Finding snacks or opportunities to incorporate extra calories is a bonus for special needs parents.
For most puréed eaters texture can be a challenge. For instance some pureed eaters can only handle the filling of a cheesecake, but not the crust.
Likewise consistency can also be difficult which can result in needing to either thin out the puree or thicken it up.
Here are 10 great fun foods that have the ability to be altered to meet the pureed consistency that are fun and easy to access at the grocery store.
1) Sour Cream
Sour cream if stirred will become more watery, if left in it's original state will be the consistency of a Greek Yogurt.
The slight tang and tartness from sour cream will often inspire some children with special needs to explore the roof and sides of their mouth as they explore the taste with curiosity.
2) Ranch Dip
A lot of children typical and special needs gravitate towards the taste of ranch dressing.
It is one of the most universal dips for children. Ranch offers a host of mild seasoning that children enjoy.
Dip can be thick or thin and can generally pack some decent calories with a mayonnaise base.
Ranch is also easy to alter for children who are dairy free.
3) Chocolate Pudding
There are tons of chocolate puddings on the market, and it is also easy to make at home.
Chocolate pudding is fantastic for camouflaging liquid medication, it also absorbs extra calorie powder packets well, it is a motivational treat and provides those fun treat calories.
Parents love treats that are good for you.
Hummus can be a lot of fun as it comes in a host of smooth flavors; red pepper, lemon, and original to name a few.
You can really add just about anything to hummus as it mixes well with most flavor combinations.
Hummus is also easy to make at home in your blender and stores well for several days.
Cheesecake can be a great treat, but also requires knowing the texture and consistencies that work the best for your pureed eater.
Some pre-made cheesecake filings are more like puddings while New York style cheesecakes tend to be more dense and a little bit more thick.
However, cheesecakes are make for great desserts for the pureed eater.
6) Ice cream
The best part of ice cream is the flavor opportunities. Flavor combinations in ice cream are just as endless as the choices.
Ice cream comes in non-dairy, in plant based, in nut milk, and in sorbets.
You can find ice creams with some chunks, completely smooth or extremely chunky so make sure you know the consistency of your purchase to find the proper match for your child's oral eating capabilities.
No matter what you chose ice cream seems to be a universal home run.
7) Cheese Sauce
Cheese sauce can often serve as a great appetizer if you are out at a restaurant and have a pureed eater. Many restaurants have cheese sauces on hand which are mixed into other dishes.
Cheese sauce can easily be thickened with a little bit of baby food rice or baby food oatmeal, or thinned easily with milk or water.
It gives your pureed eater the sense of participation while dining out.
8) Whipped Cream
Whipped cream has a light and fluffy texture which often is fun to practice lip closure or lip licking with the tongue.
Whipped cream can also be made easily at home or store bought and comes in dairy and non-dairy options.
It also stores well in the refrigerator for a few days or keeps well in the freezer.
Some of the easiest baby food pouches for oral eaters come in yogurt style.
Yogurts are also easy to find in a variety of consistencies for pureed eaters that either need thick or thin.
The flavor combinations are also abundant and experimenting with different flavors can be a lot of fun.
One of our favorites is pumpkin flavored!
10) Jelly (Jam if you're in the UK)
When you think of Jelly feeding it to your pureed eater may not automatically come to mind. But jelly can make for a great breakfast or a great topper on yogurt, ice cream or pudding.
It can add extra calories while still keeping things healthy and diet friendly.
Make sure you look for jelly that has no chunks of fruit, and take note if your child has special dietary restrictions such as preservatives or sugar content.