Twin Transitions: Introducing Solids
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DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: The decision to start feeding solid foods to twin babies signals a major change in developmental milestones. And often it’s not an easy path to navigate. How do you know they are ready? How does prematurity factor in? Which food should you start with? And how do you make the transition from soft purees to true solids? I’m Doctor Stephanie Drummond of San Diego Occupational Therapy, here to talk about the mechanics of introducing solid foods to twins. This is twin talks
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Welcome to Twin talks, broadcasting from the birth education Centre of San Diego. Twin Talks is your weekly online on the go support group for expecting and new parents of twins. I’m your host Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald. Have you heard about the Twin Talks club? Our members get bonus content after each new show, plus special giveaways and discounts.
You can subscribe to our monthly Twin Talks newsletter and learn about the latest episodes available. Another way for you to stay connected is by downloading our free Twin Talks app available in the Android and Itunes marketplace. Let’s see who’s in the room with us today. So I’ll start, so, as your host, I’m Christine Stewart –Fitzgerald. I’ve got two, well obviously, two. In our world, I mean singleton is the exception.
So, we have my girls are a five years old, they just started kindergarten so we’ve made some big changes. But I do also have a singleton who is three years old. So we’re going through a lot of developmental milestones there as well.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah! Absolutely! And I’m Sunny and I’m producing today’s show. And I’m also the owner of new mommy media which produces this show as well as Preggie Pals, The Boob Group and the Parent Savers. And I have four children of my own all ages four and under.
So, my oldest is four, boy and then I have a two year old boy. And then I have identical twin girls who just turned one. And also I want to let you guys know as we continue with today’s conversation, if you want to participate as a virtual panelist, you can do so. So, I’m on Twitter, I’m on Facebook now and I’ll be posting some of the stuff we’re talking about here in the studio and you know, we usually do that before we record an episode too.
So, make you to follow our Facebook page and like us on Twitter and all that fun stuff, like, follow, I always get confused what you do on the various sites but check us out. To learn more about us and to follow the conversation
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And our experts, so, Doctor Drummond not only are you an occupational therapist but your mom to twins as well
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: I am, I have boy, girl twins that just turned four years old. And they’re in pre-school.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So you get a little bit of down time
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Little bit, yes, barely but yes
SUNNY GAULT: Hey Twin Talks, this is Sunny producer of the show. Today’s episode is all about transitioning into solid foods which is something Leah Garrad-Cole knows a lot about. Leah is founder and president of Love Child Organics. She’s also mom to four year old Poppy and two year old Cam. Leah welcome to Twin Talks
LEAH GARRAD-COLE: Thanks Sunny it’s so nice to be here
SUNNY GAULT: So let’s talk about Love Child Organics. We know it’s family owned and operated. So tell us how the company got its start
LEAH GARRAD-COLE: Well you know when my husband and I had our first child, we were, you know, we were actually surprised by the lack of completely pure organic food options for babies and young kids. You know a lot of them still had preservatives in them. So you know I started cooking my own food and I always use the purest organic ingredient and I always added nutritionally dense ingredients like Kinne wa through all my motherhood that I cook for my own kids. And you know as I became more interested in this, it became really clear to me that there was a gap in the market. And we decided to start our own children’s food company in Love Child Organics Food was born.
SUNNY GAULT: I love that and so, your daughter Poppy and then your son Cam so they were able to kind of test this as you went along with it and develop your products?
LEAH GARRAD-COLE: They were, I mean, Poppy, you know I cooked all my own food for Poppy and so she was kind of the first one. And then we started the business and then I started actually developing the flavors and Cam was truly like our head taster. He tasted them all right before they came to market
SUNNY GAULT: I love it. Okay so let’s talk a little bit more about the products that you guys have as well as their ingredients, I know that’s really important to you. What makes those different than what we might see if we just went to the store?
LEAH GARRAD-COLE: Well we try this one beyond organic and that means that we only use real food in all of our products so there are no preservatives such as ascorbic acid or citric acid in our ingredients list you know, ever. And we believe that taste is important but we don’t want to make our food already sweet by using too much fruit in our combination. So you know you won’t have something that tastes fully ripped banana when there’s meant to be spinach in there. You always taste the spinach. And then we always include nutritionally rich ingredients like Kinne wa so you know we believe that every bite needs to count. And we aim to do that with all of our recipes
SUNNY GAULT: Now your products are geared towards six months and up, can you tell us a little bit more about how you guys have kind of label this and how your products can grow with your children as your children get older?
