449 challenging days of trialling one food after another until 17 foods have been tasted and rejected by M’s body.
449 emotional days of soaring highs and crashing lows as hope is dashed time and time again.
449 testing days of comforting and reassuring and convincing an increasingly despondent 10-year-old that we will keep trying, keep persevering until we find that elusive new safe food.
449 long days since M last successfully trialled a food and believe me when I say that we have all felt the impact of every single one of those days.
And then came day 450.
A glorious, cheerful day. A day when food challenge number 18 was accepted and finally, after 449 days of waiting, the sun peeked out from behind the dark clouds and we had success.
This success has been hard-fought for on all levels and we all needed it, not least M. After nearly 15 months on a diet consisting of rice, chicken, cucumber, apple and pear day in, day out, he finally gets to add parsnips to his list and there’s no-one more delighted than him. It’s not been a 100% pass, but it is one that he desperately needs right now and we’ve taken the decision that the boost to his morale is worth so much more than total perfection. We’re only a couple of weeks in and the variation it has already brought to meal-times is, quite simply, a game-changer. From mashed parsnips to parsnip crisps and roasted parsnips to parsnip and apple soup, the options are endless and so are the smiles in our house. And, just like that, those 449 days are over and forgotten, and instead we’ve started on day 1 of our next set of adventures.