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30 Days to Make a Habit

They say that for something to become a habit, you must do it for 30 days.  Well, we are well over 30 days of trying out the Blenderized Diet and it is very much a habit now! This is by far the best decision I’ve ever made for my child.  He is tolerating the volume and the feeds extremely well. Braxton is doing so well with the new diet.   My only regret is that I didn’t start this sooner!  I was extremely overwhelmed when this all started, but once you get a handle on everything and find something that works, it’s really very easy.

I’ve found a couple recipes that really seem to work well for Braxton, and they are easy for me to keep up with.  I’ve started to make my own fruit, veggie, and meat blends too.  Jarred baby food gets a little expensive, so buying whole fruits and meats makes a lot more than what is available jarred.  Little by little I cook the meat or steam the veggies and then blend them up and freeze them.  I’ve used ice cube trays to save one ounce portions that I can easily thaw and add to the blender and even saved baby food jars to put my blends in.  I prepare Braxton’s blend nightly for the next day.  The blend is usually enough for about a day and a half, so every couple days I do get a break 🙂

Instead of posting each recipe and picture of nutrition facts, I’ve created a Google Doc that I can share with you all instead! If you are looking for recipes or need any nutrition information you can visit my spreadsheet here.

Braxton is even eating now!! Yayyyy!! I accidentally left his feeding success off our last post..yikes! It’s still a very slow process, but we are getting somewhere with him now.  Braxton is consistently taking about an ounce of food whenever I offer it to him.  We’ve tried pureed baby foods again, but I’ve also started trying other things like yogurt and pudding to see if he has a preference for different textures or flavors.  He wasn’t a fan of chocolate pudding *gasp!* I told him there was no way he was my kid if he didn’t like chocolate pudding haha He really seems to like Baby Yo’s Peach Yogurt though and he has been actively eating that when offered.  I’m so happy to see him making some progress with eating.  Hopefully we can get him back to where he was at with eating and move toward having his G-Tube taken out.  One day.  For now, we will keep working with him and celebrating all the little successes, because one day we’ll look back and truly realize how instrumental those were for him.

It’s exciting to finally post so much good news!! Brax has been a little under the weather this week, but overall he’s doing so well! We even have a slow couple of months coming up.  Aside from daily therapies, we don’t have very many doctors appointments coming up. Woooo! A break! Haha I was preparing our calendar for the next couple of months and was very surprised to see that we only have 1 appointment this month AND next month! Sadly, I sat and stared at the calendar for a good while thinking that I had missed something! Hopefully, I haven’t.  Until next time…..here’s Braxton 🙂

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Filed under Blenderized Diet, Family, Kids and Family, Life, Special Needs Child

More Blending Fun

I am very amazed at how well this Blenderized Diet is going for us.  Braxton is tolerating the new diet SO WELL! All of our issues with his vomiting have truly stopped.  I’ve accidentally fed him a little quickly and made him throw up, but I’m pretty sure that was a too much, too fast kind of thing and not an intolerance issue.  And call me crazy, but I really do think his hair is growing and getting thicker and shinier.  I read that that could happen, but I did NOT expect to see it so quickly! It’s been about two weeks  and there is already some positive differences.  I’m so excited for Braxton! It’s still a lot of work, but it’s getting easier and taking less and less time to get everything ready for Braxton’s feeds.  Seeing the amazing differences it’s made is all the motivation I need to continue forward with this.  I’m all for whatever makes my kid happy. 🙂

Since speaking with our dietitian I have tried a few other recipes for Braxton’s blenderized diet.  I’m still trying to find one that works for us – mainly making sure we have enough calories and all the necessary nutrients in a blend to maintain a healthy weight gain for Braxton, but we’re close! All of the blends are pretty similar and I’ve just changed out the kinds of fruits and veggies we use.  I still want Braxton to be able to try a variety of foods.

We’re also still working on oral feeding, since that IS the ultimate goal here.  Braxton is much more tolerant of feeding attempts now.  I’ve been able to get him to eat anywhere from half an ounce to a full ounce at one feeding, and he’s even taking some milk from a sippy cup!! Yayyy Braxton! Progress is definitely being made.

Braxton always reaches out to the bottle when I shake it so I let him hold it and he put it right to his mouth!

Braxton always reaches out to the bottle when I shake it so I let him hold it and he put it right to his mouth!

I put a little milk in a sippy cup and let him try it

I put a little milk in a sippy cup and let him try it

Braxton drank about half an ounce of milk from a cup!

Braxton drank about half an ounce of milk from a cup!

The dietitian sent me a few different recipes to try since she felt the initial one we were using had a little too much cereal for Braxton, so I tried out a couple that sent.

For our first few trials and recipes, see this post.

