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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.

hazeyjane Thu 28-Mar-13 19:01:22

I am intrigued.

I will have to read properly, because my tired brain hasn't quite understood.

Do you think it would work with a toddler, who is resisting sitting in a highchair, and screams the place down if a piece of banana is even near him?

zzzzz Thu 28-Mar-13 19:24:34

I think it has a much much better chance of working with a toddler.

I'm still shock

moondog Thu 28-Mar-13 19:56:42

Are you sure she talked of 24 blobs at a time?
Just rereading Claire's abstract.....

An analysis of least-to-most intrusive procedures in the treatment of food selectivity in children with
CLAIRE MCDOWELL (University of Ulster), Claire Duffy (University of Ulster), Aoife Mulvaney (University
of Ulster)
This study builds on previous research in relation to food selectivity by exploring the treatment components
necessary to increase acceptance using the least intrusive treatment model. Intervention components were
introduced in a sequential treatment approach in the following order, 1) repeated presentation, 2) repeated
presentation and Differential Positive (Alternative) Reinforcement (DRA), and 3) repeated presentation, DRA and
Escape Extinction (EE). All participants presented with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders ( ASD) and
food selectivity issues. A delayed multiple baseline design was employed across four non-preferred
foods. Repeated presentation (treatment condition 1) of non-preferred food was only sufficient to increase
acceptance to an achievement criteria level for participant 1. Escape Extinction (treatment condition 3) was a
necessary component to increase acceptance for participants, 2, 3 and 4. Similarities between severity of food
selection and level of treatment required are discussed.

zzzzz Thu 28-Mar-13 20:20:58

My problem is going to be a smiley faced "joker" saying "NNOOOoooo" like a pantomime dame on the yucky bits, and "good Mummy" on the tasty bits. He will consider it just another Mummy training joke-arama.

zzzzz Thu 28-Mar-13 20:23:03

This is however the ONLY suggestion bar "be firm" crap that I've been given and I KNOW cracking food would be tide turning for us.

flowwithit Thu 28-Mar-13 20:42:47

I need to spend more time reading this thread to understand this better but it seems a good idea perhaps not so practical and I have tried similar techniques before and given up. I think it looks good for younger children.
My ds is 12 though and I think I need to keep trying to get him eating different textures on the same plate rather than separate ones.
His foods are very restricted though and he would be happy if I only ever served him 3 very basic meals in rotation. He gets very stressed about new foods tastes and textures. I could try this to get him tasting fruit and maybe veg? But....Many a meal time has been ruined before by trying new techniques!

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 28-Mar-13 20:56:23

DH (an engineer) has suggested a sushi-bar system!

AnotherAlias Thu 28-Mar-13 21:04:39

I managed to find a paper once on the internet written by someone at Great Ormond Street which described how they introduce food in their program for selective eaters - just having the kind of food it on the side of the plate for several occasions, then build up to having the child smell the food, then very very gradually they build up to licking it and then biting it etc etc. Sadly I didn't print it or book mark it and for the life of me I cannot find it again.

It also rather assumes your dc will tolerate having the food on a plate in front of them - it took a very long time to get my ds to that stage.

moondog Thu 28-Mar-13 21:40:19

Star, I snuck off to Yo Sushi the first night I was in London (leaving the rest to their pizzas.)
I love Yo Sushi.
So behavioural.
Colour coded plates and a bell goes every 20 minuters for them all to down tools and wash hands.
Also illusion of choice within what is actually a carefully manipulated environment.

zzzzz Thu 28-Mar-13 21:48:59

grin moondog I will never Yo Sushi in the same way true.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 28-Mar-13 21:53:35

ROFL - so true!

