Thursday, April 26, 2007

An Apple A Day ...

Ah, sticker charts!! What would parents do without them?

We resorted to this because the Climber would not eat fruit. Which to my mind was unnatural and wrong. Kids should LOVE fruit. Fixit and I both love fruit. But both our children have needed considerable encouragement and coercion to consume it. We think it's a texture thing. Cherub is a better fruit-eater than Climber (he could hardly be worse) but if we removed it from their diets I don't think they'd notice. It's not normal is it? Go on, tell me how much your little darlings love/d fruit. You know you want to. When the child eats fruit the parent feels good. We all know it's true.

So I made him a chart. Every time he ate a portion of fruit, he got a sticker. Acquiring 10 stickers meant he arrived at a treasure chest, which entitled him to a trip to the shops to purchase a smallish toy to the value of $10. I think for all but one treasure chest reward he has chosen Lego. Now there's a surprise.

It was an enormous success at first. In this house, on the whole, new toys and little presents only arrive at birthdays and Christmas and since for him these fall within one month of each other, he was really rather keen to earn stickers, and could be heard requesting fruit. Music to my ears.

And then as these things do, it started to taper off slightly. Which was okay because habits had been formed by then and fruit was consumed without thought of material rewards. But fruit was still fairly low on his list of foods to eat, and also, the sampling of new fruits got us exactly nowhere. Oh sure, he tried them, but none of them caught on. It was strictly apples (sliced; and swallowing the peel has been a fairly recent skill), sultanas and strawberries round here. BUT!! He no longer complains when they are served up and even quite enjoys eating them.

Anyway, I am telling you all this as background, because if I suddenly announced in big, bold, capitals that My Son Bit Into And Ate Nearly a Whole Apple you would wonder what all the fuss was about. But the thing is, it's been sliced apples all the way and last week for the first time Climber Ate the Apple the Way Nature Intended. And that was a big thing for me. So much so that he was rewarded with instant Lego (Cool! Free toy!! was his response). And if that instant Lego happened to be some that I'd bought on special in the early days of the sticker chart and had then seen languish on top of my wardrobe as he eschewed it for New Lego and therefore I really needed an excuse to hand it over, well, he didn't mind that.

Just as a PS. to this tale, the school-holiday squalor in this house must have influenced my decision to buy myself this book.

Fifteen minutes a day to have a clean and sparkly house! And only using bicarb and vinegar as cleaning agents! That just sounds like a great plan.
I'm thinking of starting a sticker chart for myself so that I follow through with it!


  1. My kids didn't like fruit either. They still only eat EXPENSIVE fruit i.e. a punnet of strawberries EACH. Why won't anybody in this house eat the cheap apples except me?????

  2. No big fruit eaters here either. I still cut up an apple for my son to eat and he is 12!!

    You better not start to say how delightfully wonderful it is to clean for 15 minutes each day and achieve perfection whilst wearing an apron...or I will gag! If it is a lazy 15 minutes with 23hrs 45minutes doing nothing that will be ok. (is there a companion book about spending 15 minutes each day watching others clean?, I might write that one)

  3. The Chart is a fabulous idea. My son didn't sleep throught the night for two years. I wanted to have him tried as a war criminal as sleep deprivation is against the Geneva Convention. As he got older he started come into our bed and wake us (well mainly me) just because he could really. He really wanted a Sony Playstation so when he was five I bribed him with a sticker chart that said after 30 consecutive sleeps in his own bed until 6am, he could get a playstation. It ended up with the game and the other bits costing us about $16 a night. WELL WORTH $16 for a full nights sleep. And NOW I use the Playstation as a tool to ban when he wakes me up.

    Threats and Bribes baby, the ONLY way to parent.

  4. the FB is the same way about vegies. He'll eat fruit but ask him to eat a piece of carrot or even a kernal of sweetcorn and nope.

    Does the book work? I need a book about housecleaning that is not only informative but does the actual cleaning itself.

