Saturday, November 19, 2011

Eating Well

I'm thankful that my girls did not inherit Q and my eating issues. We were both extremely picky eaters growing up and yet my girls will eat almost anything I put in front of them.

The nerdlet was born knowing how to eat and we could barely keep her away from food the first four months. She would scream to have food that we were eating when she was just weeks old and developed her pincher grasp at 3 months and would try every chance she got to dig into our plates (she still does). We introduced avocado on her four month birthday and she didn't have any of the typical issues you see when you introduce food. She sucked down the tablespoon of food I made for her and when she realized that I wasn't giving her more, she shoved the bib in her mouth and started sucking that. The pickiness that she does exhibit has to do with quality (like eating Chik-Fil-A chicken strips but not chicken nuggets from other places).

The bear cub is even less picky that her older sister. I was so worried about her when I introduced food to her which was also at four months. I had read all about how children with Down syndrome were especially prone to have taste and texture aversions and that the best way to combat this was to introduce foods early and often. So that is what I did. I followed the exact food introduction schedule that I had used for the nerdlet. She would allow me to place a small amount in her mouth. She'd tolerate it for a bit and maybe even chew a bit and then spit it out. At 15 months I still had not gotten her to swallow anything but breast milk and formula and only from a bottle. We had a nutritionist recommend switching her to Pediasure and at about a eighteen months she finally decided to start swallowing (thanks to her sister sharing cookies with her). She still doesn't eat enough to sustain herself and mostly only eats about 2 tablespoons at a time before she is done, but she rarely refuses anything.

Darth Baby was the least accepting of food. My plan was to again use the same introduction schedule and she quickly let me know that she wasn't going to allow me to even put it in her mouth. Nothing. Not even a taste. No way. I offered pretty much every day and she made it very clear that she wasn't interested. Then just about a month ago she decided that it all looked very good and started eating everything. I will admit that Darth Baby did not get the healthy introduction of foods that her sister did because of her resistance and she does show a marked interest in the unhealthy options that include a lot of sugar, salt, and fat. She is big into meat which isn't a particular favorite of either of her sisters, but she does seem willing to eat and try new things so far.

I'm just really thankful that I don't have to struggle every day trying to make sure my girls get enough good food. I am working on the bear cub eating enough as she is still getting most of her nutrition from Pediasure which bothers me a lot and not just because it's expensive, but I love that all three of my girls are accepting of a lot of fruits and vegetables and different varieties of flavors.

Bon apetite.

1 comment:

  1. My husband and I were both really picky eaters as kids, so I pretty much figured we were doomed. I think my mom's still annoyed at how well our kids eat ;). It's a big relief. They weren't interested early at all, though, I think until about a year they were mostly just having a bite here and a taste there. But they eat most things nowadays, are way more interested in cooking and playing with different spices than I've ever been, and most importantly even if they don't much like something they'll usually deal and eat it anyway.

    Good luck with the bear cub and Darth Baby. They are both still pretty young---I'm sure it will come with time.