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Friday, 11 March 2011

So there IS light at the end of the tunnel!


There is a banner waving gently in the breeze outside our window, it curls around itself and when it unfurls again you can see the words writ large in bright red letters...

DD HAS FINALLY EATEN SOME MEAT! 

Ok, so I lied, there isn't really a banner, but there should be because we are celebrating in this house! Finally, after five, yes five months, DD is eating meat again. How did this dramatic event come to pass? Well, I had a revelation last week after keeping a food diary of her fussy eating habits for just under a month. She is at her hungriest at breakfast and lunch, with the latter being her biggest meal of the day, and she can take or leave dinner altogether. Sounds bloody obvious to me now, but I think I was blinded by my own panic and frustration at her limited diet. Anyway as a result of this I realised that trying to get her to eat a portion of our food a.k.a. 'new food' at dinnertime was a complete waste of time. I reckoned she was also most likely to try new foods at lunchtime, when she was actually hungry.

And so last week, instead of the usual bits and bobs I'd been popping in front of her (bread, cheese, yoghurt, cheerios etc, the things I knew she'd eat) I baked a batch of Tuna patties and popped a couple in front of her one lunchtime with a squirt of tomato ketchup. I picked one up myself, dipped it in the sauce and took a bite. 'Yum!' I said. And then I took a deep breath and walked away. Well only as far as the fridge, but the important thing was I ignored her. I didn't cojole her into trying them, or make them into aeroplanes and aim them at her mouth. I let her get on with it.

She looked at them, poked them a bit and looked at me. I made myself look busy moving things around in the fridge. Then an amazing thing happened, she actually picked up a patty herself and dipped it into the ketchup. Her arm arced towards her face and she licked the red sauce. I held my breath. She took a bite. And chewed. And swallowed. It was all I could do not to run around the kitchen with my t-shirt over my head whooping with joy. She polished off one and a half patties that day and I've since made her mini beef burgers and she's tried them too. And cheese and tomato pizza. This morning she had a few mouthfuls of home-made bircher museli and some fruit shake too. It's amazing.

What else has helped?
I choose now - I'm being stricter with her diet. Less processed and more home-made foods, less kiddy biscuits and more fruit and raisins, less at snack-time and more at meal times. Less sugar generally. She gets what she gets mostly and she either eats it or she doesn't.
Remove temptation - DD has her breakfast and lunch in the kitchen and so I've also covered up the clear box I keep her snacks in with paper so she can't see inside it and ask for things I don't want her to have - yes she was that smart.
No more chocolate milk - she used to have a carton of this when she woke from her nap after lunch and it really filled her up. It's an occasional treat now and she has ordinary whole milk instead.

I can't tell you how relieved I am to see my little twenty month old eating again. I was so worried about her limited diet that she's been on an iron supplement and vitamin drops for the last four weeks. And actually I think that has helped increase her appetite. Being iron deficient can stop you wanting to eat apparently. Now, I don't want you to think she's gone from not eating anything to eating everything in sight. Far from it. She still refuses adamantly to eat vegetables so I'm supplementing with a vegetable puree juice drink at dinnertime when I know she'd rather drink than eat. But it's a start, and a great one at that. Yay!

This post is part of the March Fussy Eater's Club. Do you have a fussy eater? Want to share your story or just have a good whinge about it? Pop over and share away.

Fussy Eaters Support Club

Photo credit: Train tunnel by Sura Nualpradid at freedigitalphotos.net 

13 comments:

  1. WELL DONE! I think the whole "ignoring" thing is a bit of a revelation. I hate sitting down to a meal with some members of my family because they are constantly cajoling their children into eating "a bit more, try that bit, you have to have a bite etc etc" and it turns the whole thing into a massive issue. I totally understand parents get worried but I'm sure there must be an element of psychology in there somewhere? Glad to see things look like they're on the up for you. Next stop is to teach her to cook so she can make YOU lunch!

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  2. That is fab well done. With the veg Baba can be a bit fussy, but we know he loves peas, so sometimes I chop other veg really small and put in with the peas and then he will eat it and doesn't really notice xx

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  3. Great tip! DD doesn't eat peas yet unfortunately and she has the eyes of a hawk for anything that looks even vaguely like a vegetable!

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  4. WELL DONE! I think the whole "ignoring" thing is a bit of a revelation. I hate sitting down to a meal with some members of my family because they are constantly cajoling their children into eating "a bit more, try that bit, you have to have a bite etc etc" and it turns the whole thing into a massive issue. I totally understand parents get worried but I'm sure there must be an element of psychology in there somewhere? Glad to see things look like they're on the up for you. Next stop is to teach her to cook so she can make YOU lunch!

    Posted by mummy@bodfortea on behalf of mothersalwaysright (for some reason it didn't publish for her first time around!)

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  5. You're so right. The more we cajole DD, the less she eats. Thanks for popping by and sorry your comment wouldn't publish!

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  6. Thanks for joining up!
    I have 2 yr old twin boys and getting them to eat the same thing... at the same time is getting to be a full time frickin' job. *sigh*

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  7. Urgh! Sucks right? If you ever fancy a good whinge about it all feel free to dump your load at the Fussy Eaters Support Club. I know you don't like to post about family on your blog, so email me anything you wanna post up :D

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  8. Hi, just joining you on Comment love weekend, from http://dailydoseofpositivepsychology.blogspot.com/.
    I remember well the struggles with my very picky eater who is now my strapping, six foot tall sixteen-year old son. That child wouldn't eat anything unless it was yogurt - only stirred, no lumps allowed! We found out after much despairing that the less we freaked out, the more he eventually would eat. Can't stop him now - he eats everything! Another really useful strategy was to get my friend next door to serve him something new. If it was offered in front of his buddies, no complaints, he ate it.

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  9. Wow, six foot! Well done you! S'funny thing actually, DD would refuse to eat grapes until a Mummy friend gave one to her little girl and then offered one to DD. It went down like a dose of salts! Mummy's should be running the country - we're clearly the best strategists!!

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  10. Johnnie Collier1 March 2012 06:42

    Hi! I am stopping by from Sunday's hops. I am a new follower. Great blog. Blessings...
    Saved By Love Creations

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  11. Hi Johnnie, and welcome to Bod for tea *waves*. Hope to see you again soon and have a great week :D

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  12. Style 'n Decor Deals1 March 2012 06:42

    I have a fussy eater and he's 16 years old!!
    Great site!
    Following from the blog hop!
    Hope you can follow me too:
    http://stylendecordeals.blogspot.com/

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  13. Hello! *waves* No offence but hope DD gets over this before she reaches 16 or I think I'll lose my mind! Thanks for visiting :D

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