Sunday, August 4, 2013

Tried & Tested!!

There is soooooooo much advice out there for picky eating .. fussy eaters ... sensory eaters ... orally aversive What ever label you want to give it ... That it is sooooooo confusing for us mummies of picky eaters.  We have tried sooo many different techniques over the last few years ... Before it even had a real label for us ... I was following some of the thousands of different ways to get food through those lips!!! Ok so not a thousand but it feels like it right?!  And just because they haven't worked for us ... Doesn't mean they won't work for someone else!! Basically keep it all positive .. don't let onto them that anything is negative or positive .. I have found out the hard way that your little happy dance .. or tears of frustration have to be behind closed doors!!  Otherwise it can become behavioural .. knowing they get a positive or negative reaction out ... I know my little man certainly does!!! lol

Force Feeding :  Basically .... as a baby I tried every trick in the book just to get his mouth open to try the food ... he used to refuse time and time again ... gagging on peas ... gagging on chunky food ... He HATED them!!! Certain formulas would be power chucked across a room ... .they kept telling me it was colic ... a bad gag reflex ... reflux ... I have heard them all ... If your here .. reading this because you have been sent to my Blog by someone on the feeding team ... I absolutely sympathise with you!! Yes I have tried it all... yes I admit it probably wasn't my best option in hindsight (isn't it wonderful) .. But who hasn't rammed the spoon back in their babies mouth after having them spit it out and pull a funny face?! 

Routine Feeds : Where you literally time and feed your child at regular intervals including fluids ... so they are getting a stomach full at all times ... At one stage I was getting him to have a mouthful of food every 10 mins ... and it would take that whole 10 minutes to get him to chew ... it was HORRIBLE!!!

Food Chains or Food Webs :  Progressing and linking one food to another - something that hasn't worked for us ... You start with a "SAFE FOOD" and lets say it is rice ... you change the consistency or you add something to it to try and link another safe food in ... We are pretty set in our ways with our safe foods ... there are patterns and every now and then something will work .. or you can add a new flavour .. but for us .. it is tried once and not again .. (unfortunately) ... I made him a HUGE part of this process .. helping me cook said safe foods ... so he knew what was going in ... he could choose the new link etc ... NOTHING lol

Buffet Style Meals :  Where you serve a multitude of different foods like a buffet in a restaurant ... making sure 1 safe food and drink is on the table ... Everything goes in its own bowl on the table ... they can choose what they like ... My only rule is that 4 things need to be on the plate ... it doesn't matter if they are 4 of the same thing ... As long as there is a variety of options ... some kids won't even allow unsafe food on the table ... I am lucky that as long he doesn't touch it.... This at the moment is getting us a few new tries ... but not alot of permanence on our dinner menu's but a bit is pure gold to me!!! 

Playing With Food : Options galore ... and we are learning alot about this at the moment through our Feeding Therapy (S.O.S for feeding) Make some food ... who cares if it sweet or savoury ... all different textures and consistencies .. paint a picture with some different rainbow jellies ... Build a sandcastle with some Coco Pops .. squish them crunch them like a dinosaur ... get out your old wooden stamps and stamp out on paper with some spaghetti sauce .... Spray some whipped cream out of the can on each other... Basically nothing is off limits ... if you can get their hands in it ...  they might just happen to lick and taste a finger ... or maybe some gets on their face (completely by accident of course) turn it into a game ... Hide some lollies in some custard ... You can always hide some different things in some ice cream and re-set it in the freezer!! Sooo many possibilities!! 

Serving Tiny  : We had small success with reducing what was on the plate ... instead of bargaining what was a big plate of food with options ... clearly you want them to eat regardless ... put 1 pea .. 1 quarter of a sandwhich (a safe food) .. that is 2 things .. and PRAISE  PRAISE PRAISE if they even try one thing ... let them understand there will be plenty of other times and snacks coming up so if they don't try they can always come back at the next snack time .. Feed less ... more often ... at least you know .. even if they are only eating a little bit .. they are doing it at regular intervals!! 

