Friday, May 25, 2007

more on SOS

Due to popular demand (well, OK, so one person asked!), I wanted to give an update on our SOS progress. By the end of last week we'd had our first success with the kids touching and sniffing the extra foods we were putting out at mealtime.

This week we continued to increase the variety of foods, and I also had the idea of occassionally providing foods that they actually LIKE already on the extra plates. I figured that might build positive memories of taking stuff off the extra plates to try. So one day a plate of cookies appeared at dinner time (in addition to veggies, chicken, etc). I know, I know, there's nothing healthy about cookies, but trust me, ANY variety in their diet at this point would be a good one, we'd HAPPILY take increasing even their junk food acceptance! We put out two kinds of cookies they don't like and one kind that I knew that they had eaten in the past but don't get regularly. Jacob's eyes immediately brightened up when we announced "cookies -- sugar, chocolate chip, and oatmeal raisin". (As we place the "new" foods on the table, we announce what they are -- sometimes this produces some conversation about them, which I figure is a good thing too -- ANY interest in food is a good thing!) Jacob eyed the plate and said, thoughtfully, "When I finish my supper, I'm going to eat that sugar cookie." I said "that's what it's there for!". He mentioned the cookie several more times, then ate it with great relish after he finished his meal. This was the first time that either kid has actually eat something off the extra plates, so we were pretty excited. So excited that a few days later, we repeated the same experiement. That time, Jacob took the cookie, but only nibbled at it and didn't really eat it. Oh well, it's the idea that counts.

Yesterday one of the items on the plates was a piece of raisin bread. This is something that the kids have both loved in the past, but have since stopped eating (Zoo Boy more recently than Jacob, I don't think Jacob's touched anything with a raisin in it in about 3 years). When I put the plate down, I didn't even have time to announce what was on it, Zoo Boy immediately said "Oh, I like those!" After they'd finished eating, though, the cinnamon bread was still there. Clearing the table, I asked the kids "is it Ok if I eat these apple slices?" (That's another thing I do, I point out WHAT I'm eating off the extra plates, to show that these are real foods that get eaten, they're not just there for torture value . And I ask their permission to eat it, to emphasize that these are THEIR foods, they've got the first option of whether or not to eat them before I hone in and hog it all.) Zoo Boy looked up from what he was doing and said "yes", but then jumped up and ran to the table and said "Oh, I forgot to eat this!", and picked up the piece of raisin bread and ate it. I turned to Jacob and said "would you like some apple?" and he said "well, yes, I want an apple, but I don't like it peeled" (he meant cut up). So I offered him a whole apple and he munched on it for awhile (he already eats apples, so that's nothing new in itself, but the fact that he related to me that the "horrifying" apple slices on the table are the same thing as the apples he does like in a different form is a bit of progress, I think).

So overall good progress. We had a few less attractive issues -- at one point, in placing something with peanut butter on it down, Jacob scurried away from the table crying. I asked him what was wrong and he told me he wanted to get as far away from that as possible because he didn't like it. I asked him what he didn't like about it, and he said the taste. I pondered out loud the fact that he couldn't know that since he's never tasted it, and then wondered if perhaps he meant he didn't like the smell. He agreed with that, so I took the plate and moved it further away from him. He relaxed a bit and sat back down at his place, although he didn't eat much more of his meal after that and kept eyeing that plate suspiciously. Peanut butter really DOES have a strong smell, so I'm going to back off of that for awhile and get some other successes under our belts first before I ask him to sit next to something so strongly insulting to his senses. It seems like most of our negative moments with SOS have been when there is peanut butter on the table, and historically he's had problems when there's peanut butter or other strong smelling foods around. So hopefully eliminating that for now will help build some more positive memories of what we're doing before we try challenging him that much again.


At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, Harvest Mom!! I am following this with much interest. BTW, while I enjoy peanut butter a lot sometimes, myself, there are other times when I really can't stand the smell of it, either. Just a suggestion to tuck away for much later, but peanut butter COOKIES would be a much less "pungent" thing to sit beside, to start with. Also .. lol, just asking because chips are my favorite snack and I know J has eaten corn chips, whether you've ever put potato chips out! Seems like the SOS program is going VERY well, so far. Also, I wondered whether you had ever put out cheese and crackers with J's cheese but on a slightly different cracker (or vice versa) or noticed anything using "tiny variations." Just curious! Looking forward to next week's progress report. :o) -Bev

At 9:33 AM, Blogger Harvest Mom said...

Thanks for the comments and questions, Bev. I'll remember peanut butter cookies for when I'm ready to start adding that particular scent back in! :-)

Yes, I've had chips of varying sorts out -- typically I'll put out a protein, a vegetable or fruit, and "junk" food of some type. As of yet, neither of the kids have gone for any of the chips (even though Zoo Boy will eat most of the kids I've put out given the proper mood).

As for variations on the cheese and cracker theme, we've been doing that too, although I think there's plenty of room for more creativity with that. In general, though, we've found that slight variations like that with the food thing are less successful than something just happening to strike Jacob's fancy enough for him to want to try it (for reasons unknown to me, otherwise I'd set it up frequently!).

More to say on that, I'll save for my next update. :-)

At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Shelly,
I've never posted on your blog but am intrigued by the SOS program. We will be starting this soon too. I was wondering if you have knowledge of any books that are available that have ideas that follow the SOS program and/or have more of the philosophy behind it. Also, just wanted to say re: peanut butter, it might be fun to make bird treats (crafts) with the peanut butter and pinecones. And have you ever tried Sunflower Seed butter? I recently purchased some and have yet to try it. That may be an alternative. Just had to share:) Thanks! Lori D.


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