I took Charlie to the local feeding clinic a week or so ago hoping to get some direction on how to get him to branch out his food selections. He is still holding strong on mostly carbs (bread, crackers, cereal) and fruit (bananas, apples, grapes, pears and peaches in syrup, raisins, craisins, and freeze dried apples and mangos). He has pretty much stopped eating any purees which means getting any veggies in to his diet has pretty much stopped unless you count the diced canned carrots that he will eat. His only source of protein besides his formula (yes, he's still on it) are chicken nuggets. So, as you can see, we cannot take him off his formula until he gets some more protein and fat into his diet. I would be OK with no veggies if we could get him to eat some meat or even peanut butter!
I was told that he has a slightly weak bite and lateral movement with his tongue and we were given a nuk tool to help strengthen his muscles. Yay. Because I didn't see enough of those things with Rachel. We also have mouth exercises to do with our hands in his mouth. Again, yay.
It was also suggested we try "chaining" foods. For example, the chicken nuggets. At this point he will ONLY eat Tyson's regular chicken nuggets. The clinic suggested getting the nuggets in a different shape and adding them to the regular ones to see if he would eat them. Once he does, we use a different brand, then chicken fingers, then eventually to breaded and baked chicken at home. All with the end result in mind being that he will branch out to other sources of protein. They want me to try taking a liked food like crackers and adding PB or hummus to it. I've tried that before and he's flat out refused the crackers. I guess I'll keep trying. Sigh.
Since he cannot have dairy or soy, I cannot rely on milk, cheese or yogurt to get him the fat and protein he needs to grow and that is what makes this most difficult. We will try dairy again when he turns two but until then he'll continue receiving formula.
There is a great blog called Mealtime Hostage that I've been reading and it's amazing the similarities this blog writer's son and Charlie have in common. Her blog is so insightful and informative. Check is out if you have a child in the same boat as Charlie. You won't regret it!