Girl with food phobia so severe she would only eat toast is cured by hypnotist

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, which means a fear of anything new – when she was 18 months old and went on to munch through five slices of toast every day.

Mum Julie, 43, 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.

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"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.

"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."

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Charity worker Julie and dad Chris, also 43, were so desperate they 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.

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"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.

"She was going 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.

"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."

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: "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".

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