A schoolgirl with a food phobia which meant she only ate white TOAST has been cured after being hypnotised.
Martha Davies, 10, would gag if she tried anything other than her bland diet of toast and the occasional handful of barbecue Pringles.
Even her Christmas dinner was a round of Warburtons Blue medium sliced toast washed down with a glass of water.
She developed her fear of food – known as Neophobia – when she was 18 months old and went on to munch through five slices of toast every day.
Mum Julie and dad Chris, both 43, ended up spending a small fortune on bread and crisps each week and never cooked Martha a hot dinner in her life.
Julie, from Coventry, said: “Up until she was 18 months old she ate normally like a baby in a high chair with soft food.
“Then she started screaming and pushing food away. I persevered with her, but it seemed to get worse over time.
“By the time she started school when she was five I thought this is the moment she will see other people her age eating she will carry on normally.
“But I realised this wasn’t working. We would go to parties and she would bring a packed lunch of Pringles and toast.
“Those were the only two things she drank. It was at that point it was not getting better. It was getting worse.
“Before she would have two pieces of buttered toast for breakfast and three pieces for dinner.
“It had to be Warburtons Blue, not crusty bread and it had to be toasted. We were spending a fortune on bread.
“She would take a packed lunch to school of Pringles and biscuits like custard creams or gingerbreads.
“Last Christmas she’d been getting a bit better and had a sausage roll with a bit of the sausage when for years it was just toast.”
Charity worker Julie, also mum to Archie, 15, was so desperate she contacted Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist David Kilmurry for help.
He hypnotised Martha and after the first two-hour session the youngster tucked into her first ever cooked meal of pizza.
Julie said: “We are still getting there with sit-down meals but after her treatment she sat with us and had pizza.
“She didn’t eat the cheese or tomato but had some of the crust. Over time the fear had gone and she’s now eating crusty bread.
“It was very difficult before but we didn’t push her because she was frightened of eating. Her phobia wasn’t medically diagnosed for years.
“We were seeing a dietician but because Martha was tall and healthy we were told she would grow out of it, but she didn’t.
“She was about to go to secondary school and wouldn’t have been able to go on trips or out with her friends.
“Straight after her treatment she started getting better. It was amazing.
“She went out with us and was really excited about trying the food we ordered.
“I think she will be a normal eater one day. Holidays will be easier now because she can sit in the hotel and eat any kind of bread.
“She can go out with her friends for a pizza and I don’t need to worry about taking her out for lunch or dinner.”
Martha said: “I don’t remember why I went off other foods but all I ever wanted to eat was white toast with butter.
“I’m really glad I’ve had treatment because now I can’t wait to try different foods.
“I’ll still eat toast but I really enjoyed trying chicken nuggets and pasta. I’m not worried about eating different things now.”
Life coach David, who specialises in treating fussy eaters, said: “Martha and Julie came through the doors with extreme Neophobia translates in Latin as ‘Fear of the new’ aka ARFID or Selective/Binge eating disorder highly misunderstood is a phobia rather than eating disorder.
“Martha told me that she lived on toast, toast and more toast. We delicately went through her fears and addressed them pre hypnotism.
“After the session she immediately ticked into my fruits and veg, spag bol, and hit 50 new foods within a few weeks.
“It’s a full cure for Martha a very independent little lady it’s been an honour to have helped her open up her food vocabulary”.
For more information on food phobias, visit www.kilmurrylifecentre.com