November 15, 2011

Eating and incentives

So we've started a new incentive program this week.

Just as a refresher, Quinn is extremely particular about what she eats, and will often refuse food based on look, mood, or any other whim. So we incentivized it.

I struggled about this, and I think/hope I have a good solution. Basically bites for minutes... Here is the gist.

She loves to watch videos, and they are usually restricted to the weekend. But with the new incentive she could watch them during the week.

If she eats (swallows) a food that she has had before, she gets one minute for the whole meal.
A new grain / protein/ dairy = 1 minute per bite
A new vegetable = 2 minutes per bite
A new "mixed" food (Casseroles, sauces,etc) = 3 minutes per bite.

Then for rewards we have

1 minute = Sesame Street video from the website, (most are about a minute long)
2 minutes = Zoodle (this is a kids app that usually pulls appropriate clips from YouTube, about two minutes)
5 minutes = Sesame Street podcast.
10 minutes = Mother Goose by Jim Henson available on Netflix instant download (she loves these)
30 minutes = Sid the Science Kid, Super Why, Dora, etc
60 minutes = Sesame Street episode, BackYardigans, Thomas, etc
60 minutes with at least 12 veggies = Feature length movie (Tangled, Princess and the Frog, etc)

Our goal is not only to get her to eat, but to not complain, try new foods, and eat a well rounded meals.

Learning objectives include

  • New food can taste good
  • How long a minute is
  • Clock math (the tracking sheets are set up like a clock)
  • Delayed gratification / accumulation (saving for a better video) (although that hasn't happened yet)

Learning outcomes so far

  • Baked potato isn't good yet, even when mixed with jelly (barely even touched the tongue before it was rejected)
  • Edamame isn't good yet, even though she was really hoping it would have worked for her. (she spit it out convincing herself that she was going to throw up)
  • Corn, while vehemently opposed to it on principle, actually is okay. 9 bites == 18 minutes
  • Chicken Florentine (Chicken, Spinach, Pasta, Sauce), is okay if you scrape off the spinach pieces and stick to the chicken. 4 bites = 12 minutes
  • Accumulation hasn't happened yet. 
    • Day 1: 2 minutes = 1 x Zoodle
    • Day 2: 30 minutes = 3 x Mother Goose
Hopefully the reward isn't so great that she doesn't feel the need to save up.
But she is excited about earning minutes. This could be a good thing. 

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