LEAH GARRAD-COLE: Well we support moms breastfeeding or from feeding their babies until they’re six months. We think that’s the best way to start. And then, you know more than that we decided not to use traditional stages, stage 1, 2, 3 on our products because the latest recommendation state that almost all foods can be offered as first foods and the parents can offer almost any texture that they are comfortable with.
So the stage recommendations that we’ve seen for decades aren’t really applicable anymore. And there’s so much conflicting information out there about which foods parents should start with. So, we really believe that parents should make their own choices about that not brands and so we’ve just kept it at six months and up and parents can decide when the best time is for them to offer those certain foods.
And then also because of our [inaudible] packaging our purees can be enjoyed as smoothes as well for older children. So we know a lot of kids take our purees to school with them as well even children as older as eight years old
SUNNY GAULT: You know, I love that concept because I have twin year old girls who are now almost a year old and it’s so crazy, they have skipped the baby food stage altogether. They want to have what, you know, their brothers are eating. But I love that you guys have kind of like let parents make that decision based on what’s best for their kids
LEAH GARRAD-COLE: Exactly. I really believed in that. I’m a parent first and you know I’ve learned a lot over the last couple of years. And what I’ve learned is there is, there’s no one single way to do things
SUNNY GAULT: Right
LEAH GARRAD-COLE: And you know we don’t want to tell parents exactly what to do. We believe that they’re, you know parents are intelligent, they have doctors and different other moms that they can talk to and they can make those decisions themselves
SUNNY GAULT: Absolutely. Well, tell us more about your spreading the love campaign. What is that all about?
LEAH GARRAD-COLE: Well we believe that businesses like ours have the responsibility to give back and to improve that life of the children on a wider scale. So we actually decided to embed this belief range for our financial structure. And we have committed to donating 1 cent per product we sell to children in need. And currently we’re partnered in this campaign with a non profit called First Book. And what they do is they donate brand new books to children in need and they’re just an amazing, amazing non profit. They’re really improving literacy across North America and we’re really proud to be working with them
SUNNY GAULT: That’s fantastic. So how can parents learn more about your products and also buy them for their families?
LEAH GARRAD-COLE: Well they can visit us on our website www.lovechildorganics.com On our website we have a store locator page, you can use that to find a retailer near you or to find an online vendor. And then as well we’re big on social media, so we invite everyone to come and visit us on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest as well. And we have lots of great content on there and frequent give aways too
SUNNY GAULT: And we’re actually doing a product review with you guys we’re really excited about. We have a few mama’s that are going to be testing out the products. And we’ll be doing a written and a video product review so for all of our listeners out there, we’ll be posting that on our social media as well and will be available on our website. And we get to test this first hand, I’m so excited. Leah, thank you so much for being with us today and for helping twin families and families just in general transition their babies to solid foods. We really appreciate it
LEAH GARRAD-COLE: Well thanks for having me. It’s great talking to you
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Well today’s topic is introducing solid foods to twins and we’re talking with our expert Doctor Stephanie Drummond, she’s here today and she’s going to talk about the milestones and from a developmental standpoint so, thanks for joining us
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Of course
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: You know we hear, you know a lot of questions, you know when kids, you know often it’s like “oh my gosh my kids are always hungry, what should I do?” or “oh I hope they can sleep through the night”. So, what are the signs of readiness to introduce solid foods?
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Sometimes that your kids will be showing you is that, the first thing that you want to look at is posture too. So I think a lot of people put their kids in the bumbo seat like “oh they’re sitting up, now they can eat” so if a child doesn’t have posture control and can’t sit up, then they shouldn’t be starting solid foods, because if they can’t hold their body at then they then increases their risk for choking. And if they can’t hold their body and then also their tongue isn’t ready for eating either.
So, they need to be able to sit up without support and not just kind of in a bumbo seat or in your lap. So independently sitting is the first sign. Then they also have to lose that tongue thrust. You know when they first get their food in them, when you’re suckling and you’re breastfeeding, they kind of stick their tongue out like that. That tongue thrust has to kind of be inhibited so that now they don’t have that sort food doesn’t go in and automatically come out.
