Salty O and his Allergies

Sometimes as a special needs parent you work on something and work on something from seemingly every possible angle and make no progress and then someone else enters the pictures and does the tiniest thing, almost by accident, and suddenly – over a month – you have a breakthrough.

For Owen, that tiny thing that opened up a new world was a potato chip. He was at his feeding evaluation a few weeks ago and I had only brought purees with for the meeting. The OT wanted to see him pick up a food and there was only a potato chip that did not have wheat in their cupboard. Owen picked up the potato chip and, as with everything, put it in his mouth. His response wasn’t particularly noteworthy to the professionals, but as the person who had been giving Owen sweet puree after sweet puree after sweet yogurt with zero progress; I saw a a subtle hint of pleasure in the way he sucked on that potato chip.

Ding, Ding, Ding…he likes salt.

We went back to the Gerber Lil’ crunchies and waffle pinwheels that he had long ago rejected, but this time, Owen has been loving them. He rubs them against his teething gums and licks it with his tongue. If it gets too soft and a piece falls in his mouth he very theatrically will let you think he’s choking on it, when it’s really sitting on the front of his tongue and nowhere near his throat (mommy needed training through this – “it will melt in 3 seconds, he’s okay, he’s okay, he’s okay – whew, it melted”).

Slowly over the last month, I’ve been adding other textures to Owen’s trusty Lil’ crunchies. I’ll dip it in yogurt or in baby food purees and he started to suck the puree off these edible carriers. Now, he’s letting me put a little puree in his mouth with a spoon as well and he’s being less and less dramatic with pieces of puff in his mouth. Most do not end up being swallowed, but he’s definitely making progress. We are back up to a couple of tablespoons of puree eaten in a day. Still nothing near where he needs to be, but he’s swallowing food again and taking up to a tablespoon in a sitting. Monday, his occupational therapist was thrilled to see how much improvement Owen has made, even in the last week. She said, he’s entirely doing his own therapy and all he needs is to keep getting practice. Finding more foods that he loves should only help us.

That food finding thing, happens to be the hard part. Packaged, savory, pureed foods with no wheat is difficult to find. So far I’ve found Gerber has the most variety with two skus. Chicken with gravy and beef with gravy. Both smell like wet cat food, but Owen doesn’t seem to mind. The Organic brand has more flavor varieties but they cross label everything with possible traces of allergens, so even if they shouldn’t have allergens, I still am not comfortable buying them.

So guess what, if Owen is going to learn to eat, which is no longer instinctual for him, then I’m going to learn how to make my own baby food and everyone who knows me, even a little, knows that was never instinctual for me. Don’t get me wrong, I have always respected the idea of making your kids whole foods and knowing exactly what they are getting, but time and abhorrence of the kitchen has kept me in firmly in Gerber’s target market.

I’m needing your help – who has made their own baby foods? Especially the savory flavored purees with no egg, peanut or wheat? We have a food processor. I’ve found baby food blogs and I’ve found food allergy blogs, but I’ve not found much that combines the two. Who has some great places to start?

Looks like I have another thing to add to my Bucket List…learn to make savory, non-allergen baby foods that are so delicious that Owen can’t help but want to eat.



Owen licking his favorite food – Salt and Lime Corn Chips

© Copyright Tatum, All rights Reserved. Written For: Ain't No Roller Coaster

14 thoughts on “Salty O and his Allergies

  1. I make food for the girls. I think baby food blogs arent as helpful as regular food blogs. Can you find recipes that have no egg, peanut, or wheat for adults then just purée in the food processor?

    Make smaller amounts to see if he likes it?

    • Kar, I hadn’t thought about that – do you pull the salt, etc out? Are there a couple recipes that your girls seem to really like? It would be nice if I could just give him pureed versions of whatever we are eating.

  2. Hi Tatum,

    I have never made baby food but Jackson is also a salty kid. He can put down a bag of Cheetos but will
    Frown face at ice cream or cookies. I have purchased practically every salty crunchy ever made. He is definitely a fan of pirate booty which I believe is wheat and gluten free. Owen might like it as a snack or to practice in therapy.

  3. Hi Tatum,

    I made most of my daughter’s baby food. I actually found that the blender worked better than the food processor for purees (not what I expected). We are avoiding milk products, so lots of the pre-packaged products do not work for us. I have found an interesting variety of organic baby foods – granola bars, snacks and such at Target in the baby section. I’ve never checked them for wheat, but it may give you a few more options for pre-packaged.

    The other item that I used for making her purees was a small pressure cooker that my MIL had gotten for me. It uses very little water and cooks with steam, so the foods cook faster, but maintain most of their nutrients, unlike cooking in a pot of water where you drain off the water.

    Let me know if you want more suggestions or find out how pressure cookers work. Luckily I got a hands on lesson for that one!

    Best of luck!! Avoiding food allergies is not an easy task.

    • Hi Julie, It’s wonderful to hear from you. Thanks for the tips. I love the idea that the blender is easier than the food processor – much easier to clean! Also, thanks for the pressure cooker idea, if I start making more, I will definitely looking into something that lets me get a little more volume than our steamer.

  4. ditto to looking for recipes that meet his dietary needs and just blending them up! Id would add spices as indicated but avoid any added salt. I make my own and while I have several books and bookmarked I find myself just generally playing around with different combinations of foods, textures and spices. My daughter (ex 25 weeker who is now 11 months) also seems to like salty stuff. spiced carrots- carrots with cinnamon and cumin are a favorite here. Lentil and Bean “soup” is also a big hit, as well as butternut squash and pasta or quinoa. All of these can be blended really thin by adding water or stock or can be pretty chunky.

  5. I made all of Whitneys baby food. Check out I learned a lot there and got tons of great recipes! good luck!

  6. As I said in my previous comment, I make a good amount of my daughters food but I also rely on prepackaged stuff on a regular basis. We just started using sprout packages this week and they are definitely the most similar (if she could talk she would probably say tastier) to what I have been making her. The butternut squash mac and cheese, pasta with lentil bolognese, and black beans with corn, greens and wild rice have all been big hits with my girl

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