This is Thomas, our kiddie of the month for February.
Thomas is about to turn 5. He’s always been a bit suspicious of foods, even when he was a baby. He never liked to be fed with a spoon and always refused lumpy foods. His parents had to try so hard to get Thomas to eat anything, and he kept cutting safe foods out of his diet as he got older. Thomas also used to ask for cake ALL DAY LONG, and nag his parents for food, even after he had just eaten. This used to drive them mad, because he would never eat what they offered him. They often had to pretend to have a race to eat even his favourite foods, just so that he would eat enough to be full. Thomas also refused to try ANY new foods.
What we’ve worked on: Thomas’s parents have implemented the Division of Responsibility and started to enjoy mealtimes a LOT more. Thomas knows when meal and snacks times are, and rarely nags his mum for treats. Thomas and I have done some fun food exploration, where he felt safe enough to try eggy bread, veggie chips and banana. This was a huge step for Thomas.
What’s happening now: We’ve moved on to cooking, and Thomas has worked really hard to overcome his fear of sticky or wet sensations on his hands. He now makes his own pizza dough! He’s also built up his confidence to try foods that he’s cooked- even ones with pumpkin and spinach in them! Mealtimes are generally less stressful, and Thomas is much more interested in foods around him. Change at mealtimes can take a while, especially for kiddies who have spent years avoiding most foods. Thomas is lucky to have such supportive parents who understand that change takes time, and building his confidence and trust at mealtimes is the key!
Favourite foods: Home made chicken nuggets, eggy bread (hooray!), pears and overall favourite- chocolate ;)
What Mum says: The first most important thing I feel I've taken initially from our visits with Kyla is understanding how sensitive Thomas is to things like smell, temperature, texture etc. This made me realise how much of a big thing it can be for Thomas to actually put things in his mouth, which then taught me that my approach was so wrong. Kyla has given me lots of advice on how to expose Thomas to food, in a non-pressured way, which makes meal times interesting to Thomas at last.
The second thing that Kyla showed us was that Thomas had no concept of hunger or enjoyment from food. Kyla taught us to keep things to set meal times so Thomas was no longer just grazing through habit and actually having a full meal. This has actually been such a massive impact in itself.
Thomas loves his regular sessions with his friend Kyla and always thoroughly enjoys himself. Thank you Kyla, as always.