The journey to food heaven with Little Bean trudges ever slowly forward. In the last couple of weeks I have been trying a little experiment with her to see if I can get her to eat new foods and bit by bit it has been working. With the help of Lorna Clark, a Specialist Parenting Consultant with Greatvine I have been trying a new tactic. I have had fantastic advice from Greatvine in the past so I was overjoyed when they asked if I would like advice from Lorna. When I read in Lorna’s profile that she specialised in helping children who are fussy eaters (amongst other things) I knew she was the expert for me.
Lorna advised me for a few weeks to take away all the foods which I wasn’t happy about Little Bean eating, mainly chocolate cereals, chocolate spread and the endless supply of chips and instead only offer foods which I was happy for her to eat. Whilst at the dinner table talk was not to be centred around food or eating at all but general chit chat about what we had been doing that day, things we were looking forward to. If Little Bean chose not to eat her food then she could leave the table but was then to be ignored and not offered alternative foods. If necessary, she would go to bed with no food. When I read Lorna’s advice I knew that I would be in for a tough few weeks but I also knew that I had to give it a try and so I did.
On a shopping trip to Tesco to do the groceries I told Little Bean that chocolate cereals, chocolate spread and chips were no longer available to her and that we needed to find new foods to try. To my surprise she seemed quite acceptable to the idea so as we walked around the shop we talked about the different foods she could try and she chose a couple of foods which she agreed she would try. At this point I would like to say, these are by no means foods that I feel are a ‘healthy’ choice for her but foods which I thought I had a greater chance of getting her to eat and can be adapted as time goes on. She chose cheese and tomato pizza, fish fingers and turkey burgers for tea, she also chose plain pasta, Peppa Pig and Hello Kitty Spaghetti as well as strawberry jam for sandwiches and cinnamon flakes for breakfast.
The first night she asked if she could have pizza and she ate the whole lot, to my joy because she had eaten all her tea, Beanie Boy also ate all of his tea too – double breakthrough!
The next day I told her that she was having jam sandwiches for lunch and that if she didn’t eat those she wasn’t allowed to eat the rest of her lunch. When I collected her from school I was presented with a full lunch bag, she had refused to eat the whole lot! We came home for tea and I made pasta with a smooth bolognese sauce but only put a spoonful of the sauce on the side of her plate. Again she refused to even try it, she said she would only eat the pasta if it was uncooked. She went to bed that night having eaten no lunch and no tea and I went to bed feeling like the worst mother in the world.
In the morning she woke up at 6am screaming of tummy ache and went downstairs to eat a full bowl of cinnamon flakes. Again at lunch she was presented with jam sandwiches, again she refused them. Thankfully her keyworker is completely with me on the food front so at afternoon snack time she told Little Bean that since she didn’t eat her lunch she wasn’t allowed a snack until she had eaten one of her jam sandwiches. This time she ate the whole lot without so much as a whimper.
Since then Little Bean has also ‘tried’ cheese sandwiches and dairylea sandwiches but has said she doesn’t like them. For this I’m not bothered at all, at least she has actually tried them.
Last night I had a brainwave and asked Little Bean if she wanted to help me make some pancakes for tea, my thinking being they were basically eggs and milk which would be good for her. She jumped at the chance and helped me to make the batter and then I cooked them. This is Little Bean eating up her pancake like it was the last meal on earth, she loved it and went on to have one more as well as a cake, a bag of crisps AND a yoghurt! Whilst I know that we are a long way off from the little foodie that I would like, for now I am happy that she is beginning to try new foods. The journey to now has been one of the most difficult journeys of my life but she is totally worth it and despite her stubbornness (which she gets from me) I wouldn’t change her for the world!
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DISCLAIMER: I received advice free of charge from Greatvine for the purpose of this post (and my sanity). All words, opinions and images are my own and may not be copied without my permission.