Oh, you all are more than familiar with my tale of woe when it comes to Cole and his super hero like abilities to turn away all forms of delicious foods. It's been a struggle since day one....literally. I have always stressed over it.
I know we gave in to him too much when he was a toddler. Hey, we live and learn, right?
We tried the whole "you're not leaving this table until you try one bite" routine. Horrendous events every time. Or, he actually stayed at the table until it was bed time. This kid has stubbornness like you read about. (Yes, yes, I know he is his mother's child.)
That last attempt went on for 2 weeks last year. Cole wasn't budging. I was losing my play time with him at night. I felt deprived! We stopped making him stay at the table until he tried a bite.
Instead, we did stop making special dinners for him I think it was about last summer some time, maybe earlier. I can't remember. Anyway, he has learned that what he has before him is the only thing he is getting. I would say 4 out of 7 days out of the week he likes what we have. The other three he chooses not to eat and of course he doesn't get anything else if he doesn't eat his dinner. I feel badly about this since he is so skinny already but we can't fall into the trap of giving him special dinners again. And, I don't want to live on PB&J and waffles every night of the week!
So, I think it was last fall sometime that I was doing some research on picky eaters and stumbled on the point system. I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before! One bite of something new=1 point. If you continue to try the new food, he gets a point each time he bites and swallows the food (this last thing has caused some drama sometimes!). After 5 points, he is allowed to pick out a small toy or book as a reward. This has worked wonders!! It has been a slow process but it is accentuating the positive and he is very proud of himself when he reaches 5 points! And we always make a big deal about how we are proud of him for trying new things.
Well, the new thing is that he wants a new superhero shirt. He doesn't need a new shirt, so I told him when he reaches 10 points he can have the shirt. This has really inspired him!
This week he tried applewood smoked bacon and dried apricots (on separate occasions)! I know this may not seem like a big deal with the types of foods, but believe me, it's HUGE!! He loved the apricots and wasn't a big fan of the bacon. He said he would try "regular" bacon when we have for breakfast again.
I can't even begin to tell you how much easier this has made our life and puts all at ease a little more. We are so proud of Cole. This has been a tough journey on all of us but I see the light at the end of the tunnel! As a previous supervisor used to say, "I just hope it's not a train." This still makes me laugh..but I digress.
Next time you see Cole, ask him about this point system if you don't mind and see how much he lights up when he tells you about what he accomplishes!