It’s a protective response so that if they put something in their mouth that shouldn’t be in there, it automatically comes out. So that has to be inhibited before they can start introducing solids because otherwise everything is going to come out. So I think a lot of people, paediatricians say “oh four months” and they put them in and all of those food coming out, why isn’t my child eating? Well that’s a reflex that hasn’t integrated yet.
So we need to make sure that that’s inhibited and they could start working on solids. The other thing is that they’re ready and willing too, so they’re not crying every time you’re putting food in their mouth and it’s not, it has to be a pleasant experience. And if it’s not pleasant for them then they’re not ready either. Another sign is that they’re starting to develop that pincer grasp.
They’re showing that they can kind of pick up those little foods and that they’re ready to bring the foods to their mouth. And another, the final step is they, they’re eager to participate in meal time. So they’re not, it’s not again the pleasant experience of it. If eating isn’t fun, then it’s not going to be fun for you either if it was not fun for them.
So those are just kind of the steps that as far as motorically. The biggest thing is that you need to make sure their digestive tract is ready for the food as well. So there’s the motor [inaudible] showing of their body is ready for the solid foods as well
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And to try out these signs, I mean, you can kind of watch and observe, you know maybe how they can hold things or maybe at the time but, does that mean to do try just you know, periodically let’s ends you know give them little taste of things and just see how they react to it or
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Yeah you can, you can dip it like your spoon or your finger. And because they are, I mean especially their breastfeeding they’re used to having things like a breast or you can even dip your breast into the food or your finger, whatever they’re more comfortable with. And just kind of let it, kind of sit on their tongue or play that no. If they want to explore the taste, they’re excited about it, then go for it. But again make sure they have that postural support first because it will increase your choking risk if they don’t have that postural support to sit independently
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And what age approximately is when they have that, that postural support, I mean is there a typical age?
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Everyone’s different. I mean I think a lot of what’s out there now is saying forty six months. But I always lean to this six to eight months. I think it’s better to wait than start it early because if they’re not ready then you can initiate reflux because they have an allergy or an intolerance due to their digestive tract is not ready. So I always lean six to eight months is where I look at. And make sure, again, make sure they’re sitting independently. Make sure that they’re willing and eager to engage. And they’re starting to show you those signs
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Interesting, so, I mean you’re recommending later than a lot of let’s just say the paediatricians. But I mean I think we understand that solid foods are this time of exploration. So they’re still getting their primary nutrition from either, you know breast milk or from formulas. So, by delaying it you’re not withholding nutrition in anyway
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Of course not
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Of course not
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah. Okay. Interesting! So, you know maybe you can help us understand now why is it then that, I hear you’re talking about having waiting a little bit you know to make sure that they’re body and they got the support, then why is it that a lot of paediatricians or other medical providers are saying “Oh well you know, four months or you know, six months or” why do we hear so much discrepancy?
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: I don’t know why they say that to be honest with you. Because again I have a lot of children with feeding these issues that come and see me. And I think a lot of paediatricians will say “put the rice, put the rice cereal and then melt because you’re going to help with reflux and do these things to kind of help. And if their digestive tract isn’t ready then you’re just going to have more problems.
And if their postures are not ready then you’re going to have more problems. If they start to get to that point where they’re ravines and you’re giving them all the milk and formula you have then that’s probably another sign that they’re ready to start introducing more solids. But you also want to make sure that you’re at the just right place for them. Because if you start introducing this too early, and again every child’s different, it’s only going to cause more problems in the end
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Well that’s good to know and I think so we can hold off a little bit. And then when we look at. . . I mean twins. I mean prematurity is unfortunately you now a common challenge with twins. So how does that factor in as far as the timing goes. I mean do we have to look at you know that age adjustment
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Always yes. So, when I go to do an assessment all kids will say standardized, we set, we adjust two years of age. And sometimes I even adjust till their three years of age. So, a hundred percent you would adjust for defeating milestones for prematurity. So if you’re two months early you wait further in six to eight months to wait eight to ten months
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Wow
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: From when they were born
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Okay. That’s surprising to hear. Now regarding, you know texture as well and you talked about the tongue thrust. So how can parents, I mean help their twins transition from we go, you know, breast milk formula which is just pure liquid to pure solid, I mean, you know, what sort of approach should they go in stages and I know we look at some different methods of going from purees which I think is probably one of the most popular approaches. Do you have any in general recommendation on how to, you know, parents can approach this?
