The Oral Motor Cookbook, Part 2

20 Apr 2015

BY: trini

Orofacial Myology / Speech Therapy

By Carolinda “Trini” Myers-Murphy, MS CCC-SLP;COM

What is a cookbook without recipes? In case you missed Part 1 of the Oral Motor Cookbook, I am sharing some food tips for parents with low tone children. Today’s recipes focus on puree textures, a.k.a., baby food, but they can also be helpful for older kids who struggle with solid foods or as a nutritious snack when older kids are feeling under the weather.

To start off with, lets look at some yummy pairings that you may or may not have experimented with yet: Baby Food

  • Baked cinnamon apple and prune
  • Baked cinnamon apple, prune and yogurt (everybody’s favorite)
  • Zucchini and potato
  • Peas with mint
  • Baked apple with carrot

The process itself is rather simple. You cook the veggies, add a tiny bit of salt and herbs and puree it all up with a little water or vegetable broth. Remember for those children who prefer “mushy” foods, we can help normalize their sensory system just by modifying taste and temperature. Slowly add more flavors to increase a child’s tolerance to new tastes.

There are a lot of easy recipes for baby specific vegetable broths out there. Most of the m involve coking carrots, celery, onion, salt and herbs with water, then straining.

The broth is used to cut the veggies so they blend smoother, but you can substitute water if you prefer. We use water for fruit based foods, and veggie for everything else. One thing I woul highly recommend is purchasing an immersion blender. They are much faster and easier in dealing with, and cleaning up is a cinch. Homemade puree’s stay fresh generally up to 5 days in the refrigerator. You can even freeze in ice-cube trays or silicone muffin molds and defrost as needed. Another option would be to try the same treat frozen or heated to help treat those children that resist trying new foods.

Brown Rice, Chicken and Peaches

  • 1/2 cup chopped and cooked boneless chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 ripe peach (good for kids with low tone)
  • 1 Tablespoon white grape or apple juice
  • 1 Tablespoon milk or dairy-alternative milk
  • 2 teaspoons wheat germ

Mix all ingredients together, and blend well with an immersion blender.

Apples and Chicken

  • 1/3 cup chopped and cooked boneless chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup cooked apple (be sure to remove the skin and the seeds (Tip: you can also use 1/4 cup natural, unsweetened applesauce)

Puree the chicken with the cooked apple with an immersion blender or in a food processor until the desired consistency is reached.

Prune Cinnamon Apple

  • 3 red or blush apples
  • 9 prunes
  • Cinnamon
  • Yogurt (optional)

Wash and core 3 apples. I like to just use a knife to cut out the center, starting at the stem and working your way down as best as possible. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon inside cored area and over skin. Stuff 3 prunes inside each apple. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350* for about 30 – 40 minutes or until apples are very soft. Remove from oven and cut apples in half. Place prunes and apples (with about half of the skins still on) in a blender with 1/3 cup water. Blend until smooth.

** Optional: add 1/4 cup plain yogurt to mixture and blend for the creamy delicious version.

Zucchini Potato

  • 1 1/2 cup cubed zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cup cubed potato
  • salt
  • parsley

Peel and cube potatoes and put to boil till soft. Partially peel zucchini and cube up. Saute zucchini in olive oil with a sprinkle of salt and parsley. Cover and cook on medium low until very soft. Puree potatoes and zucchini in blender or food processor with 2/3 cup vegetable broth or water.

Once you’ve discovered the recipe proportions that you like of solid to liquid, start experimenting! If you’re making small batches and something doesn’t turn out quite the way you planned, it’s just fine. Keep trying & you’ll find some baby (or family!) favorites.