It was another busy week for Sumner’s medical team. We saw his regular pediatrician for his 15 month well-baby appointment and had his third swallow study. Sumner was a real trooper through it all.
The well-baby appointment went as expected. I cannot believe that our little boy is already 15 months. When grandma was here we celebrated his “second” first birthday with vegan donuts. Since Sumner was born 13 weeks early, he has two ages: his chronological age and his corrected age. While he’s actually 15 months old, his corrected age is 12 months. His pediatrician is very impressed with all of Sumner’s progress and growth. He’s looking forward to be our only doctor early next year.
The swallow study went better than expected. Sumner has difficulty swallowing liquids, known as dysphagia. During his first swallow study in the NICU, we found out that he was only able to safely swallow nectar thick liquids and had to start thickening his formula so that he wouldn’t aspirate (have liquid go into his lungs). The scary thing is that when he does aspirate, he does it silently. Meaning he shows zero signs that anything is going wrong. Think about when you have water go down the wrong tube. You probably cough and sputter a bit. When that happens to Sumner, he doesn’t react at all. He’s expected to out grow this problem and that’s what the follow-up swallow studies help us to determine.
His swallow study from a few months ago showed us that he was ready to move down to half-nectar thick. We still needed to thicken his formula, but not nearly as much. During last week’s study, we worked with thin liquids to see if he was ready to stop the thickener all together. He did really well, but still had one instance of aspiration. That coupled with our non-traditional syringe feeding meant that the feeding therapists recommend that we continue at half-nectar thick until he his using a cup full time and then practicing with thin liquids a few times a month. While not the outcome we had hoped for, it was a definite improvement.
He’s making some progress with a cup. We’re primarily working with a four-ounce mason jar with a coffee cup lid. It’s the right size for him and the lid doesn’t freak him out. Considering his usual approach to new cups is screaming until he vomits, it’s a definite win that he’ll take small sips. My next plan is to start using these cups myself to model for him. I got some sleeves for the jars so that I can do coffee and tea in them. Hopefully, seeing me drinking from them will help him make the connection.
At any rate, on to Sumner’s recipe for the week. Our CSA sent a lot of super yummy stuff this week. I decided to use some of it for kiwi apple kale smoothies for some of Sumner’s breakfasts this week. With his three meals and two snacks per day, supplementing our Yumi delivery with homemade food is helping us to keep our budget in check.
- 346 g cubed apples
- 42 g Earth Balance
- 196 g cubed kiwi
- 118 mL puréed kale
- 161 mL coconut milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place apples and butter into oven safe pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until fork-tender. Make sure to stir halfway through.
- Allow the apples to cool to room temperature.
- Place apples, kiwi, kale, and coconut milk in blender and blend until smooth.
- Evenly portion into six containers and refrigerate.
- When we’re doing these jars for breakfast, I add a tablespoon of oatmeal and a serving of probiotics.
- Each serving is approximately 125 calories.