Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Yes, Rice Milk Tastes Good

At least it does to Emma. Then again, she also thought the putrid smell of Alimentum formula was yummy, so take it for what it's worth.

The good news is that we are officially off formula, and Emma is like every other 17 month year old out there... except she is drinking rice milk instead of whole milk. But actually, her pediatrician seems to think that's perfectly fine. And so do I.

As long as I continue to add fat to Emma's diet and buy the enriched rice milk (with Vitamin D), she really is getting all the nutrients she needs. And as any family member will tell you, I am still an anal retentive first-time mom that makes sure she gets a well-balanced meal 3 times a day. Go ahead and gag. And then tell me it will wear off. I know, I know. :o)

Anywho, the even better news is that Emma has been off her reflux medicine for about 2 months now. I am still not convinced she doesn't have reflux, but I am waiting for more "evidence" before I put her through any tests. She is sleeping fine, but she still coughs up food and chokes more than I think is "normal." Jeff isn't convinced, but then again, he isn't with her as much as I am. He realizes this and says he'll support me if I want to get the scope done, but that's a lot of pressure and honestly, I am not at that point yet. I'm waiting it out until I get that gut instinct to get it checked.

For now, I'm just staying away from very acidic foods (i.e., oranges, tomatoes) and spices, but that is slowly but surely getting annoying. I'd love to give her a meal with more taste, but I am nervous. I'm sure most of you think I'm nuts, and I know she won't die, but I also don't want cause her pain. I have seen what food does to Jeff, and I'd hate to make her go through that -- or worse, have her think that sort of discomfort is normal.

I do realize that I have completely overanalyzed this, and I am now at the point where I can't seem to move forward. We are stuck with the same old meals, but when you take out milk, acid and spices, there's not much left. Our staples include ground turkey, chicken, whole wheat/organic pasta, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, pears, peaches, grapes, cantelope, eggs, wheat bread and oatmeal. And, of course, Cheerios!! Any new ideas out there? Emma has to be as bored as I am.

At what point do I take the plunge and try adventurous foods like peanut butter, fish and strawberries? Jeff and I had salmon and broccoli tonight, but I was afraid of the fish and I thought the broccoli would make her gassy. I've also read broccoli can aggrevate reflux.

But she might not have reflux, you say? Yes, I know. So what's my problem?

This is the first time I've done this, but I'd like to hear your opinions. Do I go for the food and hope for the best, all the while getting sick to my stomach and stressing? Or do I get the test done, all the while feeling guilty for possibly putting Emma through this for no reason at all.

Or maybe I just need a glass of wine.

You tell me.


Glass Half Full said...

You sound like every other mother I know....don't feel bad!!!

And if you need to pour a glass...do so! :)

Jen said...

First, have that glass of wine! And then have one for me! :-)

Second, take my 2 cents for what it's worth. Try to introduce Emma to new foods as much as possible and try not to make food an issue. My mom didn't have very adventurous tastes and as a result I was like 20 before I realized I actually loved onions, sour cream, and broccoli! :-) I know you are concerned about reflux issues but tiny bits of new things presented to her in a "here is dinner, love or not" way will eventually open her up. She will let you know if it bugs her and adjust from there. Also, my doc told me 2 things once that have been worth their weight in gold.

1. Kids need to be introduced to foods up to 20 times before they will accept it so don't give up.

2. A serving to a one-year-old is the size of an ice cube.

I know I sound more like I'm addressing a picky eater not a possible health issue, but as Emma gets older it all morphs into one. And if she's anything like my girls she already knows how to use eating to watch Mommy dance.

OK, like I said in my post earlier, I said what I meant and nothing more. :-) Follow your instincts tempered with Jeff's and your doc's and you won't go wrong.

OK, I"m done. :-)

Jen said...

Also, there is no such thing as "kid food" Kids are as likely to like salmon and calamari as mac and cheese and chicken nuggets.

OK, I'm off to whip up some Spaghetti O's for my gang. LOL!

i am not said...

Yes, I second the pour yourself a glass of wine statement- what, its only 10:20am? don't let that stop you:)

On the eating... the thing that crossed my mind while reading your post is that if you don't introduce her to foods that hurt, maybe she won't really like them later and be tempted to eat them as an adult even though they cause pain. Does that make sense? For example: my FIL has diverticulitis and is not supposed to eat sausage or pork, but when he is in town he cannot refuse a sausage pizza even though he is in severe pain afterwards - that seems really insane to me. And is Jeff kind of the same? Does he know what will hurt, but eat it anyway because he likes it? I'm assuming (I have no clue).

