We often hear people say that tackling the issue of fussy eating is too hard. However, Kait was fortunate enough to work with this amazing family a couple of months ago who showed us just what is possible and how it doesn’t have to take as long as you first think. We asked them to share their journey so far to show others what is possible!
My son Z is 4 ½ and hadn’t eaten fruit or vegetables since he was around 1 year old and had stopped being spoon-fed. He had total reluctance to try new foods, afraid of anything with flavour. He would gag if I ever managed to bribe fruit or veggies past his lips. His diet consisted of toast with vegemite or Nutella, sweet chocolate ‘ breakfast biscuits’, dry chocolate cereal, white rice crackers and tasty or processed cheese, custard, sausages, fish fingers, white potato, gnocchi with tomato sauce, processed snitzel and nuggets, hot chips, anything flavoured like ‘chicken’ or ‘cheese’ kids snacks, chocolate milk.
There was a lot of shame and guilt around what Z ate, especially seeing’s I have a predominately Paleo diet myself so I know what are good food choices and bad food choices but I felt I had no choice. He would not eat or try a thing apart from these foods unless it looked like chocolate.
As soon as I left my appointment with Kait I began to limit and reduce the amount of processed food Z consumed. I saw this approach as my only option and 100% committed so I was no longer hung up on what I had spent on groceries or how much processed food we had left. This had to work. Over the course of a couple of days Z had his last of many things. A bowl of custard was 1 for him and the rest down the sink. He was given the last few items in their packets so he could see it was gone.
I transitioned him onto whole clean foods and he ate only these for 2 weeks before attempting the modbiotic (outright, by amp science). I used substitutes that I could disguise as his previous diet and in the end with no alternatives in the cupboard he soon realised that there was no other option (he had previously always had an option, there was always something in the cupboard so he never had to eat the healthier alternative as I was worried about him starving himself). I also used this period to figure out how I was going to hide the GUTRIGHT powder that had been recommended to rebalance his little body.
The range of foods Z currently eats is still limited but as I am content that it is 100% goodness going into his body, I’m not concerned about the limited variety as like Kait had said, once we start to heal the bugs in his gut we will notice the range of foods he will eat will increase quickly and that is exactly what is happening. It is expanding week by week. I trust the process and the results I have seen in under a month with both behaviour and willingness to try new foods gives me nothing but hope for a healthy balanced future.
All items were sourced at our local health foods store, Woolworths or IGA. Most important rule of thumb is READ LABELS. If you don’t know what an ingredient is or what it derives from it is most likely NO GOOD.
Z was not responsive to milkshakes or Smoothies unless they were jam packed with Cottees topping and ice cream so these were out of the question (initially, he now likes them) to hide the daily dose. I baked it in muffins, made raw balls, mixed with honey…. All of which were unsuccessful. I actually purchased 2 containers of the modebiotic as I knew I would need to test recipes so the 10 days/ 30 serves was successful and I didn’t run out or become panicked if he didn’t eat it.
My Ice creams were a hit! Coconut milk, banana, cacao. The organic cacao that I use has a spiced chocolate profile so the GUTRIGHT could be concealed. After the 2 week transition and my reassurance they were the same as the other ; ) he ate them- 3 times a day for 10 days. 1 after breakfast, 1 after lunch, 1 after dinner. With weather warming up I had no complaints in offering ice cream 3 times a day. I even took them to his day care and provided them with his morning and afternoon tea during this 10 days. Dietary requirements are catered for with all children so this was respected and adhered to by staff.
*I ensured that dinner for the 10 days was something I knew he would eat and didn’t try to introduce new things in this period. Our usual routine after dinner would be a coconut milk ice cream if dinner was finished, I didn’t want to give mixed signals of giving him his GUTRIGHT ice cream without finishing his meal considering he thought these ice creams were treats. I felt he still needed to finish his dinner to receive one so we had consistent rules after the 10 day kickstart.
Where are we now?
Every day Z’s palate is changing. Tonight he had lamb cutlets (no crumb) and homemade SWEET POTATO fries in coconut oil for dinner! By re balancing his gut he is no longer ‘afraid’ of food and is more willing to try different things. He is yet to sit down to a bowl of fruit salad but his perception of flavour is changing and the fear subsiding. It is a process and each day is different. The change in diet has caused him to be less emotional and irrational, without crazed demands for ‘junk’ food. He now eats more at meal times and no longer ask me all day for snacks or tantrum when they aren’t what he wants.
The key is to be prepared. I had muffins, cheese, rice cakes and treat bars at the ready. Pancakes ready to reheat and the evening meal planned in advance. If I was prepared it was easier to stick to my plan and I had food available that I knew Z would eat. I provide and he decides. With no alternatives he will always choose what I have provided if he is hungry and I am not concerned because I know he has eaten it before. If a temper tantrum strikes I try to diffuse with humour or a fun activity to distract and he will usually go back to the snack…. Especially when I attempt to eat it myself!
Our grocery list and menu options
My food choices were based on the ATP Science specific carbohydrate diet list
- Wholemeal Spelt Sourdough Toast/ sandwich with Vegemite
- Brown Rice cakes with Colby Cheese.
- Homemade almond meal muffins
(This recipe was altered substituting banana and dates with orange and poppy seed or banana and cacao or some other alternative that is well received. Keep Almond meal/ baking soda/ egg/ water/ oil measurements the same and play around with sweeteners, apple puree, coconut sugar, dates soaked and blitzed with banana. I found mixed spice was a good additive because Z thought they were gingerbread cakes)
- Kez’s Kitchen ‘Treat ‘ Bars OR shop bought raw balls ( READ INGREDIENTS)