Trying New Foods

Not shared a boys lunch for a while: Trying to find new and exciting ways to present Freds lunches. He's getting so much better eating fruit and trying new things, I'm so proud of him even if they are in the form of frootz, dried mango, kiddylicious smoothie melts and safari paws - it's a great progression from a couple of months ago :) we've also got Dino sandwiches one with cheese and other turkey, small bits of cucumber and strawberry with a blueberry (seems more likely to eat it when it's tiny) and yogurt :) with a square of chocolate.
I forgot pom bears.
He didn't like the Dino shaped of the sandwiches and actually nearly started crying (I'm hoping it's because he was getting overtired from a busy morning at Nursery). He wouldn't touch the strawberries or blueberry but did the cucumber (VICTORY!) but the pom bears and chocolate were the first to go - obviously.
I've spoken previously of Freddie's fussy nature when it comes to eating.
We, not too long ago had a visit from the Health Visitor where I expressed my concerns towards the matter - she referred a Nursery nurse to come to the house.
She came a few weeks ago and discussed our concerns regarding his diet and weight. I felt a little like a bad mum in having to explain because a constant unhealthy diet isn't a healthy child. Yes, he's got tonnes of energy and talks for England but his diet consisted of rubbish essentially.
He wasn't open to trying new things and was very rigid in what he would eat. Cooking meals were pretty much a chore because I never knew what to do.
The Nursery nurse was actually really, very understanding, saying that it's totally normal for kids to go through this stage - it's a way of controlling something in their life. When little ones get to a certain age, they know what they can and can't get away with, but there's two things you can't control - them eating or sleeping.
I loved that she said this so matter of factly because I hadn't even considered that - it's really weird. I always assumed it was for attention and I suppose in a way it's similar to what she said. I thought he was jealous of me feeding Noah and not him - Oh there was so many thoughts. But I relaxed an inch. It's totally normal.
However, it's not very normal in this house or family. We are eaters and we eat a large range of foods so it's always been a little bit of a mystery as to why he was so fussy; it wasn't like he hadn't tried things before.
We tried all the usual tricks of encouraging, having things cut up small, a food routine, helped with cooking, experimented with layouts on plates (ie. faces), secretly stopped drinks from 4pm onwards as so they don't fill him up instead, helping set up the table, picking the meal, praised with treat after eating all the dinner, small portions - everything. It got to a point where it became very stressful as he was very determined to do it his way, so we kind of left it. Set the rules out of sitting up the table, whether you're joining us or not because we've been drawing attention to it by doing so many things to encourage him - as much as I really wanted to encourage him, he was getting the wrong attention.
Taking a step back was the best thing we could do. The Nursery nurse was impressed that we'd tried so many things. She spoke to him and asked if when she comes back for a following check up (she wanted to ask for more advice) if he'd try 2 new things and write a food diary.
He did. He did amazingly over them two weeks, trying 6 new things in a space of 2 weeks.. He looked at food differently and asked more about them. Sometimes even asking for a little try of something which shocked us but we were so excited. We kept saying 'if you try new things, you might find that you like them' - I was a little frustrated at the fact it took her to come for him to even begin thinking of it, but I suppose a fresh face repeating what Mum and Dad have been saying may give the push? (he even said he loved cucumber and ate 2 slices in front of her when he's completely kicked off with us! (I felt so annoyed at him for that!))

He's done really well and I'm not as bothered about things now because he eats a lot better, he looks a lot better and it's just nice to be able to relax a little more. There's many days where he'll blank refuse to eat a meal, to even try it, he then hast to wait for the next meal and we try and not allow snacking between meals as he just doesn't eat properly otherwise.
It's fabulous that he even just tries them now and I'm blown away around every corner.. I often wonder if he's been abducted by aliens or something, especially as a couple of days ago after trying some spinach he exclaimed "I love it!" and only today with a beansprout.
I try and hide my excitement, but I don't think I hide it too well.

The Nursery nurse is taking a step back and we're to phone if we've not progressed. He has. I now have high hopes of adding more and more items as we progress.

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