Here are some food ideas I thought of:
*A new thing that Georgia loves is canadian bacon. She gobbles it up.
*What about corn? I put a handful of frozen corn in a dish and microwave it for 35 seconds for Georgia.
*How about frosted shredded wheat?
*Or Oatmeal squares (TJ has a great version for much cheaper).
*My girls LOVED salmon when they were little - won't touch it now because it "looks icky" but they gobbled it up when they were her age.
* Georgia loves pb&J - I get natural of both at TJs and she loves it. It doesn't have sugar, but nuts have good fats
* avocado? Georgia would eat a whole one if I let her
*cottage cheese - or is dairy an issue?

Those are just some ideas. It is really hard to feed a 1 year old - between trying to make balanced meals (which I also do and I'm on my third) and making sure they can chew the stuff, cutting it up into tiny pieces and cleaning up the mess on the floor afterwards, its enough to pull your hair out. Add in some potential allergies and stomach issues and you've got a recipe for going insane:) (BTW - am I not retaining info well? I do not remember what Emma's issues are beyond the possible reflux - allergies? Have you posted on this and I'm being an idiot? Have you had her tested for allergies? I remember the testing for CF, but what else is going on? Why is her diet so sparse and "boring" other than reflux?)

Okay, I've written a novel - sorry:)

KIM said...

Hi there, I'm happy to have come across your site! What an angel you have! My son is 21 months old, he survived on soy formula (after he refused to breastfeed and I got tired of pumping after 3 months), then when I realized how gross formula was (a year later), he has been loving soy and rice milk (much more rice than soy)...we are currently weaning him, should be done by tommorrow...off of bottles, but he still loves his rice milk! He has a type of acid reflux too...his doc calls him a 'ruminator'. I guess the only issue is the choking hazzard and the acid damaging the esophogus...but I SWEAR TO YOU!!!, the only thing that works with this is to ignore it...completely ignore (not even eye contact) it for 4 weeks and you will be surprised how little she still does it...Not that I know everything, or anything about babies, but I swear this works!
I'm with you though, I have to try not to make a face when I'm giving him juiced spinach with his juiced veggies because the color is poop brown...but I think, hey, he doesn't know how gross this looks! hehe...
You are so sweet to take out the acidity..maybe she has something different than what we have...but he likes to make himself throw up and sometimes reeat it...Proteins always a good idea...I wonder if it is rumination?
Poor lil girl, at least she has you! My lil one hates broccoli but loves peanut butter and salmon, he must eat them everyday! and lots of burritos! hehe....Come to think of it, I bet he's bored with my menu now too...you gave me some new ideas! thanks! wine is good, you go mama! Hey, what about brown rice for her? and kidney beans? What about giving her foods that are alkanized? then when the acid comes up, it wont damage her...Does she drink a lot of water? Try not to be afraid because she is yours and only yours (and Jeffs) for a reason and that is because only you know how to help her! Also, what about a nice warm bottle of chamomile tea to soothe her little tummy? Good luck and I love your blog!

Kim said...

PS, I agree with Jen, that it seriously takes a toddler 20 times to accept a food item, don't give up! You got this one handled!

Mama C-ta said...

OK, I know, well somewhat, how you've been worried about this from almost day 1 so I don't want any advice to come off like "oh get over it" b/c I know it's not that easy and that's not what I mean. I'm sick, again, so don't have it in me to read through all the comments and to really think about proper wording, hopefully my points don't get lost.

1. Wine - yes. Even though I don't like wine, it sounds good :)

2. I know no matter what I say means nothing and I'm only going based on a few posts and even fewer phone conversations and emails, ahem, but I don't recommend the scope. From what it seems from here at least, she's doing pretty well. If she's OK enough to be off meds, then I wouldn't think the scope is necessary and having been through a scope, albeit the other end, it's not pleasant. I think the scope would be worse than any of this and in my case provided no new info. I think that was the worst of the experience. I would think sleeping well is a huge positive sign but then again, I just can't imagine sleeping well period so it sounds good to me! But obviously you and Jeff are the best judges of what needs to be done and you weren't asking for that opinion anyway. Like how that stopped me? :)

3. Julian loved rice milk and right now we have soy, almond, rice, chocolate rice (just for my treat!) and cows milk in my fridge until I can figure out which milk I prefer and finally stick with one! Rice milk is so much more common these days, if only Starbucks would catch on. I think I like Rice better than soy. Almond milk might be in the lead though. None of them bake well though aside from cow which is my biggest gripe.

