Monday, August 2, 2010

Update on Feeding

We've been MIA this week! I think this is probably the longest amount of time I've gone without updating....both Chris and I are coming off of a very busy work week and now that it's done, we have some more free time again.
Colin's progress in the feeding department is coming along very slowly. I am very happy with the progress because I can see the little changes that are happening over time. We have gotten a lot of great tips and suggestions and have slowly started applying them to feeding times.
The Positives:
  • If presented with some food on his tray, Colin will attempt at times to take a tiny speck of food (yep, he picks out the smallest speck) and put it in his mouth from either his thumb or index finger.
  • He is pretty much eating all types of table food (which I put in the food processor leaving very small chunks) without any resistance.
  • He will put large items (pretzel rods, cookies, etc.) into his mouth without prompting.
  • He assists with putting the spoon/fork into his mouth.

The Negatives: (I should more appropriately call this concerns)

  • Colin still doesn't really go through a chewing motion (unless in a non-food setting, he is watching us eat something and then he will mimic the chewing motion). This is concerning to me because I wonder how well the food is getting absorbed when it's not broken down more thoroughly. I try to puree the food pretty small because of this reason, but there are still chunks. We put the food into the side of his mouth, he quickly moves it over, and slides it down his throat. This is the area we are struggling to improve.
  • He is not using a pincer grip to pick up food (literally just pokes and hope it sticks to his finger). However, we just got OT added, so hopefully that will help.
  • I am happy with his progress, but fear the start of school in a classroom that is more unassisted feeding (he will obviously need help, but I was hoping by then he would be independently feeding).

Tonight, I decided to not fear the mess as much and allowed Colin to really explore and play with his food.
He poked and prodded and smeared and threw, and a few pieces ended up in his mouth on his own (of course the pieces that just stuck to his finger).

He was happy, of course. What kid doesn't love making a mess?

I can't tell you how many pieces of spinach and ravioli were floating in the bathtub, but it was a fun and rewarding experience. Here's to many more of those experiences!

11 comments:

ch said...

Yahoo, Colin! We're so proud of you! When LC was practicing chewing, her feeding therapist used Slim Jims and (slightly stale) Twizzlers licorice. We presented at the side of the mouth, but they were too tough to tear off a piece. That seemed to encourage repeated chewing motions that we could positively reinforce. But, I have to say, he gets big cheers for being able to move his tongue laterally to sneak that food over from the side of his mouth. That little move stumped LC for QUITE awhile.
So tickled for his progress...way to go Colin and coaches!!!

Adrienne said...

LOL- he's hilarious! You'll have to read my post about self feeding, or lack of! I think I'm going to try that slim jim thing, that's the second person that has suggested that. And what kind of food processor do you have? We have a huge one but wondering if you use a smaller one.

Ria said...

Looks like he's doing great. Progress is progress! I'd say he's doing better than Matthew is. Matthew says no to anything new or unfamiliar yet we still keep trying. I'm hoping school will help with that more.
Keep up the good work you guys!

Kelly said...

Great job Colin!! Moving food around your mouth is lots of work (great oral strength)!! I cannot wait for you & Landon to meet one another.....lunch time should be FUN:)

BTW, like Courtney & LC, our therapist also recommended Slim Jims and Twizzlers for Landon, too!! WILL.TRY.ANYTHING!!! Hang in there, you are not alone:)

Jenny said...

Well, he's darn cute even when he is a mess! Ok, this may seem like a dumb question but I wanted to ask...how come babies with Ds have trouble self feeding? I have noticed so many of the Moms with kids Colins age struggling with the same thing...does it have to do with muscle tone? I was just wondering...

Lacey said...

Wow, i'll have to remember that slim jim tip! Looking so cute covered in food!

Rochelle said...

Go Colin! You sure do look happy & cute after dinner. Keep up the good practicing.

Natalia said...

Great updates!! He is TOO cute! I bet he had an absolute ball judging by the pictures. :)

Love you guys!

Dreams Do Come True said...

We went through that at the beginning of the year (my son with DS is 18 months old). My sons first reliable self-feed was macaroni and cheese, he would swallow it whole at first (just cut the pieces in half), then he finally got the hang of chewing. He also , loved chicken fingers cut up in small pieces with barbeque sauce. Ketchup and Barbeque sauce have been wonderful (works with every kid). He finally ate scrambled eggs when I put salsa on them. Pinwheels with marinara (very messy, but fun and easy to pick up) Cheetos puffs are great for practice with finger feeding (not healthy, but they are tasty and crunchy) just give him the whole thing and get him to taste it to see if he likes it. Also, cooked mini carrots with ranch dressing (make sure they are cooked and a bit mushy) More ideas, all kids are different. His nutrition will improve with the variety of foods so no need to puree (the food just gets lost in his hands).

Kati A

Dreams Do Come True said...

The whole self-feeding thing will help with the chewing thing, it is all a progression.

Suze said...

Yeah Colin! Looks like he is definitely making progress. I know I get frustrated too sometimes with feeding Tommy, and we don't have the same challenges as you do. Just last night I was thinking about how we were so worried about getting enough tummy time for Tommy when he first started daycare. That seems like forever a go. So I just try to remind myself that eventually things will fall into place and happen, and we might not even remember when things suddenly started happening! I am so with you on the mess thing - I always try to keep things neat but I've been trying to relax a bit in hopes that Tommy will just figure things out with table food. You are doing a great job, and Colin is too, so continue to look at the positives! Tommy is all about mashing the peas and carrots I give him (even at daycare), and I"m told that boys sometimes take a little longer to grasp the self feeding and that those items are to be eaten, not mashed. We miss you at daycare!