Friday, August 6, 2010

eating veggies can be fun (especially if you play with them first)

Once upon a time, a very long time ago (actually, it was only 2-ish years ago), our toddler Andy wouldn't eat his veggies - or anything else healthy, for that matter (and I mean pretty much anything).

So I asked a question about fussy eaters and received many, many helpful suggestions. The conversation continued with Meredith's a question for you about fussy eaters with its own set of wise responses including my own not-so-wise update on Andy's eating; and concluded with Meredith's far more well-thought-out posts How I Won the Veggie War - Part One and Part Two - which, by the way, make excellent reading for anyone struggling with a toddler who won't eat.

Today (drumroll please!!!) just to show you that even the most reluctant child can learn to eat and enjoy their veggies (well, some of them, anyway - Andy is still a pretty fussy eater, but we're getting there) here are some pictures of Andy enjoying a few of his favourite veggies.

Of course, eating veges is more fun if you play with them. They make good mouths,

shoes (okay, so this is kind of gross),


and "trees" (for some reason this is a great favourite with our younger boys).

How did we do it, I hear you ask? We're still doing pretty much what we did here, staying relaxed but firm; but if the problem hadn't resolved, perhaps we would have tried Meredith's approach.

A friend of mine has just asked me about this issue, so feel free to add your own ideas to the comments!


Lucy said...

Funny... I was just wondering the other day how his eating was going! Good to hear things are improving.
My little fella (3.5 yrs) has had the most enormous dramas with his eating and we've ended up seeing the feeding team at our local hospital about it. On the advice of an OT who is a feeding expert I got hold of the book "Child of Mine" by Ellyn Satter (her website was really helpful too). She takes a really different approach to feeding (from Meredith), but it has worked amazingly well for our family.

Mealtimes are now pleasant instead of horrible and stressful - I can't describe what a relief it is to be able to enjoy eating together!

We're also trying to get him a biopsy to check for coeliac disease because he's tested positive for the gene (did you know you can get that test bulk billed?) and as you probably know coeliac disease can make kids very reluctant eaters. I'm sure that was a large part of my daughter's eating problems before she was diagnosed.

Anyway, glad to hear things are going better for you. :)

Jean said...

Thanks, Lucy, for the suggestion about "Child of mine". It's good to have different approaches to choose from.

We've had our kids all tested for coeliac (all bulk-billed, as you say) and all except Elizabeth are coeliac free for now. Andy is the least likely to get it according to his genotype!! But we all have the genes for it. So, like you, we keep our eyes on our kids.

I can imagine it would make a child a very reluctant eater - it can be very uncomfortable! And Lizzy never did like bread...

Jean said...

ps. Has your son had the blood test for the antigens? That's the one they do after the gene test and before the biopsy. If it's negative, he shouldn't need the biopsy.

Lucy said...

Hi Jean :) I was assuming that you would have checked out the coeliac issue already!

Even though X's antigen test came back negative the GP thinks a biopsy might be a good option, given his other symptoms. Apparently the antigen test is only reliable when it's positive (ie there are lots of false negatives) at least according to our GP and nutritionist. We're now waiting for an appointment to talk with a gastroenterologist to decide what to do next - not easy to work out since he's already eating strictly gf and I don't want to put him back on gluten until he's about to be biopsied since his behaviour and mood have improved so much since going off it.

Decisions decisions....

Jean said...

Ah, I didn't know that about the antigen test! Yes, the symptoms are pretty reliable, Lizzy off and on gluten are two completely different creatues. So I bet your gut is telling you the right things about your son. That 6 weeks back on gluten before the biopsy is a killer though!! I remember it well ... Probably good to know one way or the other for sure, though, if you and he can cope with it. I pray you get good advice and get it all sorted out soon.