I never wanted to raise a picky eater. I was the picky eater. I now realize that I missed out on years of eating completely amazing foods.
I wanted to raise my son to be adventurous when it came to food. In complete honesty, I am a very lucky mother in that my son will eat almost everything and anything put on his plate. On occasion though there will be something that I put on my munchkin’s plate that he will look at, make a face, and then turn to me and say that it is yucky, it tastes bad, and that he doesn’t want to eat it.
That is where this one rule comes into play and that is the “No Thank You Bite” rule.
The “No Thank You Bite” rule is that you have to take at the very least one (and on occasion more then one) good-sized bite before you can look at me and tell me you don’t like it. Only after the “No Thank You” bite will I even consider allowing you to not eat it or allowing you to not finish it.
When there is something on my son’s plate that is new to him or he says he doesn’t like he will try almost anything to get out of eating it. When he does my reply is always the same – “Have you tried it before? No? Then how do you know it tastes bad? I want you to take a no thank you bite.”
I feel that because of my use of the “No Thank You Bite” rule I have been able to prevent my son from having food prejudices.
Just recently we had a great experience with a new food. My son tried whole fish for the first time. Pan fried trout.
While we were prepping the trout I called my son over so he could see the fish.
He had never seen fish beyond the ones we have in our fish tank, the ones at the aquarium and on occasion fish sticks. I was both curious and concerned to see how he would react to this fish – fin, tail, eyes and all. Especially once he found out that we were having it for dinner.
“Fish?!?” He questioned while studying the three fresh trout that lay on the plate. “But I don’t want to eat anything looking at me!”
I couldn’t help but laugh a little at his reaction.
When he sat down for dinner twenty minutes later he watched as the trout was de-boned and put on his plate.
I guess all my worry about him hating it because he saw that the fish had a face was for naught. My son, the ‘bottomless pit’, ate that whole trout plus German potato salad and cucumber salad.
There was no invoking the “No Thank You Bite” rule that night.
My son was adventurous and open-minded enough to see the trout before, during and after the cooking process. And when it was presented to him on his plate he didn’t make a face or tell me it tasted bad. Instead he dug in with gusto and proclaimed “Mommy this fish is so yummy.”