Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Eating like a Prince

Prince eats peanut butter sandwiches. Huzzah!!!!

NOT the Prince
He not only eats them, they have become an official Staple Food, joining strawberry yogurt and blended peaches&pears. I am very thankful for this because we know we'll at least be able to feed him peanut butter sandwiches in Nigeria, even if he's unwilling to eat homemade banana yogurt or if we can't find canned peaches.

He has also decided that he likes sourdough bread better than any other. When I made his sandwich for lunch today, he specifically noticed that I was using sourdough bread and thanked me for it.

The old deal we had with him was that he would get to eat half a sugar cookie (blame and praise my mother for that) if he ate 5 different foods at a meal and a whole cookie if he also tried something new. This was very useful for giving his diet a lot more diversity and getting a very few new foods into his diet, like cooked carrots.

His school has been wonderful at getting him to eat more, different foods. The next process involved asking him how many bites of a less preferred food he would eat in order to get the same number of bites of a preferred food: 3 bites of rice and peas for 3 bites of yogurt, etc. This works, but is pretty time consuming and we are far less successful at getting him to try new foods this way.

The new game: Prince becomes a "cookie winner" if he eats a little bit of everything I eat. This means he gets at least 3 "new" foods every night. He seems to dislike tomatoes less than he dislikes other foods, so I'm going to see if I can't get tomatoes into his normal food circulation. The discussion is quite interesting. Do you want to be a cookie winner? "What do I have to do?" We describe the food and he lets us know if he's motivated enough to try or not.

The other major steps in Prince's growing up is that we have moved to a much more active set of rewards for him. We set up a chart on the front door. He gets to put an X in the chart if 1) he hasn't gone to time out in an hour and 2) his underwear is still clean. For a certain number of Xs, he gets to play a favorite game, which he switches up very regularly. His behavior has definitely improved - we had been at a series of 5 and 6 time outs in one hour before. Not only that, he really likes the system, so much so that he draws reward charts during art time in crayons and paint, and he decorated the box with his plushes with a reward chart.

 -- DW