Saturday, January 22, 2011

Operation: Try my dinner

As some of my readers and good friends would know, I've had a rough trot with getting one of my girls to eat. Miss T is the fussiest person I know, at one point not long after she was 3, I sat down and wrote a list of everything that she would eat and liked. There was a scary trend towards all things white. So much so, when we cook a spaghetti bolognaise, in Miss T's bowl is spaghetti and nothing else, no sauce just the plain old boring spaghetti.

I spoke to a doctor once upon a time and he assured me she was healthy but seriously what nutritional value is she gaining from just eating pasta. Over the years I have attempted to coax, reward and I'm sad to say lose my temper and yell at her to eat or even just try her dinner. Then there are the other times when I just gave up, went with the flow and gave her what she wanted, at least she was eating that way.

The star chart has been used before in this house, with a sticker loving daughter it's always going to be an initial hit, I do believe at that time she was too young to understand the concept beyond, YAY I get to put a sticker on this piece of pink card, which unfortunately meant we lost interest and the meaning was long gone.

Fast forward to last weekend, with Miss T turning 5 next week, I figure she's old enough to well and truly get the concept and understand that for her action their will be a reward at the end. So we had a chat, talked about having to try our dinner, not pushing eating the whole thing yet, that can be the next one, and if we did it every day of the week then she could get a reward. Miss T chose her reward, she wanted a new barbie doll, she had picked out and knew exactly which one she wanted. So I explained to her, on her new quickly devisied star chart (which was recycled on the back of the old one) that she needed to get a sticker for everyday of the week for trying everything one her plate, if she got 7 stickers then we could go get her reward, if she didn't get a sticker for one of the days then she would have to wait until the next week.

Well how do you think she went? The first day went off without a hitch, although she may not have eaten everything on her plate, she did try it all, including the vegies, a few days during the week I believe her motivation to the cause waned and I needed to remind her that if she didn't get a sticker than we wouldn't be going shopping for her barbie doll, a little more coaxing on those days and the food on the plate was tasted.

Rounding out the end of week was yesterday, and I cooked a quick an easy dinner of tortiallas, four bean mix and corn with a small bit of sweet chilli sauce all mixed together and cheese toasted inside the tortillas. It may sound odd but I assure it tastes mighty fine. And as you will see Miss T was quickly demolishing hers. Miss T this week has tried brocoli, corn on the cob, fish, tomato lasagne and beef stroganoff, amongst other things.
I think as much to my surprise as to hers, she has been able to get a sticker for every day this week, even with coaxing and extended dinner times to allow her the courage to try the food on her plate, and she did it, and I couldn't be more proud of her. I know it's just eating but in just one week she is trying things she would have blatantly refused the week before, amazing what a little incentive can do. Here she is, pleased as punch beside her fully stickered chart.
Only thing left for us do, is to go shopping for her reward, this was the exciting bit, she knew exactly where she needed to go in the shop and by the time I made it to the toy section, I have a habit of doing the lap of the shop and the toys are in the back far corner, she was bursting at the seams, she ran straight in grabbed her barbie doll and I don't think her grin could have been any wider, especially when she handed it over to the sales lady for mummy to purchase it.

Here she is proudly showing off her new barbie, which also happens to go alongside Miss T and my current obsession of Paris, we'll get their one day hunny. So with this week done and dusted, Miss T and I sat down and talked about what she would like as a reward for this week, hopefully with seven more stickers on that chart the girls and I will be going to the movies.

Wish us luck, hoping that by the end of the chart I will have a little girl who not only eats her dinner but will try everything that is put in front of her, I know it may take more than the 7 or 8 weeks worth of stickers on my chart but hoping like all hope we get there one day.

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