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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Updates on Blendy-Blends

Blending has become a way of life in our household and I'm happy to say we are at 100% blends for Christian. That means he gets whole foods, blended and pushed through his tube all day, every day.

This calls for an update on our blendy-blends. That's what I call them - Blendy-blends.

What?! It's cute!

The last update I gave on blends was that Christian was at about 80% blends. Meaning he was eating a full blended diet during the day and then about 200 calories of a slow, continuous feed of formula over night. Well, Christian finally put on a few pounds, to where I was comfortable taking his over night feed away. I kept this overnight feed for the calories and I wouldn't hesitate to add it again if I needed more calories in his diet again and he wasn't tolerating enough during the day. But his body does need to rest at some point. Now that the overnight feeds have been discontinued, Christian's body confirmed that it, in deed, appreciates the rest, because now he's sleeping so much better! And for more solid blocks of time over night. I didn't even give him melatonin last night!

More discoveries about blendy-blends:

Pumpkin has been life changing as far as regularity goes, if you know what I mean. I add anywhere from a 1/2 cup to a full cup of canned pumpkin (Libby's or store brand, but 100% pumpkin). It's about 80 calories a cup and it has helped Christian's digestion like nothing I've ever seen, other than starting the blended diet in the first place. No more blow outs, Miralax! We don't need ya!

We tried coconut milk in the box from the health food section of the store. It was suggested by another smart, blending, Mommy friend of mine to try the coconut milk in the can from the Asian food section. It had almost triple the calorie count for about 1/3 the volume. That's like calorie gold. It also has a high iron count. Well, that would seem to be great, right? Apparently, the iron was a little too high for Christian and it constipated him! Coconut milk is supposed to do the opposite! Google it. I swear, it will say people use coconut milk to fight constipation. Not for Christian. It caused it. So we've moved away from the coconut milk, unfortunately.

As far a dairy goes, we don't use a lot of it, but we dabble. Christian will get two scrambled eggs once a week or so. He also gets that yummy Dannon Greek yogurt that I want to steal every time I smell it. I will also mix a little milk with Christian's oatmeal, instead of water just because that's what I do when I eat oatmeal and it tastes better, so I'm doing the same for Christian. I'm just trained that way.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention, my son is turning into a little vegetarian (the kind that eats eggs, see above). It seems that Christian has a hard time with meats I call heavy, like pork chops and beef. He does a lot better with the already blended version found in baby food. So that's what I'm sticking with. He seems to get a lot more digestion stress, upset tummy, and acid reflux when he has heavy meats and starchy food like stuffing or potatoes. He can pretty much handle all fruits I've given him - oranges, apples, bananas, strawberries, tomatoes, and blueberries. No problem.

Fatteners I use to increase calories content are honey for the fruit blends and olive oil for the veggie mixes. It's an easy 100-200 calorie increase. Peanut butter is a great calorie hike, but we tried it early on and it was a little too heavy and rich for Christian and I distinctly remember what peanut butter smells like coming back up. Good times.

I think everyone has a "safe" or "go to" blend. Or what they would call a base blend. Ours is banana, avocado, and apple juice. We can add fruit, grain, or yogurt mixture to it and Christian can pretty much tolerate it.

We use baby food. Why not? It's already blended and has the calorie count right there. Easy! The best baby food mix in I've found is from Beech Nut. They have super high calorie counts on their fruit mixtures. And they're all natural, no added sugar.

By the way, the worrying and fretting I did about Christian's vomiting was short lived. He tends to cycle into vomiting when he's sick, and getting better can take longer for Christian. For me, it still feels like a failure every time he vomits because he sometimes just does it out of the blue and I feel like I can't figure it out. That being said, he's not vomiting right now, and one of the best things about the blended diet is that if all of the sudden Christian is vomiting, we can eliminate a food, we can play around with blends, add and subtract ingredients, until it works. It's amazing.

Overall, the decision to make the transition to the blended diet has been one of the best decisions for Christian we've made. He looks better, he's more alert, his digestion is better, his hair and nails grow like weeds, his skin looks better, he has less gas, and, overall, less reflux.

When we started, I wasn't sure it would work for us so I just bought a Ninja blender on sale with the thought that if we stuck with the blending, I'd head up to the big leagues and purchase the mother of all blenders...a Vitamix. The time has come. So in a few months, after the Christmas crazies and saving a little, we'll take the plunge and buy one of those suckers. The Ninja has done us well. It's karate chopped its way through most of what we have fed it. But it's time to graduate.

Blendy-blends are here to stay. Blendy-blends...write that down. Say it. It's fun!

(Reposting on the Cooking for Christian page you can find on the right sidebar with sample recipes!)

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