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Food Selectivity Action Plan

(103 Posts)
MareeyaDolores Tue 26-Mar-13 21:58:35

Ok, been to the EABG conference today. One presenter described a 4 child trial of strategies to help fussy eaters. You use 3 foods, 1 new one and 2 they like. New food 12 mini-blobs per session, old ones 6 mini-blobs each. Total 24 mini-blobs. This is done just before a mealtime.

3 intensities of approach, they start with the easiest, and only move up if it doesn't work. I'm going to call the levels Bronze Silver Gold

15 min before meal, you present a plastic plate with a teeny-tiny 'target food' blob on, and leave it there for 5 seconds. Don't worry whether dc eats it or not, the magic is in just plonking it down. Repeat 24 times (always finish on a 'liked' food). This worked a treat on 1 or 2 of the dc.

Silver is the same, but add a reinforcer (praise?) for each bite

Gold is plonking it down + reinforcer + escape extinction (basically that if they scream, throw it, run away etc, you retrieve the dc / food / ignore shrieks and present it again. They still don't have to eat, but do have to cope with looking at it for the required 5 seconds. Repeat 24 times with the 24 mini-bites.

MareeyaDolores Tue 26-Mar-13 22:00:27

You keep this up, day after day, but all the dc cracked eventually grin and then you can move on to a slightly easier battle with the next target food.

tacal Tue 26-Mar-13 22:43:15

Hi MareeyaDolores, this is something I am interested in trying. My DS is 4, is it recommended for all ages? Thank you for this, I will give it a try.

OhYeaBaby Tue 26-Mar-13 22:54:08

are the mini blobs like little pea-sized portions of the food?

MareeyaDolores Wed 27-Mar-13 19:29:21

tacal, they weren't 'recommending' for a certain age group, just describing what they'd done with these particular children to get some good results. It's probably suitable for any age I would guess (well, maybe not under 6 months wink)

Sorry OhYea, "mini blobs" are little pea-sized portions of the food, I was just too lazy to type the longer version out!

tacal Wed 27-Mar-13 20:05:43

thank you, I will start trying this soon. I really need to start focusing on the eating side of things now I got most other things under control.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 27-Mar-13 20:34:02

Everything surrounding the food tasting was kept completely neutral so there was nothing else going on. It was said once 'take a bite', and the child could do it or not. If they touched the food the time was extended a bit to give them another chance, but only by 5 more seconds, then it was removed.

Liked foods were mixed with non-liked. The only intervening required was ensuring the child accessed the thing. So they had to be kept at the table for the duration iyswim.

Once the child had eventually accepted one non-liked food, the time before they ate the next one, and the next ones reduced as they became less afraid and realised it wasn't all that bad after all iyswim.

zzzzz Wed 27-Mar-13 21:19:47

How many times a day?

Are we talking VERY desirable food for the two liked foods or acceptable?

I am sceptical frankly, but could give it a go next term.

I would LOVE ds to eat some more food types. I'm just not making any progress at all. sad

PolterGooseLaidAChocolateEgg Wed 27-Mar-13 21:40:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zzzzz Wed 27-Mar-13 21:54:08

Mine is quite arsey strong willed, I'm pretty sure he'll. just wait for the nice plates.

zzzzz Wed 27-Mar-13 21:55:06

48 plates, 24 new stuff, 24 known stuff.

PolterGooseLaidAChocolateEgg Wed 27-Mar-13 22:05:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zzzzz Wed 27-Mar-13 22:10:15

I have to admit I'm intrigued. Ds can go for days without eating if not given things that are acceptable.

On the other hand 48 saucer, 12 raisins, 12 bits of Pringles and 24 dangerous splodges of mashed potatoe or scrambled egg is actually not that hard for me to achieve.

zzzzz Wed 27-Mar-13 22:12:49

You have to admit potty training is pretty odd behaviour from the recipients point of view. Perhaps it's just so barking mad they give up and go along with it.

I'm inclined to think "too easy", but tempted to try. grin

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 27-Mar-13 22:20:37

I think it is once a day, or twice if you cba. And always 15mins before food.

And no other cajoling and encouragement. Put no value on them eating or not eating the food. Just say 'bite it' once and wait, then remove.

Sounds bloody mad I agree, but the results were amazing.

MareeyaDolores Wed 27-Mar-13 22:20:40

zzz, it's only 24 saucers, which leaves plenty of raisins and pringles for mum the next day grin

I don't think they specified if you have to have 12 new plates, or bring the same plate 12 times... though going by the dishwasher contents, the average snack in this house already must involve a dozen different plastic dishes hmm

MareeyaDolores Wed 27-Mar-13 22:24:13

"mum, that plate had a raisin on it before,
aaah, no, you can't put a pringle on it now,
oh no, i can taste raisin on my pringle,
aaah, i hate you"

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 27-Mar-13 22:25:58


I expect the untouched food plates will just be recycled as is surely?

The others will get reused?

Apparently it is very important the the foods are presented randomly, so sometimes two unprefered items are offered in a row.

PolterGooseLaidAChocolateEgg Wed 27-Mar-13 22:27:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

moondog Wed 27-Mar-13 22:28:47

You could always contact the researcher in question

PolterGooseLaidAChocolateEgg Wed 27-Mar-13 22:30:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

moondog Wed 27-Mar-13 22:30:46

A charming woman of enormous integrity.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 27-Mar-13 22:31:03

paper plates?

Honestly. If you'd seen the presentation you'd be wanting everyone to do it.

I think part of it is desensitisation to the food by seeing it and being able to smell it etc. the neutralising it from value (no, 'oh please, just try it, take one bite, it's good for you' rubbish) and the possible reinforcement of just eating the damn thing to make it go away faster.

zzzzz Wed 27-Mar-13 22:32:05

I HAVE 24 saucers (I have vast amounts of cracked and chipped china because my family keep giving me them as "I don't mind" hmm ). I may go Greek and break the lot one day, but perhaps after torturing ds with food blobs. grin

moondog Wed 27-Mar-13 22:33:48

It was interesting that the parents were able to do it as very easy for us all to get into huge emotional knots about food (not in my own family it has to be said as we are all very greedy. The issue is not so much getting people to eat but rather, ensuring thr buggers don't scarf the lot.)

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