How do you teach your SID kid how to eat solids? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 02-24-2005, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
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My son is 18 months. He is on a diet of yogurt, smoothies, and baby food from the jar, plus a few other things of that consistency.

He is eligible for our early intervention program and has been evaulated by like 4 people different people. Unfortuantely, due to MASSIVE underfunding in Nevada, he is getting little to no help at all. I've spent over $1500 of my own money on PT and some OT but I can't afford to do it anymore.

So I'm turning to you guys. How do I get him to eventually eat solid foods?

Do I just up his texture in the baby food, like adding wheat germ or bread crumbs or baby oatmeal?

Or do I need to help him with his oral sensory problem and his texture aversion first?

He has no problem putting toys in his mouth (smooth plastic toys and some spongy stuff) but won't put a cheerio in his mouth or anything like that.

Have any of you successfully trained a kid with oral texture issues how to eat without gagging and vomiting?
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#2 of 11 Old 02-25-2005, 12:46 AM
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That's too bad that he qualifies for services but is not getting all that he needs. How frustrating!

Well each child is different so it's hard to tell what he will respond to and what he won't. With Nitara we are working on both the sensory issues with an OT, and the feeding issues with a speech/feeding therapist. The OT has worked very well and she is doing much better. Her reflux is better, her sleep is better, she is not freaking around strangers anymore. It's great!

However she is stuck with the feeding and rarely swallows anything that she puts in her mouth, and she hardly puts anything in her mouth. Only a couple of times a day.The good news is that she's starting to feel hungry, she just doesn't know what to do with that feeling except to get grumpy and drink an oz or two of water from a cup.

The therapist said to keep offering her foods all the time, sit down and eat with her at mealtimes, allow her to play with her food and mush it up. Give her anything oral that she will take. Nitara loves chewing on toothbrushes and she will now accept 2 different flavors of toothpaste. I may start trying to dip them in food soon.

If he accepts pureed bananas, let him mush a real one while he's eating the puree. If he likes cereal, let him eat that while playing with un-pureed rice or oatmeal or mashed potatoes.


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#3 of 11 Old 02-25-2005, 12:34 PM
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"Upping the texture" is exactly what I had to do with my youngest. I experimented with the foods he liked (yogurt, pudding, mango dessert babyfood) by adding some rice cereal and such a little bit at a time. Sometimes, I went too far (tapioca in chocolate pudding *sounded* like a good idea) and he went on strike. The first thing he willingly put in his mouth without my assistance was a grape popsicle. Once he figured out that good things didn't always come on a spoon, he was (slowly, slowly) willing to try new things.

Of course, he was also getting OT through all of this, and we had a consult with an S/LP to make certain there was no physical or mechanical reason for his aversion.

My favorite book on the subject is Just Take a Bite by Lori Ernsperger:

Hope this helps,

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#4 of 11 Old 02-26-2005, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Cool, thanks, I'll check it out.
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#5 of 11 Old 02-27-2005, 01:04 AM
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Sounds like my son... but add intermittent and undx'd choking problem! So they wouldn't DO feeding therapy on him!!

I started with adding cooked pastina to his purees and when he mastered that, I went up to mixing stage 3 baby food with a puree (or watering it down). I did this every day. He would gag and hold his tongue out as if to say "scrape it off--I'm not swallowing that!", but as long as he didn't choke I kept going.

I also offered him Gerber Puffs because they melt quickly in the mouth. I had to offer them for a full week, showing him that I put them in my mouth--trying to put them in his mouth... it took a week before he considered putting them in his own mouth. Once he had them in his mouth, it was again with the gagging and trying to get it off of his tongue. I worked with him every day, twice/day. In 2 weeks, he was picking them up and popping them in with no problem.

That was 3 months ago and now he eats like a champ. We still encounter problems with new foods, but he gets over it a little quicker now. We finally got feeding therapy (he can't ingest liquids through anything other than my breast!) and they are telling me that he should be able to eat larger pieces now. He had whole arrowroot animal cookies last week. He stuck the entire thing in his mouth and my heart stopped completely for the 4 minutes it took for him to get it down (after chomping it).

