Menopausal mom to 2 young adult sons (one with ASD, ADHD, tic/seizure disorders and the other with attitude).

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Why Operation IFO???
Let Me Explain...

Riley World is into its second week of Operation IFO (Increase Food Options). It has been all consuming. All I can think about, tweet about, FB about is Operation IFO.

I should have probably explained why I decided to begin Operation IFO before blasting you with updates and blog posts every waking minute. Heaven knows we do not need the authorities knocking on our door. Jooooo-king people.

Riley’s “menu” has been ummmm limited from the very beginning. For reasons that have sometimes been out of our control (weight loss due to seizures) and well life in general…over the last 4-5 years, as long as Riley would eat something...anything...we were appeased. 

Just to give you an idea of R's limited menu…here is THE list of foods R eats now or has eaten in the past:


·         Cheerios (original; dry)
·         Pancakes (occasionally – plain, no butter or syrup)

In the past:
·         White “toast” (lightly browned with a touch of butter)


·         Hot dogs (sans bun)
·         Perogies (Cheemo brand – potato and cheddar cheese; preferably bite-size)
·         Mr. Noodles brand only - chicken flavour

In the past: (none of these were desirables but R would “eat” them)
·         Carrot soup (homemade pureed)
·         Ham or chicken “sandwich”:  two slices of white bread (no crusts or any sign of brown edges) with a single, see-through slice of deli meat.
·         Cheese Pizza

Introduced but not on a regular basis:
·         Hot dogs (with bun)
·         Plain McD’s hamburger/chicken McNuggets


·         Lipton’s Chicken Noodle Soup:  as few noodles as possible; I add small cubes of tofu and 2 eggs swirled into the soup.
·         A modified Oyako-donburi (Japanese rice bowl dish): chicken broth with small cubes of tofu and 2 eggs swirled into the broth served over Japanese sticky rice.
·         Perogies
·         Mashed potatoes, carrots with a few bites of turkey/ham (special occasion dinners)
·         Mr. Noodles
·         Udon (plain)

In the past: 
I used to prepare at least 1 food item plus rice or potato that R would eat so we could eat all together. That one food item may just be carrots. Pasta was never a desirable but R would eat a minimal amount usually followed by soup or Mr. Noodles.


·         Cheerios (original; dry)
·         McDonald's French Fries
·         Arrowroot (aka baby) cookies
·         Lay’s Salt & Vinegar chips (crushed)
·         Minigo (to take his meds)

·         Rice cakes (butter popcorn flavour – Quaker brand only)
·        Cheddar Fish Crackers
·        Mini Ritz original crackers
·         Baby apricots (on vacation only)
·         Orange popsicles (only orange)

In the past:
·         Grapes (red or green)
·         Apples (peeled and cut into 8ths)
·         Orange sherbet

This list is pretty dismal isn’t it? I racked my brains to come up with any other food items that Riley will eat/has eaten over the past 19 years as surely I must be missing some things. I even asked G. He added a few items that I had forgotten but this seems to be it.

Hard to believe he has managed to survive over the last 19 years. So why/how did I let R’s food choices slide so far backwards? Well as Bec at Snagglebox writes in her post “How to Help a Selective Eater”“Life with a restrictive eater can be really, really frustrating. But as long as they’re eating something, does it really need to be at the top of your list of things to tackle?”  For us…these past 4-5 years…it absolutely was not at the top of our list.

So what has changed? Well now that we are entering a new phase in Riley World, we have the time, energy and I am ready to tackle my old nemesis. Let the Games Begin!!  

Image from MorgueFile


  1. I was thinking about you this morning when my youngest was on the floor, crying and screaming because he didn't want the bagel with peanut butter I made him for breakfast. I didn't make eye contact when I told him, "That's fine, you don't have to eat it," and walked away.
    Guess who eventually ate every bite?
    Keep up the good work!
    And now that I've seen the menu...yikes. That is one crazy list. Cheerios I get, but carrot soup??? I don't know if I'd eat that. :)

    1. Coooool!! :D

      Haahaa...does Carrot Bisque sound any better???

  2. Good for you and Gary Di ... 'mother is the necessity of invention' ...meaning,in this situation, you wisely pick your 'battles' as energy,time and priority permits!

    1. Thanks Tanya! One meal at a time. :)

  3. I totally believe in you. And he has proven that carrots are amazing, hence being a lovely 19 year old.

    1. A work in progress that's for sure. Thanks Stasha!!

  4. Funny how, without ANY training, we all come up with the same tactics! When Kirsten was little I would prepare her food out of sight, slyly walk into the room with the food tucked away. Then, while distracting her, I'd set the plate on the coffee table next to her. Then walk away. NO discussion of the food - and definitely NO eye contact post-placement! She very often ate it!!

    1. Right??? In our house any eye contact/discussion leads to a very disgruntled Riley-man. Yikes! So good. *everything crossed*

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  5. That list looks so familiar to me, many of the foods are the same ones that my son enjoys. Except... your list is about twice as long as what we're working with at my house. Does that make you feel any better? :) It's a long slow process that's been bumped back up to the top of our priority list at the moment due to some ongoing health issues. I also really want to increase the list of foods he enjoys to make it easier for him to find something to eat as he becomes more independent too.

    1. Twice as long!!! EEEP! Not sure that makes me feel any better. :(

      Long and slooooooow indeed. Like you just would be nice for Ri to be able to have a few more options for so many reasons besides just eating. Do you know what I mean??

  6. Wow, what a project! I missed the initial bit - I've been pretty absent from blogging lately :(

    My 9yo is this picky. So was my 16yo. but he's outgrowing it. At least he likes salad now (but not many veggies beyond that). I totally understand why it wasn't on your priority list. Congrats on the pizza - baby steps!

    1. I was pretty absent over the summer too and not because I was on a fabulous vacation in Greece! Looked absolutely amazing btw! :D

      I'm staying steps indeed! Thanks Stacie!