Do you have a contract or deal in place that he has to eat complete meals to swim?
I’d consider adding in that now it’s been x amount of time and he also needs to meet fear foods as well as full meals. Could that possibly work?
We did the laddering as well. Our s was the same with “empty” calories and most of the foods you posted. We started with small steps.
From whole wheat bread, we went to honey wheat as a challenge just one day, one meal, one week. We tried that, for example, as a weekly challenge.
We sometimes let him choose - would you rather have yogurt or white rice and that would be our challenge the next week. We would only offer the challenge at one meal and one day.
Our team worked with us 100% here and we decided with them before presenting to s.
For us, we had one to two challenges a week. This continued for a long time. We then carried them week to week, so he’d have honey wheat bread one day, one meal in a week. The following week he’d have it once or twice a week in addition to another new food to add in. The next week, we might do honey wheat bread three days, etc.
We kept taking steps. We went from honey wheat to white bread, and then we kept going back and forth for some time, just like the strawberry example.
One day we ran out of whole wheat pasta and we told s we could use white pasta or have a meal he didn’t like - he chose the white pasta. That was monumental, because once we went with white pasta he never went back to whole wheat.
It’s very much a week at a time; but that was our approach. We sometimes had incentives for hard challenges. We typically did harder challenges on the weekends and/or days we (as parents) were feeling strong.
We let s eat his challenges esp. while playing video games or watching tv. In time, we needed to get back to cutting those out and eating at the table, but they helped s a lot esp. in the beginning.
If our s didn’t complete his meal with his challenge, he didn’t get his athletics that day. Our team also pushed higher level of care in a huge way. They told him they wouldn’t let him stay home if he couldn’t meet those foods.
The fact that he’s WR is huge, you and he have been fighters through this. Adding fear foods will bring him back more and more. You’re an amazing mom. Keep holding on, I know it’s an exhausting, hard, awful trek.