Where Mason Started
Months ago, Mason had dark circles under his eyes and he had lost weight in his face. He had little energy, and would find comfort sitting in his cube for long periods of time.
Mason has had difficulty with eating since before he came to Cornerstone. For the past few years, he would only eat Dum-Dum suckers, sweet tarts and bacon. In the summer of 2014, he stopped eating most of his food completely and lost a substantial amount of weight.
How Mason Has Improved
Mason’s Clinical leader, Hannah Burkholder, implemented a food program to teach Mason how to make his own smoothies. After meeting with nutritionist Staci Small, Burkholder was given a recipe that would help Mason receive the nutrition he needs.
The way his therapists started this program was by adding a pinch of Carnation Breakfast Shake to his milk. Once Mason would drink the shake, they added the recipe in small steps to give Mason the nutrients he needed. His therapists began to change his milk to almond milk. Then, they added coconut milk yogurt to his drink. From there, they started putting in more solids such as a banana, hemp protein powder and an avocado. Before the end of the day, the goal has been for Mason to eat at least one full banana and one full avocado on top of all of the other ingredients that go into his smoothies (such as hemp, yogurt, almond milk or V8 juice).
Mason is now drinking full smoothies and even uses it as reinforcement for working on programs during the day!
The next step is for Mason to make his own smoothies independently during therapy and at home. He currently helps take out the items from the refrigerator for the recipe by looking at a visual chart. He also helps press the “on” button on the blender.
“I started working with Mason about a year ago, so I was a part of his eating habits before the smoothies began,” said therapist Brittany Leffew. “Now seeing him ask for his smoothie, watching him get his ingredients and the smile on his face warms my heart!”
To watch a video of Mason’s smoothie program on our Youtube channel, click this link.