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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.

moondog Wed 27-Mar-13 22:34:27

'torturing ds with food blobs'


Call it a mezze

zzzzz Wed 27-Mar-13 22:34:34

How long do I try for before we I admit defeat?

zzzzz Wed 27-Mar-13 22:35:16

moondog it will be mezze!

salondon Wed 27-Mar-13 22:51:01

I have the same question as zzz - how long does one try it? 5 seconds per meal time?

MareeyaDolores Wed 27-Mar-13 22:57:05

tapas rather than mezze?

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 27-Mar-13 22:57:27

10 seconds per plate. If the child shows any interest extend by another 5 seconds then remove.

I suppose the question is how many days should you continue with it. I can't remember how long it was for the most challenging food refuser but I know that once they'd accepted the first food, it didn't take too long to introduce and have accepted the next and others.

Though you do have to rule out physical reasons. i.e. there are no mild allergies causing the refusal etc.

MareeyaDolores Wed 27-Mar-13 22:58:01

ah, now I have it, the ideal solution grin

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 27-Mar-13 23:01:02

You know you could use petit fours or silicone muffin cases on a plate so you'll need less plates!?

OhYeaBaby Wed 27-Mar-13 23:05:08

I'm up for it - mine reckons he "wants" to try new foods as he is very conscious [rolleyes] that his diet does not contain "5 fruit and veg" - s had a plan:, he would choose one food and he has it on his plate from time to time - when he feels ready he''ll smell it, then lick it etc. He decided he would 'do' tomatoes as he eats tomato sauce - so we thought we'd go for cooked tomatoes - hasn't been an unreserved success it has to be said (no tomato licking so far in other words)...
soo ladies I am going to try blobbism - no prior warning or discussion and see where it gets me.

MareeyaDolores Wed 27-Mar-13 23:13:03

Was just messing, but now found OT-type plates, very cheap at ikea very expensive normally

MareeyaDolores Wed 27-Mar-13 23:14:44

right then.
Plan ready for implementing tomorrow, breakfast time.
wish me luck...

OhYeaBaby Wed 27-Mar-13 23:19:34

good luck

zzzzz Thu 28-Mar-13 06:32:52

I'm going to try in term time so not observed by other children (we are one to one for lunch.

I get the 5 second thing, I really meant how many days shall I try it for.

I like to set up everything first and then "work to the plan". I find it stops the stress/over investment in desired outcome, and means my only "job" is to follow the plan.

Inappropriatelyemployed Thu 28-Mar-13 08:13:53

My experience has been that, as my son has got older, he has naturally been prepared to try new things. As in whole meals rather than a couple of dozen of mini blobs.

Or he has been encouraged by rewarding him for taking a bit of something new - which works if the motivator is strong enough.

Ultimately, we don't all like all food anyway. I can't stand fish and no amount of mini blob testing would help with that.

This seems an overly complicated system for adding anxiety to meal times for the parent.

Still I suspect it keeps someone in a job.

ouryve Thu 28-Mar-13 08:34:28

DS2 would think I've finally flipped.

Meantime, DS1 would be wondering where the hell his dinner had got to and be shouting at me, trying to convince me that he was about to waste away to nothing. Sorry, DS1, dad's gone to McD's for our tea, because I'm so busy running in and out of the kitchen with DS2's 24 course cordon bleugh menu that I don't have the time or energy to actually cook something nutritious for us all. (Researchers are very good at forgetting that family life tends to get in the way of these wonderful ideas. I'm sure I could do a lot of intensitve stuff with DS2 if I ever had sufficiently regular 1 on 1 time with him, with nothing else to do.)

And there would be arguments over the washing up grin

ouryve Thu 28-Mar-13 08:37:25

I shall, of course, be interested to see how everyone who is trying it gets on grin

zzzzz Thu 28-Mar-13 10:38:36

I don't think it's too much work.

My plan is 24 saucers, 6 bits of strawberry, 6 bits of pringle, and 12 bits of scrambled egg (egg being what I want to add). As far as I can see that means scrambling one egg, breaking up a crisp and cutting a strawberry into 6 pieces. Saucers will all fit in the dishwasher so no trouble.

I actually think ds will think I've gone barking mad, but that may work in my favour.

I'm not sure how long to try for? Does 10 days sound wimpy? Because frankly I will probably struggle with more if there is no joy.

It sounds like it would work better with a toddler in a high chair than an eight year old.

ouryve Thu 28-Mar-13 11:25:27

It would work better if the eating is happening in the kitchen, too. Though for DS2, the "saucers" would somehow have to be out of sight, or else he'd want them all, together, now. Even if they were out of sight, he'd soon suss where I had them.

Theycallmestacy Thu 28-Mar-13 11:44:37

Off to the pound shop for plastic plates. Ds doesn't even eat 1 of his 5 a day. Two week holiday seems like a good time to try it.

zzzzz Thu 28-Mar-13 12:22:27

So how many of us are trying this madness? grin

I can't start till term time, but shall we .....erm blob together?

MareeyaDolores Thu 28-Mar-13 17:55:56

It worked!!!!!

Ended up leaving breakfast idea, and waiting till now, prompted by 2 dc trying to raid the cupboards for nutella on bread. One likes cheese hates apricots and the other vice versa. So cheese / nutella / apricot

Plates were still in dishwasher, so just loaded breadboard with supplies plus 2 teaspoons. And simplified it to 8 spoons of each food (12/6/6 was overloading my teatime brain).

They ate most of the mini-blobs cos they wanted to clear the non-liked food off the spoon to make space for nutella grin.

Blobbed each child's spoon with random selection, 8 nutella / 8 tiny apricot bits / 8 crumbs of cheese

MareeyaDolores Thu 28-Mar-13 17:56:42

Ending on nutella/White bread obviously [grin{

zzzzz Thu 28-Mar-13 18:35:54




I don't fucking believe it!

I was thinking of it as mild entertainment as HE needs random boosts every so often.

It worked <wanders off feeling slightly bemused>

zzzzz Thu 28-Mar-13 18:37:08


AnotherAlias Thu 28-Mar-13 18:56:44

Mareeya - I need to try your (one-spoon) method -

ds is 11. (the family members who eat food were having bolognese for tea so I used bun cases for buttered toast, cheese and a teeny bit of bolognese

(first cheese blob) -he's outraged "it's not very much" - clearly he thinks he is going to be starved tonight
(toast square) [won't eat it as he isn't 100% sure it is toast]
(mince) - scream, handflapping runs out of the room.
I persuade him back to another 'go' of cheese
him - is this a joke, mum?
(mince) "you can take that away - I'll just have the cheese ones".

SO I'm going to try the SAME spoon - as described by Mareeya - otherwise he just sits through the mince phase until I bring out the cheese again. I think I'll raise the stakes from cheese to Nutella.

eurgh nutella - mince- nutella - cheese - nutella biscuit

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