Thursday, February 13, 2014

Food issues ~ making changes


Part One!

A few weeks back, as I was pounding away on the treadmill and wiping my sweaty brow, I listened to the two other women who were sharing the training session with me. They were talking about their children and the problems that they were having over food issues. Fruit was packed into the school lunch box and coming home untouched. One child thought that life was so unfair because all her friends had Nutella sandwiches on white bread every day and why couldn't she?

I thought to myself, "Oh, if only they knew!"

If only they knew how restrictive my son's diet is. If only they knew that my son has slowly and gradually, over the last few months, started eliminating some of his regular food and was becoming increasingly reliant on cereal, toast and apples. If only they knew the immense stress that I was feeling about my son's appalling diet and how I worried every day on how to deal with it.

My son's eating habits have always been extremely limiting and a cause for concern. Over the years I have tried various methods to entice him to try a new food. Due to his huge sensory issues and a fear of the uncertain he always dug in his heels and refused to open that mouth!

Last year saw a change to this pattern. I spent a lot of time just offering him a smell of different types of food, without any pressure to have a taste. It worked well, BUT after months of this, he still refused to try anything new.

I then introduced the concept of fresh juice. Using an RDI planned engagement, we started making freshly squeezed orange juice and *jumping up and down with excitement*, he actually starting drinking it! With little steps and using my RDI mindset, I then began to add little challenges and changes to the juice. To cut a long story short, he is now drinking a lovely combo of spinach, orange, carrots and various other fruits. I am slowly adding bulk to the juice in order for him to get better nutrients and also become accustomed to a thicker mixture. I am working my way towards healthy smoothies!









13 comments:

  1. I think what you're achieving with your Nick is amazing. I only wish I'd thought of this when my boy was younger and had a similarly severely restricted diet. However, things did change for him too. I agree with your method of offering new smells first, if they can tolerate. Eventually I was able to introduce just a small spoonful of a 'new' food. One smell or lick was enough to get the reward of praise. Slowly but surely....

    I also firmly believe that once interventions put in place are starting to work in most areas of their lives e.g communication, behaviour etc; then the anxieties reduce and they are more open to trying new foods. Or new anything! That's what I found anyway :-)

    xx Jazzy

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    1. Hi Jazzy, phew it is a slow process! Good to hear that things changed for your boy when he got older and how wonderful that his anxieties were reduced with the interventions. I have a feeling that Nick could quite happily live on cereal for the rest of his life! I have now had to put some limits in place, although that will be for another blog post! Oh the joys! :)

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  2. How I know this... the key is in constant offering... at least for Patrik...

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    1. @Petra ~ Patrik seems to be doing so well, I love that he is trying new foods with ease. Hopefully Nick will improve as times goes on.

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  3. That is so hopeful. My son's diet is frightening. We also do the thing of getting him to smell (and sometimes lick!) different food, but that's as fas as we've ever got. Guess we've just got to keep trying XXX

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    1. Ah, Jean, isn't it a pain?! I have another blog post up my sleeve on how I have had to set some limits and follow through with them!! You are right, we just have to keep on trying. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

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  5. I honestly feel bad for ever complaining about my youngest not wanting to eat veggies ... it must be truly stressful to deal with this. Wishing you continued success.

    Wendy
    Simply Sassy
    Lushberry giveaway

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    1. Don't feel bad, Wendy, we all have our own issues! I won't deny that it can be rather stressful and I thank you for your good wishes. x

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  6. My son's diet is slowly getting worse - he was great as a toddler in a creche, but slowly over the years his diet has got more and more restrictive. He knows that this is a problem, and will often try a forkful of my dinner. But usually spits it out into the sink! My solution isn't as healthy as yours - fortified hot chocolate! But it'll do for now :)

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    1. Oh no, Blue Sky, I am sorry to hear that you are also having problems. The hot chocolate sounds delicious and something that I also wouldn't mind having!! xx

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  7. I think you are doing amazing things with Nick and food, and are proof positive that changes can be made. You are an inspiration!

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    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Dana. It is a very SLOW process and at times I feel like throwing in the towel. Will keep trying to move forward! :)

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