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Yeah definitely. And one thing I think is again this has some kind of steps that you need to make sure your child’s ready before they are transitioning to the textured foods. I think a lot of parents think that they look at Gerber and they say well there’s stage one, stage two, stage three and this is the order that we need to go in. and I think what happens is they throw this stage three foods at these kids and they start throwing up and gagging and they can’t tolerate these textures because developmentally they’re not ready for those. And honestly stage two foods, I wouldn’t touch. So, I tend to save
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah (laughing)
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Never go to stage three because those look like alien foods to me anyways. But when you look at how the child progresses through feeding you need to rather than jumping from stage one to stage two to stage three, check and see what they’re doing. Can they handle stage one? Okay then you’d taken up a little bit on stage two. It’s just kind of a thicker mush. Can their tongue handle it? And when you move on to the next one, go to your regular table foods.
So mash up your avocado, mash up your bananas so there’s natural chunks in there. But the most, the again, back to the oral moto piece is you want to make sure that the child has the ability to have, they’re not to have that tongue thrust anymore. They’re also showing you lateralisation so they can move their tongue from side to side when a cheerio or food that dissolves goes in their mouths.
I like to usually start with what we call multiple solids so those little puffs, those things that literally food put on their mouth they dissolve pretty quickly. So we can kind of see that’s a pre-christo that they are chewing. They could see when that goes in their mouth, what do they do with it? They just suckle it down like it’s breast milk? Or do they move it side to side? What do they do with that food? That shows me that they’re starting to move the tongue around and they’re ready for those foods.
So that’s the first precursor. Another thing is you want to make sure that they are able, we push the gag reflex back. So a lot of times those babies that I get a lot of kids that never put things in th1eir mouth so they really just never put take things off the floor. They never put toys in their mouth. That’s a sign that they’ve got some hyper like responsivity to different textures.
So I want to make sure that they’re constantly putting toys or food or anything that my kids would walk around. Not walk around, they were crawling at this point. But with those like, I take a huge carrot and I peel it. And they would get that carrot and they’d shove it all the way back and they’d gag and they gag and they gag. And ever, my mom would freak out. “Mom, it’s okay, they’re not. Gagging is a normal response.” If your child gags don’t freak out, just stay calm because that’s a normal protective response. It’s a good thing if they’re not gagging, that’s a concern. It means it may not be in there. So I want to make sure that they’re getting, pushing that gag response back. Because, go ahead
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So you want this, you want to encourage kids to put things in their mouth and then play with the texture even if it’s not you know an actual food items. So are you saying it’s a good sort of practice or exercise for them to experience “hey, I’ve got something in my mouth and this is what it feels like. And I’m not immediately going to you know push it out
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Yes
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Okay
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: So, their fingers and toys, and everything. So, whether be long, I mean you don’t want to give them scary objects but long items that they can’t choke on push that gag reflex back. Because what happens is when you introduce foods if that gag reflex hasn’t been pushed back they’re going to retch when something that touches the tip of their tongue.
So when you do, and then that’s becomes gagging is not pleasant, it’s not something they enjoy doing. So if you are introducing food and are constantly retching you’re going to have a negative response to the food. So if you do it, I do it both with. I recommend to do with and without food. So, whether be a large piece of celery. And I know this sound crazy but like a slim jim or like a big carrot. Something they can get in there that they won’t choke on and they can’t get a bite off of. Just to put in their mouth and push that gag reflex back. It also is a tongue exercise activity.
So you know when you go to the dentist and you, they, you’re there like tangle up, tangle up because you put stuff in your mouth and your tongue follows it. That’s a reflex. So when you put things in your mouth, your tongue is getting exercise. And it’s going left, it’s going right, it’s going back and forth. And that’s a precursor with what we’re going to do with food develops rotary chewing.
So you want to have those things in your mouth going back and forth. Push the gag reflex. It’s all, there’s a reason that all that’s supposed to happen. So that when you go to introduce foods, it’s pleasant. My gag reflex is where it’s supposed to be. So now I’m not retching every time the tongue, that my food touches my tongue. And my tongue knows that when they get a [inaudible] in the middle, it moves it to my side and I’d chew it and then I swallow it.