Have to tell DH.

flowwithit Thu 28-Mar-13 22:11:37

That's funny I don't really get yo sushi at all it makes me uneasy all the plates of different foods going too fast to decide.
I have looked but never sat down and tried I think I would need to take a Yo sushi expert with me to make me try it grin

zzzzz Thu 28-Mar-13 22:16:34

I love Japanese food, so Yo Sushi is great for me. On the other hand it is terrifying with 5 children. Just totally out of control.

moondog Thu 28-Mar-13 22:27:30

Rofl at thought of 5 kids given free rein in yo sushi flow, if too fast, you know they will come around again.

zzzzz Thu 28-Mar-13 22:47:04

Shall I tell you about when 5 kids went to Vegas. wink

I am sometimes just a teensy bit ambitious.

moondog Thu 28-Mar-13 23:06:46

Yes! Please do!

zzzzz Thu 28-Mar-13 23:19:34

We flew in first class (delayed so upgraded) with Dh kneeling on the floor in front of ds1's seat holding his head while he "slept" upside down with his feet up the seat back. As we came in to land the air hostess was heard to say loudly to Dh, "no sir, don't you move, he's happy now" grin

We had a small issue with the language barrier, ds1 at that point answering to "whizzy" or "whizzer" which seemed to cause some consternation. grin

I'm sure more moments of bliss will com to me....

Perhaps luckily for the world our traveling days are a distant memory.

moondog Fri 29-Mar-13 11:02:41


MareeyaDolores Fri 29-Mar-13 11:18:31

The 24 blobs was my translation grin.

Her powerpoints specified 'plastic plates' with 'pea size portions' of two 'preferred foods' (6 portions of each) and 12 portions of 'target food'.

So in Mareeya's lazy house we will get teaspoons with 24 mini-blobs, 8 foods you all love, 8 that you love but sib(s) hate, and 8 that you hate but sib(s) love. Food selectivity I can handle, but not if they all have different ones grin

AnotherAlias Fri 29-Mar-13 12:58:00

success - (ish) today

only saying ish as I really lowered the bar - plain boiled rice - doesn't taste of much, is colourless, fairly odorless and doesn't need to be chewed combined with nutella and mini marshmallows. Also was good as we could start with one tiny grain of rice. (it wasn't all plain sailing but he has agreed he likes rice now).
I didn't make a big deal out of it, but I did explain what I was up to as not explaining was making more of a drama of the situation- so he has agreed to do this every day with a new food - so we'll see if it will work for things that actually taste of something or require him to chew or bite.

just to recap he DOES want (in theory) to improve his diet, just up to now he can't bring himself to try new things. he is 11

AnotherAlias Fri 29-Mar-13 12:59:52

think it might be a while before we get to sushi though. or Vegas.

WilsonFrickett Fri 29-Mar-13 16:30:22

I really want to try this but I can't get my head round it. And I'm also pretty sure DS will just shake his head at me, whisper 'you are seriously twisted mother' and then go and make some toast.

Will have to try once DP goes back to work too, as it will send him over the edge...

zzzzz Fri 29-Mar-13 16:44:26

I think it's a mistake to make it 2 nice sweet things and one savoury not nice thing?? Surely easier if they are similarly tasting things, ie bread, potato, rice or orange, grape, jelly??

I agree with wilson this is not an exercise to do with an audience.

tacal Fri 29-Mar-13 18:02:23

I was going to try this today but didn't. I am too scared of making things worse by confusing ds. I think I will have to fully explain what I am doing and make sure he understands.

AnotherAlias, it is good to hear you were successful with rice. I might try that too.

Yes zzzzz, I will probably try 3 savoury things. Dont think my DS would like savoury and sweet.

MareeyaDolores Fri 29-Mar-13 18:19:55

I suspect the quickest successes will be with things that are 'nearly' acceptable already. I tried again today with a miniscule bit of my own lunch (scrambled-egg-smoked-salmon) as the new food, which was a lot bit too brave I think.

None of them went near it, and there was a lot of shouting about the smell and how evil I am... So I've saved a bit to try again just before tea time grin. Will update later.

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