If you've been reading this blog for a bit, you may have noticed one or two feeding posts. If you're not familiar with Dakin's history with eating, here's a condensed version: up until about 2 months of age, Dakin ate like a horse. Then the SMARD started kicking in and he ate less and less. At his 'crash', they put a tube down his nose into his stomach to feed him. After he was trached there was never any talk of a permanent feeding tube (which now I realize I was very lucky with--most trached children are automatically g-tubed as a precaution against aspiration). We went home with the nasal feeding tube and attempted to help him eat properly again. That went on for a long time, until this last January, when they said he was eating enough 'real' food to pull the tube. Sometime after that I decided I would change things up and stop the pandering (TV, books, etc.) to get him to eat.
Yeah. He totally shut down except for the liquids. You can't outsmart this kid.
So we have been mostly liquids for many many moons now, but the nutritionist is fussing at me that he needs more variety and needs to be eating off a spoon. (He feeds himself things like cheese, but he takes tiny bites--he's very protective of his airway, thank goodness.) She has suggested the feeding program at Baylor, which for us would be a month long (HELL to the NO) inpatient stay while they attempt to figure out his issue.
She told me that the program focuses on positive reinforcement. They find something that motivates the kiddos to want to eat (I almost laughed out loud at that...boy howdy, he is hard to please). But I thought we'd try something we have done in the past--reading--except change it up a bit. Hitherto we had used more of a negative reinforcement with him (if you don't eat, we won't turn the page)--and in hindsight I should have known that would never work since he is so stubborn.
So we switched to a positive spin on it. We fished out three of his favorite books (you may remember Rainbow Rob) and set down with him and a cup of pudding. We let him know that this was up to him: if he wanted to see the next page, he could take a bite. If not, he didn't have to.
He ate EIGHT ounces of pudding.
Later on, he ate EIGHT ounces of potato soup.
If you don't have your calculator and are as bad at math as I am, that's SIXTEEN ounces of 'real' food. He also put down 4 oz. of carnation, 4 oz of water and 3 oz. of V-8 fusion juice, and will undoubtedly eat more overnight.
So I'm guessing this is working, at least until he checkmates me again. Keep your fingers crossed--he has never eaten that much 'real' food in one day!!