SUNNY GAULT: I know right
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So I mean food in itself is a sort of foreign substance for them. So, I mean, we just need to let them comfortable with even just having it in their mouth
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Yeah. Yeah
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Did you Sunny, I mean, what about your girls?
SUNNY GAULT: Well my kids put everything in their mouth. And that I love that you said that Stephanie because I don’t feel so bad when they’ve got like a mouthful of whatever. I think it’s fascinating. The more and more I learned about the body in general, I’m just like “well of course that’s why we do that” I mean it just makes sense that it’s leading up to something. But if kids are putting a lot of stuff in their mouth then Stephanie do we need to kind of go through those exercises? Or is it something that’s pretty much innate, most children are going to figure it out on their own?
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: I should be innate with most children.
SUNNY GAULT: But just watch them maybe at first to see if they’re really doing it. Okay
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: So give them the opportunities for those safe times to put those things in their mouth. Push that gag reflex back. Move that tongue back and forth. And see how they respond or react to it. They, promise you they will gag
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: But that’s a good thing. And so, again your biggest thing because they are watching you, they mirror everything you’re doing. So if you, if they gag and you freak out at them, they’re not going to do it again. So, just be like “oh that’s okay, and then kind of redirect. But don’t show them that you’re fearful with that response because that’s something they need to do and to move on to the next step anyways
SUNNY GAULT: Right!
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So now are there other things as well that parents should be doing to help them you know make that transition from the, you know the liquid to solid and should it be as I think you know we talked about it that we got the packaged food that’s in stages. So, should we think of what if we make our own food thinking of it in stages as well? So what about these different approaches? I mean some, you know start out with purees and I don’t know what, you know, what are your thoughts with that versus either, you know more liquid foods or you know we’ve probably heard of some people are familiar with baby lead weaning
SUNNY GAULT: We did some episodes on that
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes. And whereas really kind of introducing firmer foods from the get go, so
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: So, I go back and forth with those. The, I think, I can tell you again, when I did it with my children, we went to purees first. We went from the really thin liquids to the purees then kind of make sure they have that, the what we call those hard chewable to hard munchables to move their tongue back and forth. And then we slowly progressed to mashed up table foods and not anything staged.
Again I’m, I made my own baby foods so I didn’t really do those stages. But making that what we would eat, make it [inaudible] because oftentimes if you’re not going to eat it, they’re not going to eat it. So there are – as long as they get that tongue in those gag reflex back that tongue moving you should be good to go. I like the baby when weaning some parts of it from the fact that they’re using what, the hard munchables in the sense that they’re putting things in there that they can chew and munch on. It’s exploration that’s good exercises for the tongue.
Sometimes I get a little weary if it’s child that may not be ready for it from the choking hazard. That’s my biggest paranoia. So, I know if I give them a large carrot there’s no way a six to eight month old is going to be able to get a piece off of that in their mouth because they don’t really have any teeth. They can’t take anything off. But if you give them a chicken wing, that makes me a little bit nervous. There are hard bones in there, but that just makes me nervous. So I like the aspect that they are learning exploration. I want to make sure that they’re not going to choke from that exploration or from that stand of point that makes me nervous
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: It sounds like you’re saying that maybe, depending on the twins or the kids abilities is kind of really that might direct which path you take. I mean I know with my twins, you know we did the traditional purees. And I did it at home you know with making apple sauce and spinach and you know and the little ice cube trays and you know all of that mixing it up. And you know and they ate it, spoon feeding, that sort of thing. And then with my singleton, we did more of a baby lead weaning approach. And you know, and it was in she was just really ready for it. And I have to say, I think from that she’s got really great motor skills as well.
I mean she can pick things up and you know break things apart. She could grasp things really early on. And I think you know, she also has a, I think a better palate for food just because we just gave her table food. So, but you know it’s interesting, I think you know and obviously with twins, there’s just that manageability aspect.