  5. No vegie eaters here either - probably a sum total or 2 types per child. But the only saving grace has been that they will eat fruit (I only add that as an addendum Stomper, I swear!) But I still needed something to stress about - wouldn't be right without one hey? - so I began to think that all fruit and no vegies was bad because of the sugar content of fruit. I finally convinced myself to get over such crap. People survive around the world on next to nothing or even rice. A bit of natural sugar in fruit - obviously I have too much time on my hands!

  6. Hey, I still only like my apples sliced...

    Of course, I can slice them myself these days.

  7. Great chart !

    I hate fruit, hate sweet things, make up for it in veges ( which I love )

    The boy;s not big, but I keep buying them and serving them up as snaks, despite the fact i'm unkeen myself.

    I tend to get more concerned over a lack of veg', but that's me ;)

  8. You are officially the guinea pig of the fifteem min a day cleaner - superstar...... I have been tossing up whether to get that book or not...if it works let me know but hhhooowwww I ask you hhhoowww???

  9. Children who defy their parents' wishes -- never heard of such a thing. Mine will eat fruit, the youngest just won't let me go anywhere without him right now. Trade ya!

  10. Any tips on how to clean shower glass?

  11. Man, I want a chart like that for me!

    My C is very texture orientated as well - likes apples and bananas (sometimes) but doesn't like oranges or mushy fruits - we did fruit leather for awhile, then dried fruit. One thing that did work for us was refrigerating all the fruit so it's nice and cold - the temperature made a difference!

    WOW and YAY for Climber!

  12. My oldest only likes prunes and apples.

    Don't...don't ask.


    P.S. They'll have their fruits just fine if you puree the Hell out of them in the blender in some sort if smoothie, though.

    P.P.S. That sticker thing is brilliant.

  13. Pureed---with ice cream---yum! What kid could resist?

  14. I'm lucky my son eats apples, strawberries, bananas, dates. No mandarins or oranges etc. And he won't touch vegetables - even potato - even mashed potato!! So I may well pinch your sticker chart for a vegie-based version!

    Surprisingly, vinegar actually works really really well. Once we move into the new house, it's all I'll use (it's all I'll be able to afford to use!!!)

  15. The fruit thing .. always a problem with SG. The chart was a great idea,

    Vinegar is really good for unpleasant odours too, & is great with baking soda, which is also good for the odour probs.

  16. My husbadn ate fruit until the age of 2, and has not really eaten any fresh fruit at all during the last 35 years. for some people it is so much about the texture. I would only eat apples. I was 23 when I successfully swallowed a pear without barfing at the woodiness of it (love them now) and 29 when I first ate a peach in its furry jacket (loved tinned peaches throughout)

  17. One of my girlfriends has 2 boys neither of whom like fruit (2 and 4). Love the chart. Adore the speed cleaning idea. Must see if we've got that here. I'm all about baby steps.

  18. You've gotta love how kids are hard-wired to perform for stickers. My youngest just ate all her breakfast (a rare occurrence), then announced, "I'll get a sticker for that" - and we don't even have a sticker chart...

  19. Love, love the chart. Gold kiwi fruit, strawberries and dried wild blueberries are all the fruit the boy will eat. And when I made apple crumble the other night, he just ate the crumble. Little pill. The Girl has an apple every day in her lunch, and will deign to eat a plum (sadly the season is OVER) once in a while.
    BTW, a little tip about mashed potato: They will eat the crispy mashed potato on top of shepherd's pie. And I've found a fantastic pumpkin bar recipe (but it's sweet) that they both love.

  20. Mine's not a big fruit eater really. Sliced apples (apple boats as he calls them) are the order of the day. So much so that we bought a fancy apple corer/slicer from Ikea today.

    I just keep offering and on the odd occasion he'll take a bite. Just last week he asked for a raw carrot and even ate half!

    He does eat his veges with dinner though. Provided they're the ones he'll eat.

  21. Have you tried slightly overripe pears? MF loves them. They're easy to eat and are nice and sweet...


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