19 February 2012

Eating Update

It hit me a few days ago that I haven't given an update in a while on how Bennett is doing these days.  In fact, it hit me, because over the course of several days, numerous friends have asked me the same question: "How is Bennett doing with his eating?"

I honestly haven't thought much about his eating in a while because things have been relatively well and relatively poorly at the same time.  

The good news is Bennett eats several meals per day and regularly communicates he *wants* to eat.  He most often asks for "nomnies" which is his best way of saying "m&m's" (which apparently sounds much like the word "money" to him, hence a "nomney").    Bennett's favorite food is "ought-gogs" (hot dogs) ...especially with "etch-up" (ketchup) and a drink of "appul joo" (apple juice).    Despite that he has favorite foods, he is fairly open to trying new foods, which is always pleasing for a mother of a toddler!

For these reasons, we feel like his eating is 100% better than it was a year ago.  We are very thankful to all of the work done with him at the Feeding Clinic to get us to this place.  We no longer utilize the Feeding Clinic protocol or force him to eat the foods we have predetermined for him.  But we do use television for distraction and use verbal feedback and rewards to encourage him to stay focused on eating.   

One of the greatest benefits to Bennett is his brother's appetite.
Bennett tends to want to eat when Oliver eats, especially when it comes to ice cream!
When Oliver is interested in a food, Bennett is at least willing to try it, which is wonderful.
 Bennett still "pockets" his food, it seems forgetting he has food hidden within his cheeks.  But we've found that if we ignore it, he will either eventually get distracted and eventually swallow it - or he will indicate he wants to simply spit it out.  We don't make a big deal about either one.

The bad news is, while Bennett is eating, he isn't eating enough.  Bennett is very thin.  His GI doctor isn't concerned.  But I am afraid his CF doctors may be alarmed when we see them next month.  Bennett hasn't lost weight but also he hasn't gained.  And, overall, he is skinner than he should be.

But our choice to increase his feeding tube is difficult as it may slow his process off eating orally.  I have had to simply stop worrying about it and just wait to see what the doctors suggest at our CF appointment.  I don't have alot of control in this area so I am trying to be patient.

My greatest desire is to see Bennett's eating skills continue to strengthen so that should we end up needing to put him on the feeding tube for longer amounts of time, these skills will not be totally lost.  Bennett has been on the cusp of losing or not gaining oral eating skills over the last two years.  So, the longer we can encourage him to eat by mouth, the better.

This picture just cracks me up.

The nice thing is Bennett has a sweet tooth.  So, we often find ourselves encouraging him to eat the high-caloric, high fat foods by rewarding him with a high-caloric, high fat dessert.  This works in our benefit: eat a bite of her french fry and you can have an M&M.  :)

Bennett likes to go fishing in his chocolate ice cream for lost M&Ms and gummi bears. 
Bennett is still fed through the g-tube at night.  But he is given only eight ounces of formula at night.  The main thing I want to continue to do is to protect Bennett's belief that eating is fun and enjoyable.  I want to do this so that, should he not feel like eating, he may have a habit of eating food simply because it's social and enjoyable to do so.  There is no better place to cultivate a love for food than our favorite local ice cream place, 3Spoons.

Such a silly boy!
Clearly, Bennett is eating and is enjoying it!  We'll see what the docs have to say in a few weeks.  For now, I'm delighted to see Bennett appreciate food.  And I'm, quite frankly, delighted to not even be worried about it right now!


  1. I want to officially give you an online *high five*!! This is wonderful news and keep up the good work. You're fighting off the worry because you know you're doing your very best for him. Go Bennett!

  2. It's great to hear that he is eating, and that it is so much better than it was before. Azer used to do that "pocketing" thing too.

    Lately, Azer's appetite has been much better than it used to, and he's still getting 4 cans of formula a day. Sometimes I wonder how other CF kids manage to stay at a healthy weight by eating alone!

  3. what great news! :-)
    best, as always.


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