4. (there really is no point in my numbering system here). Do all spices cause reflux or is it more spicy/garlic type things? Like basil, etc too? I'm clueless when it comes to reflux. If I remember correctly food was never an issue w/Emma and her preferences, she always seemed to be a good eater and liked whatever came her way so here are my suggestions w/out knowing what is good/bad for her:

broccoli - I would think at 17 months gas shouldn't be a concern, she could work it all out but maybe this is a reflux thing.

I think she'd really like Quinoa (I can only get here at a Whole Foods) b/c it's almost rice-like in texture but so much healthier and easier to digest, high protein, etc. Serve with Chicken and squash or her staple of peas, like snap peas.

Do you only do ground turkey? Maybe some turkey breasts will at least break it up a bit. Stuff it with spinach and a pesto type thing or just some olive oil.

Corn - Julian loves frozen corn, like still frozen and I found that when he's getting his molars this helps b/c he has to chew the little ice corn balls back there so the cold pressure eases the pain.
Beans! Very portable, high protein. Chick peas are a favorite around here, black beans
Blueberries - I've been making whole grain buckwheat pancakes and mixing in frozen blueberries or bananas(oh there's a breakfast idea for you) can sub rice milk in the recipe, high fiber, protein. Serve with fresh fruit on top or 100% maple syrup. I know you don't do sugar but I can't deny my sweet tooth and at least it's not that corn syrup garbage.
You don't do red meat yet?
Ham - there was one brand at whole foods that was all natural, none of that added crap and ham has always been Julian's fave. They also had a turkey hamesteak which I actually liked better than the pork ham. Good w/eggs too as an omlet or on the side. Turkey omlets are good too, maybe w/some rice cheese although I've never tried the rice cheese.
I don't usually buy cheerios/Oatios anymore, he usually gets a whole grain cracker, I think Kashi had a good one. There was also this vegetable cracker he liked, can't remember the brand but it made his breath stink :)
Sometimes when I'm feeling particularly lazy I give him a cinnamon shredded wheat cereal...I think Kashi also? with some rice milk and the cereal only has like 5 ingredients so not all that crazy additiives and stuff.

Why am I drawing a blank, I just did so much cooking these past couple weeks!
Barley - I just made a beef and barley soup, also made an awesome Mango Chutney Chicken meal w/brown rice but not sure if she can do the chutney.

I keep thinking of all these meals we've been having and they all seem a bit too spicy or acidic. I'll email you if I come up with something.

Julian did have some crab, like a tiny bite but he didn't care for it. I don't eat seafood so he's harldy around it. I've also been giving him peanut butter and it seems to be going OK. I didn't do the "serve him PB for 5 days straight" b/c I have my own theory about but he's had it quite a bit.

I know Emma isn't Julian and I don't want to make it sound like I'm comparing them but I think at this point you could be more adventerous and Emma would let you know if something wasn't right. Hopefully. I just know I got to the point where it was really making me sick with worry and I had to say "if it's not totally obvious then it's fine." Not that I'm saying that's what you need to do if you're not comfortable but you will always be able to find something a little off.

OK, I'm feeling way too yucky to keep going, I just jumped on the PC to get some orders out...xoxo

hopefully this will all be over soon enough and Emma will be saying "I'm FINE MOM!"

i am not said...

Hey Lisa - are you going for an all natural food diet in general? Based on Mama C'ta's comment on no sugar, I'm just wondering what you're doing. I've been switching over to a more natural, little sugar - no HFCS diet over here and I'm always interested in other ideas on snacks and meals... I've been buying the sprouted grain bread from TJ's - maybe that would be a good addition to her diet (more protein). Basically I think Trader Joes is heaven:) Just wondering if you could/wanted to expand on your dieting/nutrition ideas and/or motivation and/or philosphy.

Heidi said...

Hey...my so loves rice milk too. He was sensitive to whole milk and we did rice milk for along time until recently when he decided he now likes soy milk better. Go figure. With him I decided not to make food an issue, it took him until he was almost two until he'd eat just about any meat. Tofu on the other hand he loved from the get go. Now along with the tofu he'll eat just about anything (except pepperoni which I'm not going to be heart broken about.)

Anyway, as hard as it is for us not to over analyze just don't worry. (Easier to tell someone else!) As long as the Dr thinks she's growing fine - or you think she's doing well then I'd say trust your instincts!