GARDEN CITY, N.Y., May 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Can one plate really change someone's life? For the Anderson family in Kirkland, Washington, and the Roche family in Seattle, Washington, it has. Jen Anderson is the mother of Levi, who is autistic. She reached out to specialty giftware company Fred® to let the team know how her child's divided dish called "Dinner Winner" had an unexpected and life-changing effect on Levi.
Dinner Winner, by Fred®, is a kid's melamine dinner tray divided into small sections like a game board, where parents can portion out food into manageable bites along the path. The goal is to get to the finish line, where a special covered treat awaits providing motivation for children to eat their meal.
Anderson told the Fred team, "I just wanted to tell you guys how much your plate idea saved my life! My 5 ½-year old son is autistic and has eating challenges. Before we discovered the Dinner Winner plate, meals were a nightmare! I dreaded meals to the point where I felt sick to my stomach in anticipation, and I'd often end up in tears or just plain mad because Levi simply wouldn't eat. He could go all day and not eat.
"I saw your plate and had to check it out. This is seriously the first time in 5 ½-years I haven't had to sit and supervise Levi's meals. Usually every single bite has to be prompted and he cries. Now he's asking 'is it breakfast/lunch time yet?' which is a total 180. We used to have a board certified behavioral analyst coming to our house every day working with him and even she couldn't get him to eat. Now with the plate, he eats like a champ. I don't have to supervise or prompt. He loves that it's a game, asks to eat (because he knows it will be on the plate) and the covered treat at the end is always very exciting, 50% of the motivation. His non-autistic four year old brother also uses the plate and loves it.
"It literally changed our lives in an indescribable way, and saved my sanity in the mornings getting him ready for school. I shared it with all my autism friend moms and Levi's teacher. At the time he was going to an autism preschool with several other kids in his class, all with eating challenges. They all bought the plate and had tremendous success too."
According to Jason Amendolara, President, at Fred & Friends®, "We developed our board-game themed Dinner Winner plate to make mealtime fun for kids. We were deeply touched when we received correspondence from Jen Anderson and Lindsey Roche telling us how they believe that Dinner Winner has been instrumental in helping their children overcome their eating issues."
Lindsey Roche, from Seattle, Washington wrote, "I just wanted to say THANK YOU!!! I bought your Dinner Winner plate out of desperation. I have a six-year old boy on the autism spectrum who was the pickiest eater ever. He had not gained weight in a year and was living off of nutritional drinks and not much else. After feeding therapy and a year of fighting over trying to get him to try new things, his doctors were getting ready to prescribe a feeding tube.
"My sister had heard of these plates so I went ahead and figured why not? OH MY GOODNESS!!! Suddenly he was focused and curious. Eating food as a game?! Brilliant! We put a prize at the end of his game and he knew he had to try every food to win (and get the prize)! We've had the plates a couple weeks now and he is thriving. He has gained a pound and a half and LOVES eating now. He even picks foods out for his game.
"I have told all my autism moms about this because eating is such a challenge for many of us. This plate has changed our life. It sounds dramatic but when your son is so close to needing a feeding tube, this is a HUGE deal. I'm a lifelong customer now. Thank you again!"
Amendolara added, "We never expected to receive feedback from customers telling us that Dinner Winner has had meaningful impact on their lives. Knowing how helpful this product has been for the families that reached out to us, we want to share the good news with others."
Due to the success of Fred's original Dinner Winner dinner tray, the company has created three additional themes, including Pirates, Supper Hero, and Enchanted Forest. The creative concept, design, and artwork for Dinner Winner are the result of a collaborative team effort within Lifetime Brand's Fred & Friends® division. MSRP $20. If you'd like to share your experience with Dinner Winner, please email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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SOURCE Fred & Friends