Down the hatch: 7 sure-fire strategies to encourage your child to take their supplements and eat new foods (part 7)

By Alive & Well

Sean Fitzgerald, Autism InternationalGuest post from Sean Fitzgerald, Autism International


So here we are at the final sure-fire strategy. And it’s a doozy.

7. Conviction

You must know in your bones that it is going to happen. Eventually.

We talked about this a little in Part 1: Attitude, but it’s so important I’m going to reinforce it some more.

It’s important for you, and for your ability to keep persisting.

It’s also important for your child, because he will pick up on your sense of inevitability about it and be more likely to give it a go next time, or the time after that.

Remember, each refusal brings you one step closer to YES.

Some final tips and techniques

  • via weheartit.comHave the new food available and/or on a plate throughout the afternoon or evening, rather than just offering it for a short period of time
  • Try to put the new food in with another type of food he likes – like using a pumpkin base on gluten-free pizza instead of tomato (be careful though: this can backfire if he then refuses to eat the food he likes, so make sure you team it with something that’s not a staple)
  • Add the supplement into another food or juice (but again, be careful: see above)
  • Make the new food into a playful shape
  • Pretend one of his favorite characters or soft toys is eating the food / taking the supplement.

When all else fails …

  • With essential medications, if you’ve been responsive to the no for a period of time (even if it’s just 5-10 minutes) and you need to take back control, give him one last chance by saying: “OK now it’s up to you. You have to do this for your health. You have a choice – you can have it now on your own, or in one minute we’re going to do it together.”
  • If he’s really struggling with a particular food or supplement, talk to your biomedical specialist. See if there’s something going on in his body that makes it difficult for him.

The complete ‘Down the Hatch’ series: