PipSqueak was only allowed to eat pureed baby food for 8 weeks following her cleft palate surgery. Her record was 15 jars in one day, but she normally only ate about 13 jars. Fortunately I made a lot of my own baby food. Every few days I’d bake a couple sweet potatoes or squashes, or steam carrots. I filled every freezer container and ice cube tray. Then I realized why bother freezing it? She’s going to eat it all within three days away.
One day, I ate Taco Soup for dinner and let PipSqueak drink some of the broth. PipSqueak became very excited with the realization that maybe she too was allowed to partake of real food. Ever since then, she begged to eat whatever we were eating. If there were liquids or purees, I let her have some. One day I let her eat the chocolate frosting off a cup cake, because frosting is pureed, right? After that she was even more excited and eager to eat real food!
The next few day were torture for all of us. PipSqueak begged to eat real food, but I kept saying, “no, here’s your squeezy food pouch.” Lesson learned: Do not allow your child to taste real food until she’s allowed to eat everything!
Fortunately it was only a few more days until we were allowed to feed her non-pureed foods. I started by cutting a banana in small pieces. I set the plate in front of PipSqueak. she looked at it skeptically. She picked up a piece, scowled at it, and then touched it to her lips. Making a disgusted face, she turned her head away and set the food back down on her plate. She picked up another piece as if to put it in her mouth. At the same time, turning her face away, refusing to look at the gross banana bite. Finally, she actually convinced herself to eat a piece.
It was as if she yelled with delight, “I forgot how much I love banana!” She was overjoyed by the wonderful flavor. Quickly she put another piece in her mouth, and another, and another. Soon her mouth was filled to overflowing. Banana oozed out between her lips. She wiped her chin and shoved it back in. Then she started gagging and coughing. Banana slime spewed from her mouth. Disgusted, she shoved it back in, while continuing to cough. Finally I had to intervene, scooping banana out of her mouth. Stop trying to kill yourself, you crazy child!
She refused to eat banana for several days after that. However, she is more than happy to eat sausage, fig bars, and every flavor of crackers. Suddenly she was only eating 2 jars of food a day. My food budget is much happier too!
All these crackers led to thirst! She did not love using a sippy cup, so after surgery she quit using the sippy cup all together. Who needs to drink water, when you’re living off a diet of smoothies?
We tried all our sippy cups, straws, and drinking from a real cup. The results were the same, PipSqueak does not know how or when to stop sucking in liquid and ends up drowning herself. Then someone suggested the 360 cup, which I had lost in back of the cupboard. Success!
Now PipSqueak is happily eating and drinking. She begs to taste everything we are eating too. Well, maybe not taste, but at least touch and smell all foods. Then decide which foods seem edible, and which ones to hand back to Mama.