OK, so this is a very big deal, this liquid diet. I have always been a laid-back mom when it comes to feeding my kids– I figure if they are hungry, they’ll eat. And I’ve never been a short-order cook– they eat what I cook. No special orders. No request-taking. And my system has worked well. My kids are all healthy, normal-weight kids who enjoy a huge variety of food.

But my world changed this week. When the doctor explained the treatment plan for my 14 year old’s jaw, he said, “You’re going to lose weight.”

When his nurse came in to explain things in more detail, she said, “He’s going to lose a lot of weight.” Her tone was definite.

It ticked me off. How could they be so certain? I was instantly arguing in my head: “You wanna bet?”

This kid of mine is 5-7 and 120 pounds. He’s 14– he’s growing faster than he has in years, and the last thing he needs at this point is to lose weight. I vowed it wouldn’t happen.

But that was before I faced the reality. His teeth, thanks to excellent orthodontia and extremely tight wiring, fit so tightly together that smooth applesauce won’t fit through, for cryin’ out loud. To get food thin enough we have to puree it forever in the blender with giant amounts of liquid. Which, understandably, leaves him feeling very full very quickly.

So I spend my days shopping, dreaming up yummy concoctions, blending them lovingly, and then hovering nervously as he sips, coaxing him to eat a little more, hoping the food is the proper texture and appealing enough in flavor so he’ll eat enough to last till the next meal.

And in spite of my best effort, I’m afraid he’s already lost weight.

It stinkin’ sucks.

It’s been two hours since he ate. I wonder what kind of shake I could make him this time.


  1. Yeah, your giving the kid BRATWURST shakes for cryin' out loud. Don't know what else you could do. Except just be assured that nutritionally he will still be better off than probably two thirds of the world, and since he was so healthy to begin with I bet he'll recover quickly at the end of it. Thou Shalt Not Worry!

  2. I feel your pain. I have an extremely skinny 15 year old, and even with a jaw in perfect working order I worry that he doesn't eat enough (even though he eats lots.) I can just imagine how frustrating it must be for you.

  3. when I had my jaw wired shut, I only frapped PIZZA with milk. It tasted awful at first but I got to the point where I could eat/drink anything. Meat loaf in a blender with mashies and milk, WHIP IT GOOD baby!!

    I feel for you. I do. I can honestly say "Been there, done that!"

    I'l be praying for you. AND your son.

  4. Like I wrote earlier – my brother in law ate everything blended – and he gained – yes gained – weight. He does have a tendancy to gain anyway and he loves food so that might have been why but still…it shows that it's possible.

  5. You're a good mama, Mary.

  6. Yes, what a good mom you are. 🙂 Hmm. Maybe he could have protein shakes between meals if he wants something extra? Also, if you have time, maybe you could make some blended meals ahead of time and refrigerate them so your son could help himself. When I had oral surgery as a kid, my mom pureed canned soups. Not the most caloric option, but you might find it easier to puree soup (with lots of goodies in it), since it's already halfway there.

  7. Mary,
    Anything at all that you can blend with milk, use half and half or whipping cream. It has lots of calories, and the fat won't hurt him no longer than he'll have his jaw wired. Cream soups and shakes, smoothies, anything sweet or savory you can add the cream to will help. 🙂

  8. Bananas are about 100 calories each, so those can go a long way. I have a breakfast smoothie recipe on my blog, and could give you some other ideas for juicing if you are interested.

    Yogurt and whipping cream could be good. Some cream based soups also. You can make nut milks that would help. I would be happy to brainstorm with you if you are interested. 🙂

  9. Aw sweetie I'm so sorry that you have to see your child go through this. It does suck. He will gain it back quickly, but until then I'll pray that God gives both of you the strength to see this through. Many hugs.

  10. Would adding fat (maybe a shot of olive oil since its the healthiest) or protein (that protein powder body builders use) help? You are such a good mom, but I'm sure he'll make up for it after and catch right back up!

  11. Sounds bad!! I'll pray that he doesn't loose too much weight through all of this. I'm sure you're doing everything you can at this point.

    Could be a great weight loss tip for lots of women out there though : )

  12. It sounds like you are doing everything right. I have to agree, you are a good Mom!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I don't know if it would make it through, but you might want to try mixing silken tofu into the shakes for some extra substance.

  14. Thanks for the hints, everyone! Perri– these are awesome sites!!!


  15. How long does this have to go on? I was on a liquid diet for less than 24 hrs before I had my baby and I already felt like I was losing weight.

  16. oh mary! i'm so sorry he's going through this, and you too. praying for him right now.

  17. This is terrible, because I know it's a real concern for you right now. I just kept thinking, I want my jaw wired! I want to lose weight!

    Not at all helpful, huh?

    I took care of a toddler who had severe swallowing issues and his mom used to bring him chicken pot pies pureed in the blender that smelled awesome. Completely smooth.

  18. Can you blend buttered up french fries?

    Man, TOUGH days ahead for him! And you, too. I'm sending warm (fattening) thoughts (and prayers?) your way! 😉