Trial 4

  • 12 oz Organic Whole Milk
  • 7.5 oz Happy Naturals Chicken w/ Gravy Baby Food
  • 8 oz Happy Naturals Carrots & Peas Baby Food
  • 4 oz Happy Naturals Peach, Rice & Banana Baby Food
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

This recipe made about 36 ounces, which is enough food for one day.  We tried this recipe for a few days changing out meats, fruits and veggies but it was very thin and I think the added Sugar aggravated Braxton’s symptoms of Dumping Syndrome, because we did have some gagging and retching with this recipe. And he vomited once, so I added corn starch to the feeds and he did ok after that, but some gagging still.

Nutritional Facts for Trials 4-6 which used this recipe

Trial 4 Nutrition Facts Trial 5 Nutrition Facts Trial 6 Nutrition Facts

For the last trial I doubled the recipe to try to cut down on the amount of work for myself.  Also, my mom was reading our first posts on starting the blenderized diet and about needing a high speed blender (we weren’t ready to invest in one yet since we were just starting out), but she and my dad decided to go out and try to find one for my birthday/Christmas present [joys of having a birthday near Christmas].  She went to Sears, but when she asked for the Vitamix or Blendtec, they told her they didn’t carry it, but offered the Ninja Kitchen System, which they said was comparable. It has a similar design to the Blendtec Blender with the four sided blending container. It came with a 72 ounce container so I decided to test it out and make a big batch.  I still used already pureed baby foods, so maybe not a real test, but volume wise it worked great!!

Thanks mom!

Thanks mom!

Large capacity container

Large capacity container

Since Braxton was gagging even with the Corn Starch, I decided to try a different recipe suggested by the dietitian.  She gave us a spreadsheet with one recipe based on different daily calorie needs.  I started out with the 1,000 daily calorie recipe.

Trial 7

  • 1/4 Cup Gerber Mixed Grain Infant Cereal
  • 5 oz – Happy Naturals Beef w/ Gravy Baby Food
  • 4 0z Happy Naturals Carrots Baby Food
  • 4 oz Happy Naturals Applesauce
  • 1/2 cup Simply Orange Orange juice
  • 2 cups Organic Whole Milk
  • 1/4 Cream Half & Half
  • 1 Egg Cooked Scrambled – VERY important that the egg is cooked well!
  • 2 tsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Karo Syrup

This recipe includes the infant cereal like our very first recipe, but it’s significantly less so hopefully easier on the tummy.  With Dumping Syndrome, Braxton does better when his foods have more complex carbs/sugars that take longer for his tummy to digest, so I decided to try this recipe.  This recipe made about one days worth of food and the calorie per ounce was less than previous recipes, but it still ensured 1,000 daily calories.

Nutritional Facts

Trial 7 Nutrition Facts

For the next one, I made a double recipe because we had a couple busy days ahead and I didn’t want to be up too late mixing food.  Basically the same recipe, but here’s what those nutrition facts look like.

Trial 8 Nutrition Facts

And finally, yesterday’s mix I decided to try out the 1,200 calorie mix.  Braxton had his 18-month checkup and he weighed 25 pounds 15 ounces, which is slightly less than he was when we started this diet, so I need to increase his calorie intake to make sure he’s gaining weight.  Here’s what the 1,200 Calorie recipe looks like

Trial 9

  • 1/4 cup Gerber Mixed Grain Infant Cereal
  • 2.5 ounces Happy Naturals Turkey w/Gravy Baby Food
  • 2.5 ounces Happy Naturals Chicken w/ Gravy Baby Food
  • 6 ounces Gerber Turkey w/ Rice & Veggies Dinner Baby Food
  • 4 ounces Happy Naturals Prunes w/ Apples Baby Food
  • 1/2 cup Simply Orange Orange juice
  • 2 cups Organic Whole Milk
  • 1/3 cup Cream Half & Half
  • 1 Egg Cooked; scrambled
  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Karo Syrup

This recipe made about 42 ounces and is a little closer to the calorie per ounce goal we are aiming for.  Braxton really needs to have a blend that is about 30 calories per ounce since that is what the Pediasure was.  I’m thinking we my need to add in a feed daily, or find some more calorically dense foods to blend in.  The increased calories here only really increased the volume and not necessarily the calories per ounce.

Nutrition Facts

Trial 9 Nutrition Facts

When I started with this recipe, I blended the egg with a little milk separately in our Baby Bullet Blender just because I wasn’t sure if the Ninja System blender would blend it up smooth enough and I didn’t want chunks of egg floating around. WELLLLL, my grandma came in to show us how to make tamales and when it came time to shred the pork and chicken, I decided we could use the Ninja System blender and holy cow! It was amazing!! It blended a little TOO WELL for tamales.  I’ll definitely be buying whole pieces of chicken and putting this blender to good use blending up chicken and portioning it out in our stash of baby food jars we are starting.  Pureed baby food meat is close to a dollar a jar and although it’s not much, it adds up quick!! Some of these recipes call for 2-3 jars! That’s almost $20 bucks a week! I’ll try out some homemade meat blends and get back to you.  Until then….happy blending!

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Filed under Blenderized Diet, Family, Kids and Family, Life, Special Needs Child