This is Lucas, our kiddie of the month for April.
Lucas is 5. As a baby, Lucas had TERRIBLE reflux, a cow’s milk protein intolerance and a bout of gastro just as he started on solids. He’s never been a great eater, and struggled with different textures. Lucas’ parents could never understand his reasoning with food- some days he’d love a food, then not eat it again for a year.
Lucas also hated the feeling of wet or sticky foods on his hands, and made a point of avoiding these foods. He only ate a handful of protein foods (smooth peanut butter or party pies) and only potatoes for veggies. His parents had tried almost every trick in the book to get him to eat more variety.
(This was our half eaten, apricot bliss ball version of Marshall from Paw Patrol...use your imagination!)
What we’ve worked on: Lucas had some strong sensory sensitivities, particularly to touch and sight, that we’ve been working on through food play and cooking. Lucas has been confident to eat his creations that include a number of different fruits and vegetables, like apricots, pumpkin and spinach. This shows a great improvement in how Lucas feels about new foods! His parents have also implemented the Division of Responsibility, which has definitely contributed to the significant reduction in Lucas’s fear of unknown foods.
What’s happening now: Lucas has had small tastes of egg, bacon, hot chips with parsley flakes on them, jam sandwiches, carrot, broccoli and rockmelon. This is HUGE progress for a kid who was previously cutting out safe foods and refusing to even look at anything new. Hooray!
(Lucas doesn't always look this dapper when I come to visit! But what a cutie)
Favourite foods: Lucas loves fruit, most fruit but especially strawberries, oranges, apples, banana. He loves his bread, crumpets and rolls and is slowly changing these to better options. He loves homemade pizza and Bakers delight pizzas.
What Mum says: "We have learnt about the division of responsibility and hierarchy. I had tried everything to get him to touch food etc but when he met you he learnt to do it himself, even things he would never normally touch. It is so nice to not hear YUCK, DISGUSTING (yes I’m shouting haha) He will just say "no thanks" now and "I’m full".
He is listening to his body hunger cues and even decided to cut up 5 different vege including slimy zucchini for my soup the other week. He is actually picking up foods rather than dropping them now, thanks to you. We had already taken away the stress of eating before we met you but he would never have come along to where he is now without you.
He is excited every time you come and we make the receipes later just us and he will still touch things and eat them. He is always thinking up wonderful things to make with you like ninja turtles, nemo, trolls and loves seeing you when you come."
About Mealtime Building Blocks
Dr Kyla Smith is a paediatric dietitian specialising in fussy eating, feeding difficulties and childhood nutrition. She has a private practice called Mealtime Building Blocks in Perth, Western Australia. You can connect with Kyla on her website and sign up for her newsletter, and her Facebook page or on her Instagram page.
You can also email her.