So, you know if you’re on your own, you know are you up to, you know either you know just watching them and observing them and you know making sure everything is okay. Or can you be less hands off so, i think that’s the great recommendation just to you know maybe look at each of the kid’s abilities
SUNNY GAULT: I am one of those people. I know we’re going to talk about this later on. But the whole choking hazards scares me to death. Because, you know, I don’t, I just know I’d freak out
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And you’re watching four. You know I’m with you. I’m with you. Well you know whether with that I think we’re going to take a break and when we come back, I think we’re going to address that topic of how can parents help prevent choking
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Let’s see, well welcome back. Today we’re talking with Doctor Stephanie Drummond about introducing solid food to twins. So, yeah, I think we’re discussing earlier, one of our constant concerns is choking. I mean we know that kids, they’re learning and they’re learning to keep food in their mouth and but we are worried about choking. That seems to come quite a bit. So how parents help prevent that
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: We’re probably going back to making sure that the child has the oral motor skills and the postural ability as well to handle the foods. So, making sure you’re kind of not giving them grapes obviously. You’re giving them little foods that they can manage. And if you want, you can even try it on yourself first. Try to put it in your mouth and see if you can chew it without using your teeth.
So, if you can’t then I probably wouldn’t give it to them. And that you just use, if you’re using your tongue to mash against the top of your mouth and you know we have teeth in that gums but you can use your cheeks. Use everything in your mouth to see if you can get that down without choking to a smaller piece and they can form a ball to get it down. That’s the best thing to do. Is first, because of ways they can’t do it
SUNNY GAULT: Well is it bad for them to swallow, I mean if it’s not a choking hazard. Is it bad for them to swallow something whole without chewing it?
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: You have to watch them so if they have a hard swallow and you see it like red eyes, and you see it kind looks like a gulp
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: And it looked it’s hard. You don’t want that to happen too frequently because that can trigger negative response to eating. And I’ve had certain kids that come to see me at four and five years of age that had one experience of having a really bad hard swallow and it wasn’t choking. There was no lack of oxygen but it’s one bad hard swallow and they’re done. And they stop, they’re like “okay, we’re not eating that anymore” and then they start to well that I’m kind of scared to that food and that can turn in to some feeding challenges.
So you want to make sure a hard swallow is fine as long as they don’t have too much of a negative response to it. But watch them, you know, you’ll see a big gulp and you’ll see their eyes will turn red or they’ll start tearing. And that’s, it’s painful. Like you had that, where you feel like you have a pill stuck in your throat. It’s painful. It’s not pleasant. And you don’t want to have those negative associations with feeding
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: How about looking at some of the first foods. I mean, you know it seems that’s always a question about you know what should we start out with? And the foods that would help babies to encourage those chewing and swallowing skills
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Right. So, I think number one is do your best to avoid the dairy products until they’re at least twelve months of age. Because a lot of times the kids bodies aren’t ready for it. So if you can avoid that; that would be great until twelve months. I always wanted to start with fruits and vegetables first because I think they’re the easiest for the kids to digest.
So we usually recommend pears or apples, peaches, bananas, apricots those ones that are easier for their system. And then move to food, potatoes, carrots, squashes. I know with mine I think I started more in the vegetable because I wanted to avoid sweet as your first food. So I think we did like sweet potatoes and squash and they kind of moved in mixed a little bit of fruit in. And make it different change that don’t always every morning, give your child banana and avocado. Mix them together. Add something else because with my children then I see for feeding issues, with variety they get it their palate increases. They want to try new things and they also get more volume.
If you give them the same thing over and over again, you get sick of it. And I know as parents of twins, we kind of just eat the same things typically because that’s what easy. We don’t have like capacity or anything else at this point in our lives. But for kids we need to especially this, really introduce their palates to new tastes. And they may kind of be like “woah” the first time they try it. But the research shows that you got to give the child the food tent times before they actually realize that “oh, I kind, may I kind of like that”. So they may spit it out ten times, but you have to kind of accumulate or get that palate used to those different foods and those different taste. Even though they may not like it first go round.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And how about as far as like the textures. Some you know we were kind of, you know, building up, you know when we, we puree it and I’ve heard some parents say then “okay” as we introduce foods like sweet potatoes is a great example. You know you can make sweet potatoes works like really soft and really pureed or maybe leave a few little chunks in there and if you know sounds like if the kids if you watch them and observe them, you know maybe they have that ability and they could sort of squish those chunks together and you know with their tongues, so
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Yeah and that it may throw them for a loop. You’re going to probably get a really funny face the first time that you put that, those mix textures in? But yeah, you definitely want to throw those in and see what happens. Make it more mashed at first versus like something that to choose especially if they lack in the teeth or the coordination. But they do have to get used to those different textures. And if you can make it the same food that’ll be easier for them too versus throwing in peas inside sweet potatoes. If you can mash larger pieces of sweet potato in the sweet potato you’re only making them work on the textural response versus having a taste and texture change at the same time
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And how about avocado. I know a lot of people I hear say like “oh avocadoes like the big super foods”. So, sometimes I’ve heard that is introduced the first food.
