Monday, September 27, 2010

Quinoa is still questionable

I started the quinoa trial last Tuesday and now, nearly a week later, I don't have an answer about this food. It's frustrating. I'm frustrated. I just want G to have more healthy food to eat. I want her to eat more so she can sleep more and I can sleep more. I want her to eat so I can stop worrying that I'll be nursing her until I'm 65. I want her to eat more so that she won't end up getting her nutrition via a feeding tube or a canned nutritional drink. We watched Wall-E with Ellie this weekend and I told John I wish we could all have all of our food 'in a cup' like they do in Wall-E. There wouldn't be crumbs. It would be quick to eat - and I just don't enjoy eating like I used to. I certainly don't enjoy eating in front of Ginny. Food seems to be a very combative enemy and we're at war daily.

The first day G loved the quinoa. I didn't really measure how much made it into her mouth because she wouldn't take it off the spoon and I just let her go at it with her fingers and really, how do you measure that? The result? That evening brought some concerns that her body might not be accepting the quinoa. I was scared to try again the next morning - but fear turned to frustration when G absolutely, unequivocally with all of her usual stubbornness and more REFUSED to allow a single grain of quinoa to pass her lips. Grrrrr..... I tried multiple times that day and the next to get her to eat it with absolutely no success. Friday morning, I tried a new tactic. I prepared quinoa flakes (the finished product has an oatmeal like consistency). Although I'm sure she swallowed some of it, for the most part, she wasn't having that either. I tried to hide little bits of the flakes in pears. Nope. I tried to hide little bits of flakes in apples. Nope. She pushed it out with her tongue, refused to open her mouth and/or raked it right back out with her fingers. Again, Grrrr..... John was convinced that he'd be able to get her to eat it on Saturday morning and it was almost comic relief to watch him fail just as miserably as I did. This morning, I switched back to giving her quinoa grains on her tray and letting her eat them by herself. I am not even sure that anything made it into her mouth. How do you trial a food if your kid won't eat it? None the less, I'm anxious and watching and waiting.

But I guess there is really more to the story - or at least there is in my head. The first day of the quinoa trial I used the cooked grains and had 'iffy' results. After that, G refused the grains. I've heard lots of stories of FPIES kids who refused subsequent feedings of foods they eventually failed as if they knew these foods were causing them pain (after initial introduction). So, maybe? After the struggle with the grain, I switched to the flakes. I KNOW that some of that made it in, despite G's valiant effort to get it out. So here's the thing, there were NO questionable results with that and this has me wondering... Some FPIES kids can handle cooked banana but not raw banana because cooking a food helps break down it's protein structure. Quinoa grains are the grain in their 'rawest' most unprocessed form and we cook them (once) to prepare them. Quinoa flakes, as far as I can gather from my online research, are cooked, dried, 'flaked' quinoa that we cook (a second time) to prepare them. Could this be making a difference for G? If so, I'll get some answers this afternoon.

So we'll continue to trial quinoa. I don't know how else I might serve it but I'm not giving up. If I can just get some pseudo grain and bananas, I might even be able to bake something for G. I'm dreaming of a birthday muffin. It never hurts to aim high, right?


  1. That is awesome Jamie!! Good detective work- I concur! :) Here's to Quinoa flakes pass!!!

  2. This is Amanda from babycenter. . .I have a recipe for you. . . corn free and with quinoa and banana. . .

    I really hope this ends up being a pass for you guys! Quinoa was along drawn out trial for us but in the end it was worth it! Have you tried adding brown sugar to the flakes? That is how B eats them and it really helps with the flavor. Also, adding fruit and pureeing it all together! Good luck!!!