Getting kids to try new foods is HARD! I find the most challenging part of feeding children is actually getting them to TRY the food. Anybody with me?!
Does the “no thank you bite” work in your house? For those unfamiliar with the “no thank you bite,” children are expected to try one bite of each food served on their plate. After they try a bite of the new food they can say “no thank you,” if they don’t wish to eat anymore of that particular food.
I found this method worked like a charm with my oldest daughter. Consequently, I became overly confident in how easy feeding my daughter was. I asked her to try a new food and she did. It was amazing! Then my second daughter was born and I woke up from my dream. She quickly taught me how difficult feeding a child can be. I tried to stick with the “no thank you bite” since it worked so well with my first, but after many dinner battles and tears (on her part and mine), I ditched the “no thank you bite” for good. I’m so happy I did! Can anyone relate?
I traded my old approach for a new one. And it’s working!
Instead of telling my girls to take one bite, I now say, “I want to know what you rate it.” This different approach takes the pressure off children to try the new food and turns it into a fun game. I love to get the whole family involved, rating new foods together.
When I first started this method, I kept a New Foods Chart on our fridge, like the one below (click on it to download). Every time my daughter rated a new food, we would write the food down along with the rating she gave it, on a scale of 1 to 10. Then, once she tried 5 new foods, she earned a small reward. We came up with together choosing from 10 minutes on the IPAD, a special craft with mom or dad, baking a favorite recipe together, or staying up 10 minutes past bedtime.
This incentive worked like a charm for her. She was excited to track all the new foods she tried and earn a reward. As she discovered new foods she liked, we created a separate list. It was fun to see the list slowly grow, as she continued to try more and more foods on her terms.
We made new habits thanks to our New Foods Chart.
My girls are now 9 and 6. Although we still rate our food, because it is fun, we no longer need the reward, as it has become habit. They are still hesitant to try certain foods like scallops and beans which I don’t serve very frequently. I always encourage them to rate the new food, but it is not mandatory. There is no loss of dessert or other consequence if they don’t try the new food.
As a mom, I try to always keep the saying “slow and steady, wins the race” in the back of my mind. The more our children see the new food, and are expose to it, the more they will eventually be willing to try it, as the unfamiliar food becomes more familiar.
Does the “no thank you bite” work in your family? I’d love to know your experiences.
If you are struggling in the “picky eating” department, I feel you. My number one tip with “picky eaters” is getting them involved in the kitchen. Getting kids in the kitchen helps them to develop important life skills, while trying new foods, and expanding their tastes to appreciate real food. These crucial skills will allow them to feel empowered to create healthy eating habits for a lifetime. Want more guidance with picky eating? Click here for simple tips and tricks.
Need help getting your kids in the kitchen? I offer “Kids in the Kitchen with Misa” virtual cooking classes via zoom. We have fun baking nutrient-dense, gluten-free foods that taste good and are good for us. Click here for the next cooking class series.