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Yeah. I love avocado, I think it’s a fantastic food. It’s got the great fats in it. You can make different textures with it depending on what stage the avocadoes at.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Alright. Well, so, as a mom to twins, so you’ve experiences first hand. So can you give us some practical tips about feeding them on your own. I mean it’s a big job.
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: It is a big job and I go back to what you said about having the, your feeding two. So you have to constantly you’re like “okay” I would say the biggest thing is prep. So make sure you have everything ready. Remember I will get everything ready and they would be playing wherever they’re playing and then have it ready and then to get them both in their high chair. And give them something to do while they’re eating. And so if you just sit there and they’re waiting for you too, they’ll going to get bored and it’s not going to be fun.
So I always have food and again being an occupational therapist, we always have tact and play in my house. So I would throw the puree literally on their tray and they would get their hands and then play with it while we’re eating. So they eat and they lick it and they’d get their faces covered and you know my mom would be [inaudible] But I’m like, sorry but I mean my kids love being engaged in tactical experiences now. Because they’ve had that since they were born.
So rather than just making sure that you’re kind of keeping everything clean and keep it in their mouth. Let it be crazy zone, this is their high chair like just get it covered, let them get covered. Just have them in diapers so that you don’t care if their clothes get dirty and let it be fun and making it a pleasurable experience. And then they’re engaged too so when you give them the foods that’s already a positive reaction response too. So prep, making sure they’re entertained. And not one screaming at the other while you’re feeding one, because it’s hard to feed two at the same time. So going back and forth that again they have something to entertain them at the same time.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And do you usually have them sitting next to each other in the high chairs, so then you kind of, you got like two different bowls, I mean I think every ones got the round system worked out but. And you got two spoons and
SUNNY GAULT: I only used one spoon
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: One spoon?
SUNNY GAULT: I do. I kind of feel bad about it but I’m like “oh common the same DNA does it.
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: I, you know what they say always use two spoons because they are scared about changing germs. My kids still switch toothbrushes, I’m like okay whatever. Like it just, you have to be practical too. There’s the ideal and there’s reality which was lame when you have twins. It’s I can come in from what my ideal is as a therapist and then having twins I’m like okay there’s some things that just have to go. I will have like a table let’s make a little table that I have the foods on and then they both be in front of me. And we will go back and forth with the spoon. Just kind of like wherever whoever’s mouth was open is who would get it. That’s where we’re going with. Because my daughter eats slower than my son so he’ll get two and she gets one. Just kind of go back and forth because that’s what life with twins is
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Do you have any favorite gear that you know, you like to use I mean either from that encourages development or just from a practical standpoint that makes it easier in feeding twins
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Yeah I think my biggest if I could get it my soap box would be the high chairs. I absolutely despise high chairs as most of them that are out there the ones that and then you know as twin parents and you don’t have lab room in your house they have like the ones that put on your own chairs.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh the ones that sits on top of,
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Yes
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Like mini, like little
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Booster
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah okay
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: They save space, they’re space savers. But postural they’re awful for your child. So those and then the also the ones and I can’t think of a brands right now. But they’re just padded and they basically you’re like “okay just hang out and sit back to eat” because they hang out and it’s cushy and it’s soft and then there’s so many dusty thing growing inside those things. I just couldn’t even and one of my registry I literally registered for this certain high chairs and they still sit in them. And I really like the Keekaroo and the more expensive version of the stow keys but the Keekaroo is my favourite. And we still have them and I sit on them and my husband sits on them and my kids sit on them.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And these are I think, these are the wooden kind of wooden high chairs?
