediasure (wondering whether the drink mix will be helpful to Abby too) and eats some homemade purees - fruits, veggies, whatever we eat. She is very interested in our table food and we often give her teeny bites for fear that she will choke/gag/vomit. Thank you for your posting and info....