We haven't tried solid foods since our daughter was diagnosed with fpies when she was 5 months old. Known triggers are milk, soy, and rice. She has been on breastmilk w/ alimentum to supplement. We are doing our first food trials but our daughter gags and fights every attempt. Any advice? We are making a raspberry puree right now. I don't want to fight her to eat and make it a bad experience. Thanks!
Babies, especially those who have had struggles with food, will progress to tasting food if allowed to get messy and play a bit in the puree first. If that's ok with your doctor, I'd suggest putting a small amount on the table (or tray) in front of her and letting her explore it. Put washable toys in it, like a rubber duck, and encourage her to play. Licking, sucking fingers, etc. are the first steps! Meanwhile, any sort of desensitization that you can provide to her mouth will help her gag less. (massage, vibrating teethers, etc.) Feel free to go to my website, where you'll find lots of articles on the topic. Thank you! www.MelaniePotock.com or www.mymunchbug.com
First be reminded that lots of gag as they learn to eat so sometimes it's just more exposure that is needed. Then know that it is common for FPIES kids to need oral motor therapy to learn how to eat and efficiently use their lips, teeth, tongue and cheeks. Oral motor is a branch of speech therapy but not all speech therapists have extensive training in it. Also there are different approaches and some use sweet foods and other enticers that are not possible for our kids. Both my boys see an oral motor therapists who actually started the oral sensory approach and she uses non food tools and then target foods chosen by me/our medical team only. She is in the process of writing an article on working with FPIES kids.
Hi! Your story sounds exactly like ours. We started with rice cereal around 5 months, got really really sick a few times before figuring he wasn't quite ready for solids. Waited another month or so the Tried oats, same thing but way worse reaction. At this point the pediatrician still wasn't concerned, we waited another month tried again with oats, same thing, and at that point I started googling and came across FPIES. I met a wonderful woman online who's daughter also had FPIES and was in feeding therapy because she would gag when they started trying to introduce different foods. She shared things she learned but in all honestly we didn't have much luck with any type of purees. We tried those mesh handheld baby feeders, we tried feeding with our fingers, pouches and letting him play with different foods, with pretty much no luck. We did however somehow get the courage to try kix cereal(corn) that I would let soak in breast milk and the he would literally eat it off my finger. Initially they had to be super soggy, but eventually we worked our way all the way up to dry cereal. So around 10 months we got in to see an allergist who confirmed FPIES and gave the green light to try foods. We were told to trial each food for 2 weeks individually before moving on to another while of course avoiding rice and oats and other grains. She also let us know how risky the cereal trial was (since he already has 2 grains that he failed) but was also happy that he passed corn. We honestly never really had luck with any type of soft foods, he will be 3 in August and still won't touch mashed potatoes. He eats foods but generally prefers crunchy. Admittedly his diet is horrible....and I wish I would have tried a bit harder with the purees/fruits and veggies....now all that being said my oldest who doesn't have FPIES or any other food allergies or intolerance was the same way, she gagged with purees wouldn't eat any fruits or veggies (I swear she lived off of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches throughout her toddler/preschool years ) when she was a baby the only thing she was interested in eating was those baby puffs. She's 8 now and will try anything and even enjoys eating Brussels sprouts if you can believe that. I guess I say all that to tell you don't stress, keep trying. I do wish I had tried harder with the fruits and veggies, but in the end we had to learn and do what worked for us. Maybe look into some type of feeding therapy, I've heard people have excellent results with that. Maybe put a little bit on her tray and give her a spoon and let her play. Try to remain calm because when you get worked up they can feel it. I'm sorry that I don't have any actual concrete solutions, but I just wanted you to know that although it doesn't seem like it now, it will get easier.