Before I dive in, let me say that this post is about what has worked for us. Your mileage may vary and you should talk to your healthcare professionals if you’re concerned about your child’s growth.
Sumner is a tough nut to crack. He’s very sensitive to change and can tell when things are different just from the smell of them. Since we know this about him, we took his transition from formula to milk super slowly. We didn’t start the transition until he was 1 year corrected (fifteen months actual) and then it took us about 10 weeks to completely switch over. Like I said, it was a slow change.
At first, Sumner was happy to not be drinking formula any more. He was on Similac Neosure, a preemie formula, that we had to mix to 24 kcal and add gel thickener to account for his swallowing issues. He would begrudgingly drink it.
In his transition to milk, we still needed to make sure that he was meeting his calorie goals. To that end, we mix half and half into his whole milk. We also added a little vanilla extract since he likes that flavor quite a bit.
Despite these efforts, Sumner still wasn’t keen on drinking. So, I started looking into other things we could do to entice him. Two options you see in the tubie groups are toddler formula or pediasure. Neither option seems right for us as I would rather prioritize whole foods over sugar laden drinks.
I follow a lot of feeding kids focused Instagram accounts. One of them posted a comparison of a homemade banana shake and pediasure. Oh goodness! That sent me down the rabbit hole.
I wondered how Sumner would react to a smoothie made from bananas, milk, and cashew butter.
He loved it!!
I’ve never seen him eagerly drink anything (other than sips of my tea). It made my mama heart sing!
The best part is that he’s now consistently meeting his calorie goals. He’s less interested in solids, but I’m not concerned (yet) since he’s doing well otherwise. Right now, we’re focusing on doing low pressure meals with him. We put him in his chair at the table and share our food with him. For the most part, he plays in it or tosses it on the floor. Sisko has been getting lots of “treats” lately. I’m not surprised that Sumner has been refusing the spoon. It’s developmentally appropriate for his eating age. We just need to get his self-feeding skills up to par.
Now that we’ve figured out a base, I’ve started adding other foods to his smoothies. I add spinach for extra iron and raspberries for flavor. I’m considering adding silken tofu to help with iron as well. We’ve also started a multivitamin to make sure that we’re covering all our bases.
It feels nice to have found something that works for us and that Sumner enjoys. This feeding aversion journey has been tons of trial and error.