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 BronzeSilverGold
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.
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 )
Sorry OhYea, "mini blobs" are little pea-sized portions of the food, I was just too lazy to type the longer version out!
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.
zzz, it's only 24 saucers, which leaves plenty of raisins and pringles for mum the next day
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
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.
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" ). I may go Greek and break the lot one day, but perhaps after torturing ds with food blobs.
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.)