Sunday, 12 July 2015

The End of Fussy Eating ?

Like most kids, mine is a fussy eater; we've tried so much to get him to eat new foods, always met with a battle and cries of 'I don't like that!'.  Despite eating everything in sight as a little weaner, now it's sausages all the way, with a side of raisins, toast, peas and mash (not always together - but sometimes though!).  In fact his food choices are so limited I was able to make a list and create a little word cloud of things the little blighter will eat.



He's a funny little thing; he loves beetroot and olives, but HATES - with a passion - anything with tomatoes in; woe betide anyone giving him a cherry tomato.

We've tried, really we have, but after a long day at work, and having known that he's eaten well at nursery (little monkey had no issues there), it's just so easy to give him something that doesn't inspire a battle - this was our downfall.  Devious little things that they are, they know we'll give in eventually.  It has to stop.  He HAS to start eating better.  A boy cannot live on sausages alone.  Even more so now that we've moved and he's started a new nursery - and refusing to eat a single thing there and only the usual at home.

But not any more.  I have a plan.

Not only do I have a plan, I have a chart


Every day, Seth will try a new food (not including his weaning foods; new as in the things he wont eat now and can't remember eating as a baby); we write down what this food is next to the day and if he eats it he gets a green smiley face; if he doesn't, it's red.  I'm not sure what yellow is yet!

If he gets seven green faces, he will get a new toy at the weekend - he wants a Robot, hence the picture on the chart.

If he tries two new foods, besides me passing out in shock, he'll get two sweets after dinner as a reward.

We explained this.  He understood.  Off we went.

How did we do?

These are the new foods he tried this week

Day 1 - Cauliflower Cheese.
Day 2 - Roast Potatoes - loved and shoved a load more in. AND Avocado (a two food day.  TWO!)
Day 3 - Blueberries and Chicken Biryani
Day 4 - Tomato Sauce (on pasta)
Day 5 - Fish Pie (and a raspberry - one. Under Duress)
Day 6 - Bacon and Tomato Risotto
Day 7 - Shepherds Pie

We found that by telling him what his new food was, reiterating the reward and all eating that piece of food together (including Woody, his 7 month old brother), he would try it.  And you could see by his reaction if he liked it or not.  The roasties went in one after the other; success.  The avocado?  Not so much, but I was THRILLED he tried it.  I hated avocado until very recently, he loved it as a baby.  Our tastes change and I'm good with that.

The Chicken Biryani - what's that about?  Meat! Spices! Unfamiliar foods!!  And he had seconds! (such was my shock I've gone overboard with the exclamation marks....)

We did cheat a little though - The blueberries (OK, blueberry, singular) was shoved into a boat load of ice-cream for him to try it, and I fished the bacon and tomatoes out of the Bacon and Tomato Risotto.  Fail

But, did you see that, on Day 4 he consumed an actual tomato!  It was at nursery though, but I'll take that.  And he ate at nursery - are we turning a corner?

Fish Pie and Shepherds Pie - the mash saved me both times there, but filling was eaten, and he even came back for more once he got over the complete indignity of being asked to eat lovely homemade food that I know he'd love!  So much snot and tears I begun to wonder if it was worth it.

Was it a success?

I don't know.  He did as asked and ate something new everyday, but not once did it happen without drama, except at nursery which I'm taking as a huge bonus.  To know he's now eating properly when at nursery just makes me worry so much less.  I wonder if this new 'try it you might like it' regime has helped him at nursery?  I'd like to think so

Mealtimes at home continued to be a battle if it was't plain pasta or a variation on mash and veg. But I'm going to take my small victory and build on it, giving him the foods he seemed to (reluctantly) enjoy again this week and popping something new on his plate each day.

I know this wont last forever.  I know it's just a phase.  I hope it ends soon.  And until it does, it's mean mummy at mealtimes.


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