Child Led Feeding : Don't talk about it ... if the child is hungry (as long as they can communicate this) let them be ... they will tell you ... have visual snacks around ... they have the option of self serve .. Problem with this is if it is not safe foods on offer ... like with Boogie .. they would rather starve themselves some times ... trust me .. been there done that quite unsuccessfully!! :( It is something that did not work for us .. unless it was favourites ALL the time .. According to specialists ... THEY know when THEY are hungry ... my answer to that was always a retaliation of .. Well people suffering from anorexia don't want to eat .. does this mean they don't have to?! 

Gimmicks : Hey I am not going to judge... if you've got to lay out the skewers or serve it pretty for them to try it ... it is worth a try .. but don't kill yourself doing it!!! You can get food picks from Bento shops (there are many online) But there has got to be a line ... don't set yourself up so they will only eat it that way that takes you 40 mins to prep every meal time ... your just going to burn yourself out ... trust me ... I know from experience!! lol

The Scary Neighbour : Getting the Scary neighbour in .. is NOT a good idea if you have a sensory child ... I was shown all the different ways ... getting someone to intimidate/trick/pressure your child into eating...Sometimes it is just the pressure that we as parents seem to put on them .. they sense the fear from us .. and the anxiousness in the air so to speak!!!  may work for some .. if it is just a behavioural thing .. but will also make it a negative eating experience .. they are then playing you .. not a habit you would want to get into unless you are desperate I am guessing?!

Play Dates : Try serving some new food when they have a friend over Buffet style on a snack plate obviously... If they see their "Best Friend" eating something new ... they might just try it ... Yes .. it is potentially setting your child up for peer pressure ... but maybe they see them eating it and enjoying it ... you just never know!! 

Let Them Shop :  Take a mini shopping trolley with you ... Some shops have them anyway ... tell them they have 7 different things they would like to try ... One for each day ... You just never know ... It was hit and miss for us ... some things like chocolate etc might end up in the trolley .. but who cares if they are eating right?!

Growing Your Own : We have done the whole plant some veggies ... Water them .. Watch them grow ... Bring it in .. Wash it off ... Slice n Dice ... Try some raw ... (spit it out) ... Try some cooked (gag gag gag .. lol)  You never know ... it may work for you!!! 

Order Online :  Why not try ordering something from online ... with their name on it  (if they can read) maybe they can be part of the process of ordering it ... Sooo many places deliver now ... so they get the excitement of ordering it ... receiving it and potentially signing for it LOL ... opening the box ... trying it ... looking at it .. poking at it ... or playing with it?! It has worked a few times for us ... the excitement is a great build up!!! 

Hide Them :  My FAVOURITE recipe book is called Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld!!! It has sooooooooo many super yummy recipes and there is at least 2 things hidden in them ... they don't always work .. but if you find a recipe inside for one of your safe foods ... it may just work ... HOWEVER .. this is something the kids can't be around for to help cook lol ... and you have to do all the purees after they have gone to bed to stop the psycho confrontation of it all ... Just don't tell them it is in there .. otherwise you may just lose a safe food :( 

Bribery :  We have a sticker chart at home ... If a new food is tried at dinner time .. (NOT a safe food) at the end of the meal we get a sticker for the day on our chart ... if there is 10 stickers at the end of a week .. there is either a small prize ... or we save them up .. and 20 stickers is an outing or pressie of choice (In our case usually a board game) .. Can only try right?!

Gastro-Nasal Tube Feeding : When things get desperate this is a tube that feeds straight down that liquids including pediasure can be fed!! We have done this a few times in hospital ... especially when he was really little in the NICU ..

Gastro Feeding Tube : Something that thankfully have not had to go down that path ... it is when all else fails .. the tube is inserted via an incision in the stomach as a direct line into their stomach and through to the small intestine ... Literally it is one of the last lines of defense ... I pray that none of reading this .. ever have to get to that desperate stage! xx

So ... sooooo far ... that is it ... that is almost everything that we have tried ... hit and miss with every single one of them ... we have been lucky enough not to do Gastro feeding tube ... and hopefully will never get to that stage ... If anyone has ANY OTHER options or things you have tried .. let me know ... so I can add them to the list .. We can all try together!!! Have an awesome day guys!!! xx 

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