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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cooper's Blended Diet

I've been away for a while.  This blog started as a way to have friends and family keep up with the adventure that is Cooper.  But over time, it has morphed and become so much more than that.  But is that what I want?  Semmes is a very active 15 month old.  And, since he's with me everyday, I have many more interactions with him.  My friend Sarah over at Ernie Bufflo wrote a post about this: about the guilt she feels that sometimes in her social media life it seems like she just has the one child, since Claire, like Cooper, goes to a developmental preschool and Etta, like Semmes, is at home with her.  Here's a link. She says it better than me.  Anyway, I've been having a blog identity crisis.

BUT, I did want to write about this.  Because I think it's awesome.  For the past week or so, we've been feeding Cooper REAL food through his button.  A friend was nice enough to let us borrow his Ninja blender, and we're in the process of getting a VitaMix, which basically liquifies food.  VitaMix has a really great program where if you are going to use their blenders for a medical reason they give you a huge discount (like really huge, like we're paying $247 for a $650 blender).  Regular blenders (believe me, we tried) just don't work.

Not surprisingly, there are many websites and Facebook groups dedicated to this topic.  And I did a lot of research before settling on a diet framework I think will work for Cooper and for us.  Every blend we've done has been enough for one day, and they've all had between 1,100 and 1,200 calories, which is exactly where he should be.  Basically, he gets this:
1 cup of starch (brown rice, quinoa, etc.)
1 cup of vegetables (1/2 cup of 2 different veggies)
1 cup of fruit (1/2 cup of 2 different fruits)
1/2 cup of protein (beans, chickpeas, tuna, etc.)
3 Tbsp of fat (olive, sesame, canola oil)
2 cups of whole milk

So today, his blend is this (the number of calories are next to each food):
1 cup brown rice (216)
3/4 cup peaches (38)
5 strawberries (20)
1/2 cup green peas (62)
1/2 cup lima beans (95)
1/2 cup black beans (114)
3 Tbsp sesame oil (360)
2 cups whole milk (300)

Today, his total number of calories is 1,205 and he has ~20 grams of protein.  This equals about 4- 8 oz. bottles.  We add 2 ounces of water to each bottle to make sure it will go through the tube (although this isn't too much of an issue), so he's not getting his midday free water anymore.  He's handling the increase volume AND the increased calories really well.  Plus, he seems to be in a much better mood. 

Here's what it looks like (before the milk is added):

With the milk:

All blended up:

In bottles ready to go:

Several people have wondered why we're doing this.  He's been eating PediaSure and has been fine.  But our bodies are meant to eat food, not scientifically processed fake formula.  At least, not for long periods of time.  Don't get me wrong, formula, the kind that is amino-acid based, totally saved Cooper's life.  But it's not meant for long-term.  Heck, I don't know what most of the ingredients are in a can of what he was eating:

I think this will be much better in the long run.  I'm excited!