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Celebrating the Small Bites - Keyes To Sonshine

We have been very blessed with meeting a lot of developmental milestones with Asher being born at 26 weeks. However, there are a few things we are working on that aren’t tied to him being premature. For example, him being just being a toddler and FEEDING! I’ve found this in common with other toddlers only difference for us is that we have had to monitor his weight gain closely. 

His Doctors at one point mentioned OT (Occupational Therapy) to help with feeding techniques. I initially did not jump on board with this one. Feeding was one thing I had been looking forward to. I figured buy some cute cut outs and make meal time fun and colorful and he was going to fall right into it. That wasn’t the case. He loves letters and shapes so he would identify what was on his plate and even get excited about the letters and colors but actually eating it was a different story. I continued to try different methods and finally I surrendered and faced the fact that I needed assistance. 

We went to the OT, I think the assurance was more for me than him, lol. As a mommy I take everything he does and doesn’t do so personal. Him rejecting food made me feel as if I was failing him. As I am learning this was far from reality. I was doing the best I could but realized in being the best mommy is using the tools provided to continue to learn with him. 

MESSAGE – We are only a few weeks into his appointments but I’m happy to report we are celebrating some wins over here!

A few other things I’ve learned: 

  • it’s okay if they love it today and refuse it tomorrow. Keep trying
  • Change the atmosphere, not all meals need to be in the same area (have a picnic inside, go to the park).
  • Texture, during playtime try and play with things that require other textures (sand, play dough and slime).
  • Make it fun, we spit peas in cups like basketball and smash food on purpose. The goal is to make it messy and we make cleaning up fun afterwards. 
  • Exaggerate sound effects with food. Buying things that are crispy and long help with getting him to use his back teeth, so he has to bite down versus suck on foods pieces.
  • They have come a long way with making healthy options. So for my french fry lover, I found veggie french fries.
  • Not everything has to be healthy. I’d love it if that was the case but we tackle the actual eating at first and then I’ll implement more healthier options as we go along.
  • Dips! From ranch to peanut butter “I dip, you dip, we dip”!
  • I try and eat the same things he eats. Sometimes it is see mommy, baby boy do or even feeding mommy leads to him trying it himself. 
  • Cheering him on when he takes a bite! All kids are different. I take tips from things I see other kids eating and try and implement them during our meal time but I don’t compare what someone might be eating at his age. As adults we don’t like the same foods, what makes a child any different? 

Take it one meal at a time and remember to celebrate the small bites 😊

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