Mixing veg in casseroles doesn't work either. She doesn't like mixed up foods and can spot a tiny sliver of spinach in a gallon of tomato sauce and refuse the whole meal. The reason she refused lunch today is that I put a tiny bit of homemade peach sauce (like applesauce, but made from peaches) on her peanut butter sandwich without her knowledge. She refused the sandwich after several bites telling me it tasted bad. I took a bite and couldn't even taste the peach sauce for the peanut butter! Then, she was so upset, she refused anything else I offered her.
As a side note, I'm also not too keen on letting her go hungry until she eats in desperation. She reacts like she may have blood sugar issues like me and hunger usually results in a sobbing, unreasonable girl for the remainder of the day.
So, here's what I'm doing or have done to help her eat better:
1. PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY!!
2. I listed all the healthy foods she does eat. It's a small list, but it gives me an idea of what I can feed her that she'll actually eat. She does have a rotation, though. A food she ate and loved last week she might refuse again for months on end only to ask for it and eat it again all of a sudden.
3. Keep a food journal.
4. I made a food group chart for her with 14 spaces to fill with stickers for each food. They say that it takes approximately 11-14 days of trying something to develop a taste for it. It also gives her a visual for accomplishment, though she seems rather disinterested right now.
5. Let her help in the kitchen and garden. She watched me make her baby brother's homemade formula the other day and asked to try the fermented cod liver oil and the nutritional yeast and bifodobacterium infantis and she said, "yum" to all.
6. Take her to farmstands and pick-you-own places. Though, the last time I did this, she literally ate a piece of dog poop instead of the berries. Yeah, you can bet I freaked out. I screamed so loud, I'm amazed the farmer didn't come running to see what was wrong! Granted, that was 2 years ago.
7. She seems to prefer dried fruit over fresh, so I hauled out my dehydrator. I've got peach fruit roll-ups in it now.
8. The Healthy Home Economist (link in left sidebar) had an article about using speariment extract for picky eaters. I might give that a go, though I don't think her appetite needs whetting. It's her palate.
I've tried smoothies to no avail. This morning, I tried a slushy made from strawberries for her and she tried it, but didn't like it, so I'm turning it into a popsicle in hopes she'll eat it then.
For added information, sitting with her and encouraging her to eat doesn't work. She gets terribly upset, imagines up a stomach ache, and her saliva becomes really thick and chokes her should I repeatedly offer her a food she doesn't want to it. If I do manage to get it in her mouth, she holds it under her tongue and won't swallow it. She usually can't swallow it anyway because her saliva gets so thick under the stress.
Any other advice would be greatly appreciated. She sees the doctor in a couple of weeks, so I'll hopefully get some answers from him.