I do think that Elf eats a very healthy, balanced diet but for so long now she would not veer away from familiarity.
Breakfast: Toast with either peanut butter & jam or Philadelphia cheese and non stop fruit until she was full. Lots of berries. Maybe an eggie cup or two boiled quail eggs which we call ‘mini eggs’ (Much easier to eat).
Snack: Usually raw peppers or crackers with either pb&j or philly. Maybe a biscuit.
Lunch: A sambo. Tuna, ham or cheese. And raw peppers or raw carrot.
Snack: Natural yogurt/raisins/slice of ham/slice of cheese
Dinner: For months it has been mashed potaoes, frozen peas and either fish fingers, fried cod or chicken. Or blended stew which we call ‘Brown soup’.
If she was still hungry after dinner she’d either a slice of toast or more fruit. If she didn’t get a biscuit earlier she might have a ginger nut for dipping in to her Dad’s tea.
She used to love love love spag bol, lasagne, fish pie and different kinds of soups, pasta, porridge. Not anymore.
I’ve tried everything from a star chart to bribery. The star chart worked well in other areas but we still didn’t get her to enjoy new foods. Dinner was becoming stressful even though I know she has a good diet.
For me, the difficulty has been in bringing her out. Knowing, as you sit down in a restaurant with family that she won’t eat off the menu so we just order her chips and tomato sauce.
To think that at age one she ate a Spanish omelette by the beach in Ibiza. No more.
I was wondering when it would end and I could start cooking again. I tried everything- even wondering about her sensory development and her dislike of certain textures.
On and off I started using the kind of textures she didn’t like in her mouth to play with. Letting her mess around with basins of cooked, cooled porridge and rice. I had read about it on an occupational therapists blog, about how important sensory play is for developing a good appetite for different textures. I was wondering if maybe I didn’t let her play with her food enough when she was a baby.
Elf never really put things in her mouth as a baby and I always thought that was a good thing but… maybe it has effected her. Maybe not. Maybe I’m thinking too deep.
But isn’t it a good idea? Letting them play with the food they are afraid of- away from the table.
Anyway. This week something has shifted. It could be as simple in that she has taken a developmental leap (she has also only recently mastered cycling with stabilizers) or that sensory play I tried has done something. Although I must admit I didn’t do it frequently so maybe not.
This week, she has added fine beans, cauliflower, Nature Valley granola bar, lollipop, raw broccoli and pasta to her diet. She kept asking for spaghetti bolognese and I made it but she didn’t like the sauce so I have to try another recipe. But she tried it three or four times!
That is a hell of a lot of food to add in a couple of weeks, isn’t it?
I’m so excited.
I’m excited that life is going to be a little easier now that I won’t have to say to people ‘Oh, she won’t eat pasta’ or whatever food is on offer and feel like they are judging me thinking that I am making this stuff up.
I am excited that I might soon enough be able to order her real food when we eat out.
On other thoughts relating to food, I am thinking about trying baby led weaning with the baby. Have you done this? What do you think?