Last week we talked about our first out of eight tips for raising healthy eaters - Try Try Try Again, where we discussed how not to give up on a certain food after they turn their heads at a certain food once, twice or a handful of times. That it can take up to 15 tries for them to decided if they like it or not, so just keep trying different ways to get them to eat healthy foods- over and over and over again.
So, how did it go? Did you introduce a food that they didn't eat before? Did you try cooking it another way?
Tip #1 and Tip #2 really go hand in hand. They are meant to almost be looked at as the same tip but I thought it was important to separate them. Mostly because this weeks tip goes for slightly older kiddos when they are at the point of feeding themselves and taking directions - having them take 1 bite of all the food items on their plate. They don't have to finish it, they don't have to like it, but they have to try it.
1 bite of everything.
Easy as that.
It is a lot less scary for a kid to only have to taste 1 bite of a food rather then looking at and thinking they have to eat an entire pile of food that they are unfamiliar with. This can be scary. And we don't want to scare them away from yummy and delicious food.
So don't load their plate up with a huge scoop of everything, just put a small taste of everything you cooked on their plate to begin with. If they taste it and love it and want more, then by all means give them more!
There are two steps for this tip.
For starters, you have to get them to buy onto this new rule. It shouldn't feel like a punishment for them to try new things. So be enthusiastic about wanting to show them new and fun foods, pick out different foods to try at the grocery store together, have them decide which spice you are going to add or how you are going to cook it. Your job is to make it seem like it is fun and their idea to be trying all of these new foods. By talking this through with them beforehand, it should't be a shock when you let them know this new rule.
Secondly, once they take their 1 bite and if they don't like it, you cannot be mad, have hurt feelings or plead with them to eat more. You have to stay calm and not make a big deal about it. In fact, it is better to just stay neutral if they loved or hated it. Getting a reaction from you is what they always want, so if you stay calm and don't have a reaction, chances are they will not make eating 1 bite [or even more] an issue either.
Action Plan for the Week
- Shop with your kiddo and find 2 new food items that they want to try [and you approve].
- Pick a date to start using the 1 bite rule, tell them when this is happening so they are aware and excited.
- Try the 1 bite rule for several days in a row and at each meal.
- The beginning can be a little rocky, so don't let this discourage you. If they are having a fit, just let them choose to have the 1 bite of food at this meal or the next, clearly stating that this food item is not going to go away and that they will have to try this food at some point. I find it always helps to be eating that same food item while you are telling them this so they see you eating it and know it isn't all that bad.