Today was one of those days that was years in the making. One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given for Owen was to make sure I rotate his food and to not let him see packaging. I have been doing this with Owen’s beloved “swrimp”, but tonight I saw how it all unfolded. He sees the packages more often now because I am trying to help him understand what he is eating, but I still rotate brands, styles, or flavors when possible. Tonight I fixed butterfly shrimp. He’s had shrimp in restaurants, but at home, it’s mostly been popcorn shrimp even though I used different brands. When he saw me cutting up the shrimp he thought it was chicken and the meltdown started. He wanted popcorn shrimp. I have to say though in the middle of his huge meltdown amazing things continued to happen. I kept talking to him about it being shrimp. He went to the freezer, got the shrimp box, and brought it to me. I showed him the picture on the box and the shrimp I was cutting into smaller pieces. He calmed some, I kept talking. I took the box back to the freezer and told him to sit down. He started eating his shrimp and he finished it all. At some point, he decided my chicken looked good too, and devoured the rest of the chicken that was on my plate. The clean plate club strikes again. I forget sometimes or maybe I put it out of my head how important it is to continue to change up Owen’s food. I do it all the time anyways, years of doing it, but nights like these prove exactly why I do it. He can immediately tell when something is a different texture, color, smell, temperature, and the list goes on. And then add in the foods that make him gag or go into meltdown mode to the mix. I can stand in the kitchen with Owen in the other room and I can instantly tell if I shouldn’t even try a new food with him. He will start making gagging sounds as I cook something. Some foods we work through to see if he likes them, we go through a slower introduction to them, and I also have a rule that he has to try one bite of everything, but when it is sensory related I don’t even make him take a bite. It’s a lot of trial and error and repeating the same steps to help him work through eating a variety of foods. Learning to cope with repeating is a chore in itself for me. It’s emotional to hear him scream over food. At eight years old it is still an everyday milestone to work through his food. I’m thankful he is a good eater and nights like tonight don’t happen every night. We’ve come a long way sweet baby O. When we come upon a stumbling block and we stumble we must get up and keep moving forward. Find your strength and push through the challenges that you see ahead. You can do it. Remember you are a lot stronger than you think you are. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I'm Lynn Browder. Owen's Mommy. The best moments in time are when I get to see the smile on his face and that giggle come from his heart.