Helping a Fussy Eater

By Rehana Webster

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A young boy of eight was brought to see me by his mother because he was extremely fussy about eating. His mother was concerned because Tom (not his real name) has limited the number of food stuffs he would eat to such a degree that it had become a real problem trying to get him to get all his nutritional needs met.

Susan (not her real name) brought Tom over and sat on one side of the room and let me do the entire session without interfering. I quickly recognized that Tom was a highly intelligent little boy. So I asked Tom, "What is this fussy eating all about?"

He replied, "I can't eat anything that is soft and warm." Well, that takes care of about very thing one can think of in our diet, except for perhaps frozen food. Yes, that is all he would eat! All vegetables had to be frozen for him to eat them. I asked Tom, "What happens if you do eat soft, warm food?" Tom said, "I vomit it out because my stomach knows it's soft, warm food."

Then I asked him, "How do you know the food is soft and warm before it even goes into your stomach?" Tom said, "The taste buds on my tongue tell me and the feel buds on the side of my tongue, tell me." I asked him, "Do your taste/feel buds ever make mistakes?" "No," he responded. I told him that I would like to conduct a scientific experiment. Then I asked him to close his eyes and I promised not to put anything in his mouth.

Susan had a plate of soft, warm food (a piece of avocado, broccoli, cake and chickpea dip) ready and waiting. I told Tom the experiment involved me putting one of the items on his finger and he had to guess which item it was. I put each item on his finger and asked him what he thought it was. Then I asked him to open his eyes and tell me if he thought he had guessed right. He said, "Yes." I had to tell him that the feel buds on his finger had been WRONG every time. Yes, every time! I was closely watching Tom's expression and there sure was confusion on his face. His eyes rolled around as he tried to comprehend what this meant.

I asked him if his mother had tapped on/with him and he said he didn't want that. So I asked him if I could show him how relaxing it was and before he could come up with an excuse I started tapping gently on him and saw that he immediately relaxed. I continued tapping on him while we discussed the intricate aspects of food and vegetables, and what he could allow himself to eat, or not eat. I continued to tap on his EFT points while we had a conversation about his fussy eating habits. We didn't use any set up statements and just had a chit chat at an eight year old level about soft and warm food. He certainly had some very complex rules about food. Susan was watching from the side lines. She told me later that he would not let her touch him and she was not allowed to even show him how the tapping worked.

Tom changed tact then. He said, "There is a part of me that switches on at night and another part that switches on during the day, and the parts are getting mixed up. One of the parts wants to change. I've been thinking of how that could happen?"

Really… all this from an eight year old? This was an unprecedented opportunity not to be missed. I asked Tom, "Which one part did?" He replied, "The part that was the one that could eat home made French fries." I pointed out that French fries are soft and warm. He patiently explained, "The fries can only be eaten if they are popped into hot oil for three seconds and no more, or they wouldn't be edible." I wanted to bring in a counter example of this and asked, "What about if the frozen vegetables were popped into the hot oil for 3 seconds, and no more than 3 seconds, could you eat them just like you eat the fries?" After all the taste/feel buds on his tongue and stomach thought that it was OK to eat soft/warm fries, so therefore he could trust that the taste/feel buds would now feel it was also safe and let him eat the quick fried frozen vegetables as well.

While he was talking about the fries, I took the opportunity to anchor the feelings on his left wrist and while we spoke about the vegetables, I anchored the feelings on his right wrist. Then I took the conversation to the part of him which could eat warm, soft fries and didn't think that warm, soft vegetables were edible. While we talked I kept firing the anchors, and kept him engaged in the conversation about these dissenting parts.

This was an intense session and as we were about to end, I asked Tom if he could try out the vegetables and see how his stomach responded. He said he would give it a try but he certainly was not convinced at all. I also asked him to report back to me the next morning and I can tell you I had no hope at all that he would do that, let alone change his eating habits.

Next morning as I walked up to the office, the whole family was waiting for me. Oh no, I thought… it didn't work, it got worse!

Surprise, surprise… Susan had a grin from ear to ear. Young Tom had a card he made for me… and Susan said he NEVER makes cards for anyone. However, the best news that really blew me away was…

When they left my office the day before, Tom insisted on going to the supermarket and picking out some frozen vegetables. He then supervised the cooking of the frozen food and ate the whole lot. As if that was not enough, the next morning he ate heaps of vegetable for breakfast! The parents could not believe their eyes. I could not believe that a little bit of EFT and some NLP together, had made such fast changes for this boy.

That was not all. At night Tom insisted that Susan do some tapping on him as well as first thing in the morning!

I can tell you that I was the most relieved. I felt like I had passed one of the biggest tests in my career, and passed with flying colors!

So, try EFT on everything, be creative, and mix and match techniques.


Follow-up comments from Mum

Anyway, he now eats cheese on toast and today was devouring homemade fish-fingers with gusto, without an ounce of comment or attention to the texture.  Never thought I'd see that! (maybe that makes it difficult to change too!)

Actually we're having cheese on toast everyday as it's so great that I can make a meal that they can all eat! (instead of 2-3 different ones.)   Boy does it make life so much simpier and easier. So onwards we go...and I remember you often when he eats this way :) and I'm very grateful.


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Author's Bio:

Rehana Webster, EFT Master now resides in Perth Australia and can be contacted for sessions, workshops and training via her website.


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