twizzlers and jerky


Beef jerky, Twizzlers, Cheeto puffs, graham cracker sticks.

This is my grocery list. No, we are not adopting a college student. This is all for my 8-month-old.

Before you run off and call Child Protective Services, he doesn’t actually ingest half of it. These are all tools for occupational therapy. And, to be fair, the OT is the one who made the grocery list. The hubs and toddler wish she would make our weekly lists, too.

We started Everett’s feeding evaluation on Tuesday fairly normal. I offered him baby food – sweet potatoes. One of his “faves.” He refused with dramatic gestures, as though I had just served him a sweaty sock. She makes a note and pulls out a bag of Cheeto puffs. Maybe she’s hungry? Nope. Two Cheeto puffs land on Everett’s tray. That’s a little different, but, really, Cheeto puffs are pretty close to Gerber puffs. No biggie.

Then, she breaks out the Twizzlers and beef jerky, and into his hand goes the Twizzler. He begins to gnaw on it whole-heartedly. At this point, I’m not sure if I should rip it from his hands as if she had just given my child a pair of scissors, or, contemplate on why I never thought to give my baby candy. That’ll get him eating. She explains it’s for texture, and he won’t actually ingest it. Oh, right.

We left with a new regime for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A five-step process. One part is to let our little guy get wild, crazy and messy in his puree. I’m not going to lie. This gives me a touch of anxiety. I’m cool with mess. You have to be with kids. Laundry hiding the floor. Okay. Food crumbs in every hidden crevice of the home. Sure. A car that now resembles your kid’s trashed closet no matter how many times you clean it. Yep.

What gives me anxiety is how he suddenly feels compelled to touch his helmet once his fingers are oozing with baby food. That helmet, that is not supposed to get wet or dirty and costs nearly $4,000 out of pocket. THAT gives me anxiety. And, we do take it off occasionally, but, we only have an hour window for the entire day. That makes for some super sonic eating and an expedited bath time.

We’ve had a few days to practice the process, and it’s a bit of a beating. The most successful of the steps is the beef jerky and Twizzlers. It’s basically the same concept as eating his feet or shoes, but much more sanitary.

Overcoming a sensory food aversion is nothing I imagined. It feels a little bizarro world. It will be a slow day in, day out filled with menus my toddler hasn’t even tasted. And, by the way, try explaining to big brother why his little brother can have a Twizzler for breakfast, but he can’t. ::smacks head::

Apparently, my idea of giving the kid a cheeseburger wasn’t too far fetched. Would you like fries with that?

i’d rather eat my foot


Every morning and every evening, we select one jar of baby food, open it, and then promptly throw it in the trash. At least, that’s how it feels.

Everett detests solids. Over a three month period, we’ve tried four or five different brands, different consistencies, real food, and even puffs – you know, sugar air – but, always we are met with pursed lips, overly dramatic grimaces, gags and spitting. On the rare occasion, he will actually down a small jar of sweet potatoes or squash. It has to be orange. Odd. But, even those “favorites” are often met with the same distaste.

It’s baffling to me honestly. That child will stick everything under the sun in his mouth and gnaw at it – a cooking utensil, our fingers, a shoe, our phones, Austin’s toys, or a personal favorite, the foot. But, the moment we slip in a bite of actual food, it is not up to his standards. You know, his high standards of feet and shoes.

It’s difficult not to compare our own children, but Austin was an eater. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, he loved his meals. You had to keep your fingers to yourself during mealtime less you lose one to that chomper. It took him a while to learn the concept of sharing one’s food.

And, thus, we are left with the question of whether Everett is just ridiculously picky, a late bloomer, or if he has an aversion, which apparently is common in kiddos with medical issues off the bat. Feeding evaluation should be scheduled for next week.

Maybe he just wants a cheeseburger.