Well, as some of you may or may not know....I was chosen to be apart of CafeMom's Influencer Program for Picky Eaters sponsored by Juicy Juice!
After my last journal post about Rhanyn's Picky Eating Habits I had a Consultation with a Registered Dietician! The Dietician went over all of Rhanyn's and our Families Eating Habits and really helped me to come up with new, creative and fun ways to try and get Rhanyn back on the right track!
After going over everything the dietician agreed with me that Rhanyn is probably drinking too much fluid between meals. Because she drinks too much juice or milk between meals, she is often full by the time the meal actually happens. So, from now on she will not receive anything to drink for an hour before meal time. This will help ensure that she is not full when meal time comes...and that will encourage her to actually eat AND drink appropriately at the table.
As for getting her to try a broader range of foods....I'm going to let her help me look through the grocery store circulars. I will ask her to point out foods that she'd like to try (veggies, fruit, etc), and I will get those items when I go shopping. Then I'll let her help me prepare the foods that she picked out! This will hopefully get her more excited and interested in trying new things, since she picked them out herself!
The dietician and I also talked about setting up a regular eating and snacking routine. Since children's stomachs are so small, they generally need SIX small meals throughout the day. So she gets a healthy breakfast, then a small snack (such as fruit and yogurt), then Lunch, another small snack, Dinner, and possibly a very small snack between Dinner and Bed-Time. As for juice and milk, I am to try and limit her fluid intake between meals.
During the consultation we also talked about not reacting or pressuring her into eating certain foods. My job is to offer her SMALL amounts of a variety of foods at each meal. It's her job to choose what she wants to eat and how much. If she doesn't eat all of her meal, she does not get any more food until snack-time (and even then she does NOT get a larger snack). Part of that is the dietician's recommendations and part of that is my plan. The dietician also reminded me that it can take up to TEN times for a child to accept a new food....that means that a child may need to be exposed to a food ten times before they will actually eat it and accept it as a regular part of their diet.
Over-all the consultation did help me out. There was some information that I had heard before, but I just needed to be reminded. I think the most helpful part of the consultation was talking about ways to get her more involved in meal planning, preparation, and therefore getting her more interested in what she's actually eating.
So, we plan to stick with the plan for a while and see how it goes. I'm hoping that meal times will get a lot easier!