A schoolboy with a potentially life-threatening food phobia which meant he only ate DAIRYLEA sandwiches has been cured after being hypnotised.
Zachary Twigger, 10, would gag if he tried anything other than his bland diet of the cheese spread.
Even his Christmas dinner was a round of Dairylea sandwiches washed down with a glass of water.
He developed his fear of food – known as Neophobia – when he was just 18 months old and has eaten nothing but the spread ever since.
He now munches through an entire tub of the cheesy spread every day.
Mum Becky, 38, ended up spending a small fortune on Dairylea cheese and never cooked Zachary a hot dinner in his life.
Becky, from Coventry, said: “I remember trying Zachary on solids as a baby and the only thing he liked was Dairylea.
“This carried on for years and I tried to get him to try other foods but he was physically unable to swallow them.
“He would gag and have to spit out food and the only thing he could keep down was Dairylea sandwiches.
“It was really hard but the doctors actually said he would grow out of it. He wasn’t overweight and was getting plenty of protein.
“As he got older he started asking me to try other foods.
“We went past a Chinese restaurant and he said he really liked the smell of the food but when he tried it, he couldn’t even get the food to his mouth.”
Unrelated to his Dairylea diet, Zachary developed Type-1 diabetes and was underweight for his age and BMI.
Becky said: “His health was getting quite bad because he wasn’t getting enough good fats so was losing weight.
“He needs insulin to control his diabetes but I knew we had to tackle his food phobia otherwise his health would get worse the older he got.”
Becky, also mum to Archie, six, and Bethany, four, was so desperate she contacted Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist David Kilmurry.
He hypnotised Zachary and after his first two-hour session the youngster tucked into his first ever cooked meal – a roast dinner.
Zachary said: “It was amazing, I never thought I’d be able to eat vegetables and gravy but after being hypnotised my fear was gone.
“I never really got bored of Dairylea, it was just the only thing I could eat without gagging.
“I got used to eating it. I did used to wonder what a Christmas dinner tasted like because I really liked the smell of it cooking but I could never get myself to actually put
the food in my mouth.
“Now I can’t wait to try different foods. I want to go to Pizza Express next because my friend’s say it’s amazing.”
Life coach David, who specialises in treating people fussy eating habits, said:
“Neophobia is translated of ‘Fear of The New’ and young Zachary came in with a life threatening Neophobia combined with his Diabetes, it was essential to get a result for him.
“Using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, we helped Zachary self question the fear of other foods and although he was super content with his Dairylea he started to open his mind pre hypnotism.
“The clinical hypnotism helps to take a subject into ‘Rest and Digest’ state – the opposite to ‘Fight vs Flight’ a state that a phobic response puts us in.
“Immediately after hypnotism I present a plate of food, in Zachary’s case a full roast dinner with all the trimmings and gravy – something Becky was amazed to see.
“Zachary said ‘I feel like I can eat anything’ straight after hypnosis.
“He tucked straight into the warm carrots broccoli for the first time.
“I always get a bit emotional when I witness these amazing firsts but with Zacharys struggles this it was pure music to my eyes.”
For more information on food phobias, visit www.kilmurrylifecentre.com