Thank-You For Your Insight Into My Child’s Feeding Issues

Jodi Shenal by Jodi Shenal Additional Needs

Jodi Shenal

Jodi Shenal

I'm a stay-at-home mom with two amazing children. My son is on the Autism spectrum and my daughter has a rare genetic disorder and multiple disabil...

These statements are all unwarranted bits of advice that we have been given, having a child with feeding issues.

When your child can eat by mouth, but physically can NOT tolerate textures in food or lumps of any size, feeding becomes a slippery slope. 

In disagreement of these words of advice we’ve been given too often:

She would NOT just magically eat a cracker or a chip if we were to simply let her get seriously hungry.

She is NOT lazy.  She is the hardest working person I have ever witnessed.

She is NOT picky; I’m sure she would gladly devour a slice of pizza if she could.

Baby food does not contain the fat and caloric amounts that she needs to maintain her body weight, and for growth.

If there is ONE lump in her food, it will NOT be OK. She will detect it and she will gag until she makes herself sick. Then, a feeding aversion will follow.

Thanks for these tips that have worked for your typical child, but no thanks.

My daughter LOVES to eat. She is five years old and has multiple cognitive and physical disabilities that make chewing an impossible feat.

Therefore, we have big issues with feeding.

She enjoys casseroles, spaghetti, asparagus, roast beef and potatoes, and much more... as long as her meals are smoothly pureed so that she can tolerate them.

I have often said that our Ninja blending system is our saving grace. It’s amazing what you can puree with the right blending system and the right amount of liquid!

I honestly do not know what we would do without it, as her ability to eat depends on it.

We’ve learned the tricks of the trade (adding heavy cream, milk and water to her meals) for achieving the perfect consistency.

While chewing is a goal we continuously work towards, we are grateful that we are able to feed her in this manner.

Our pantry is also well stocked with high calorie pudding, yogurt and applesauce that are easy for her to manage.

Travel is always tricky and dining out requires very careful planning, but we manage to make it work.

Feeding issues can be absolutely stressful, and it’s hard for parents who haven’t walked this path to fully understand.

No matter which method Special Needs parents employ to feed our children….whether it be a feeding tube, bottle feeding or pureeing everything, we are all doing what is best for our children and providing them with the necessary nourishment they need to survive and thrive.

Instead of giving us tips that are not constructive or productive, just offer an encouraging word.

We truly appreciate kindness and understanding.

Those are things we will thank you for.


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