SUNNY GAULT: Well actually it’s actually just the restaurant style chairs. You guys know what I’m talking about
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yes. Oh yeah the wooden or square
SUNNY GAULT: But we had space savers for my sons. And then I was just sick of it because it was really hard to clean. Like you said it has that like you know you can lean back in and it was just you’d have to dissemble the whole thing which really couldn’t do in order to clean it. And I’m like we need to go to something that doesn’t have anything but just like straight angles. And then we went to the wooden style restaurant chairs
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So how about like utensils and things, you know I mean we know they’re learning to hold on to things and they’re picking up food. I mean you know anything you’d recommend to help them learn that
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Yeah. I, when they’re starting to eat independently and they’re starting to use utensils. The ones that stick to the tray are really great, because that gives them pretty more success other than chasing the bowl around the table. Its in-front of them, they’ve got a little bit on their lips so they can kind of scoop with their spoons or their forks.
I’m of huge environmental kind of, I’m afraid of BPA and all those things so we use all silicone everything and we still use all silicone everything. I haven’t found one they can stick to the table yet but at this stage I’m okay with that, because they don’t need that. We also used all metal forks and all metal spoons and didn’t use on these plastic ones.
You want to make sure that the spoons that you’re using have a really shallow bowl and you also don’t want to dump the food in their mouth. So when they’re eating you want to just kind of let them do the works. So you put the spoon up to their mouth. Let their lips go around and do it versus you put it in and scraping it upwards. Because that’s not, their mouths not getting any work on that. That’s completely passive eating, so even though you’re feeding them, you want them to be actively engaged. The other thing that’s the biggest “No-No” is when they have food covered all over their face, don’t take your spoon and wipe their face off with the spoon.
SUNNY GAULT: All the time
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Don’t do it
SUNNY GAULT: Why?
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Try it to yourself, see if you like it
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And then they probably want it, probably think a spoon is for scraping the face and it’s a little confusion and you’re like what’s No, spoon goes into your mouth even though mom
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: When you’re, let them be messy. It’s good to be messy, it’s exploration. They’re learning and then when you’re all done, clean them off. Let them be dirty but when you’re scraping their face, it’s a, you’re going to cause an aversive reaction. So if we have any child that may be leading towards a feeding issue and you are have sensory processing issues. And you’re scraping their face. They’re going to become aversive to that. And they’re not going to want to eat.
So make it pleasurable, let them have exploration, let them be covered. I know that it’s sometimes that’s hard for. My husband was one who can’t. He’s very clean, but that’s just part of learning. It’s going to be in their heads. It’s going to be in their hair, and their ears and their face. And then you clean it off when they’re done.
SUNNY GAULT: Interesting.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah. You know and then I say no, one thing that I always liked was if you don’t have a, you know, just like a tile or linoleum kind of floor. Sometime of like just clear plastic mask on the bottom. So I would say
DOCTOR STEPHANIE DRUMMOND: Or dogs
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Or dogs, there you go. Well with that I think we’re going to wrap up and I just want to say thanks for joining us today and for more information about feeding and introducing solids or more information about any of our speakers and panelist, visit the episode page on our website. Now this conversation continues for members of our Twin Talks club. After the show Doctor Drummond will talk about the use of pouches for pureed foods. For more information about the twin talks club, visit our website www.newmommymedia.com
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And we have a question from Corina in Los Angeles. She says “Ugh, I am so tired. I’m breastfeeding my two month old twin boys. And I’m just tired all the time. I know I need to get more sleep but I’m wondering if there’s more to it. I mean maybe take more vitamins or are there any other things that I can do”
DOCTOR WADE SCHDWENDEMANN: Hi Cornina, I’m Doctor Wade from the San Diego Perinatal Center, thanks for your question. You may very well need more calories. Moms who are breastfeeding require an additional three to five hundred calories per day per baby. In addition you need more calories while you’re pregnant. Also there may be something organic going on like a firewood problem or anaemia. So I’d recommend that you see your doctor as well to follow up. And make sure that there isn’t some other issue for your tiredness. Thanks again.
CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Twin Talks.
Don’t forget to check our sister shows:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies
• Parent Savers, your parenting resource on the go.
This is Twin Talks, parenting times two or times two, times two. However many you have.
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
SUNNY GAULT: New Mommy Media is expanding our lineup of shows for new and expecting parents. If you have an idea for a new series or if you’re a business or organization interested in joining our network of shows through a co-branded podcast, visit www.NewMommyMedia.com
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