We had a meeting with Bee's speech therapist and dietician this week, which I was really looking forward to as I feel like we're stalled with the feeding progress, or lack thereof. Bee will eat almost anything, from chocolate to raw carrot, the only thing she shies from is the more 'messy' food like rice pudding and yoghurt. We know this stems from her tactile defensiveness so don't push her too much with it. While we're thrilled with Bee's varied taste, our main concern is that she just picks at food and doesn't eat any substantial amount of it. This has created a little bit of a impasse with eating, in that we can get her to eat almost anything but not enough to sustain her, so we're still very dependant on the mic-key button. Of course the obvious answer is that Bee isn't hungry. She's fed 200mls of milk down her tube every 3 hours, that's a lot for such a little tummy, it's no wonder she only picks at the solid food we offer her. To be honest I'm not entirely sure Bee even knows what hunger feels like.
I relayed our concerns to Bee's therapists and they agreed it sounded like Bee wasn't hungry. The speech therapist said that what we needed to do was create hunger in Bee which sounded like a good idea to me! So she suggested a plan which I'm hoping is going to be the turning point for Bee's eating habits:
Currently Bee has five 200ml feeds a day between the time she gets up and the time she goes to bed. During that time I also offer her breakfast, dinner and tea with snacks inbetween. The new plan will involve a change of milk from her regular Nutrini to a high-energy version. This change will help accomodate a cut from five 200ml feeds a day to just three. Two of those will take place once she is asleep in bed, with the third being mid-morning. On the solid side of things we will continue to offer Bee regular meal and snack times.
So the new routine will be as follows:
- On waking Bee will be offered breakfast. She'll be allowed 30 minutes at the table with the food and then it'll be taken away.
- Mid-morning Bee will have a 200ml milk feed and be offered a snack which she is free to move around with.
- Dinnertime Bee will be offered a meal at the table and again given 30 minutes with it.
- Mid-afternoon will be time for snack, which Bee will be free to move around with.
- Tea will be at the table again for 30 minutes.
- After Bee is asleep at bedtime she will be given two 200ml feeds of milk.
Aside from the lesser quantity of milk, the new routine is more structured. I think this will help Bee start to understand food as a sustenence than a toy or a game, which I think she does at the minute. I'm really happy with this new plan, Bee's speech therapist is always brilliant and has never steered us wrong yet. I really hope this is going to be the start of weaning Bee off the mic-key button.