As many of you know, DS has been having eating issues for a long time. He is very smart, adorable, and sociable (he is from donor embryos, so we feel like we can brag) and this is the only issue we really struggle with so far. Anyway, many of you have given great advice, so I wanted to share a few things in case anyone else has a child with these issues.
I found a very helpful book called, "Just Take a Bite." It covers some of what we have learned in feeding therapy. Has some great advice for resistant eaters.
We have learned to never say or do anything negative during eating time. For example, if he throws food, instead of saying "Don't throw your food," we say something that teaches instead of commands such as "We don't throw our food." This kind of instruction really works well for DS who, at age 15 months is already starting his terrible two's. By teaching, he doesn't feel the need to be defiant as he might if it was commanding. It keeps mealtime more enjoyable, and he desperately needs to see food and meal times as a good, fun thing. We praise anything he does positive towards eating...even if it means trying something new but spitting it out. We also have him help clean up by putting a piece of each food type from the meal or snack (each meal and snack consists of six different choices) in his mouth and spitting it into the garbage. He is more willing to try something new because he knows he can spit it into the garbage, which he thinks is great fun. Also, if he is still hungry, but doesn't know it (like any toddler he is controlled by impulse and often thinks he is done eating because he suddenly wants to go chase the cat) he will actually continue to eat the food he put in his mouth instead of spitting it out. A few more bites are always a good thing.
This weekend he actually tried, and ate, pizza, a hamburger, and half a ravioli! He also tried, but didn't love, peanut butter and lasagna. So proud of him! He gained about 4 oz last week and is up to the 26th percentile (although 80th percentile in height, so still very tall and slender).
Thanks again for all the help