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#6 of 11 Old 02-27-2005, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, this is extremely helpful. I am printing out the advice so I can remember more easily.

I'm on it!!
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#7 of 11 Old 03-05-2006, 05:55 AM
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Allow the child control over what he eats. Try different types of foods than you would expect. Cook fruit and veggies until soft. Try different spoons, some are softer than others.

I never worried about my ds not eating Cheerios -- after all, they do have wheat in them, so really are probably not that great for those who may have any sort of digestive problem. He may be avoiding them instinctively. I know that was the case for my son. Although he didn't usually gag on food -- he just spit it out or wouldn't take it in in the first place.

One thing that ds took to early on was the freeze dried fruits, because they are crispy not chewy, and practically dissolve in the mouth. Gerber makes them, or if you can get to a health food store, there are a couple of lines of them that are organic, including "Just Fruit" ( )
Also, if you cut things up to the size of peas, it can help with being able to not choke on them.
The other thing to remember is that just about anything can be pureed, if you use the right equipment.

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#8 of 11 Old 03-05-2006, 12:06 PM
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Another thing you can do is to make a game of feeding: you feed me, and I'll feed you. We (DH, DS and I) started with one rice crispy at a time, dramatically showing how to chew it up in our mouths and exaggerating the delight we took in each little morsel. With other solids, we started with really tiny bites, again exaggerating the chewing motions and our enjoyment. I usually tried to offer 3 different textures at each meal: crunchy, gooey, and soft solid (such as pasta). If DS took at least one taste of each, the meal was a success and he got plenty of positive feedback. Also involving the child in the grocery store trip makes a big difference at meal time. One time DS insisted that I buy him a lime, and then had me cut it up for him as soon as we got home -- he was surprised at the taste!

Over time, these tiny steps have really added up. DS no longer gags on his food and eats an incredibly wide variety of foods.

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#9 of 11 Old 03-05-2006, 07:15 PM
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I was going to suggest Just Take A Bite too. The standard for my ds is he has to *see* a new food 8-10 times before he'll even consider eating it. As in, we prepare said food, put it within his eating area, just out of arms' length, and let him just *look* at it. Putting it too close is "threatening" to him. Anyway, once he's comfortable, we bring it in closer and let him touch it and/or just poke it (or throw it off the table, which he sometimes does...sigh). It usually takes a few days/weeks to get him to eat new food. Patience. Time and patience. Feeding disorders suck.
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#10 of 11 Old 03-09-2006, 03:59 AM
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Thanks so much to all of you who contributed to this thread. sigh.
It was very helpful.

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#11 of 11 Old 03-13-2006, 09:42 PM
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I would also suggest you check out New Visions at
Dr. Suzanne Morris was a consultant for Gerber for 30 years--and in all of her experience with children with feeding disorders (that's what she does--and why we saw her as our dd had a g-tube)....she told us a parent meeting that she suggested to Gerber that they get rid of the Stage 3 foods that combine smooth and chunky textures together.
Something about the combination of the two make children gag and MOST of the children bypass Stage 3 and move to table food (normal and feeding disorder kids, like mine) because the combination of textures is confusing and difficult for children to navigate in their mouths.
So my advice is slightly different than the pps...skip the combination of textures and allow him to pick and choose his own foods. They can be a game.
Have you seen the CHEERIO BOOK? This was a therapy tool that we used with our dd. The book has pictures of monkeys and other animals and the child is supposed to put Cheerios in the holes for the eyes of the animals, etc. And in the process-they tend to put the cheerios in their mouths, as if they were toys. Read the book in a non-threatening environment---like on the floor, instead of at the kitchen table.
Check out New Visions website. Email Dr. Morris if you have a question--she is a wonderful holistic therapist and is happy to answer questions for you--and it won't cost you a dime. And no, I don't work for her. I just had my dd in her therapy program and recommend it with all of my heart.
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