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One bite

We have a rule at our house that you have to try one bite of everything on the table at meal time. I can't remember when we started this . . . I guess it must have been around the time Calder could understand what "One Bite" meant . . . Maybe 1.5 years or 2?  Hugh and I always made sure there was something on the table we knew Calder would eat and everything else he just had to try. This might mean we were having a stir-fry and Calder had to try each of the veggies (at first he didn't like the sauce and that they were all mixed together) and then he could just eat rice. If we were having pasta, we would put a spoonful of sauce on the side and he would just try one bite while filling up on salad and spaghetti.

I think because we really stuck to this rule, at 4.5 years old we have an amazing eater. Calder will try anything (because he knows if he doesn't immediately like it, he won't be forced to eat it) and it is now very rare that he doesn't like something. Today on Facebook I read Kid Approved Meals. I would have loved to have read this when we were in the trenches with Calder. I like the information about kid's palates just being developed and that before the age of 5 they don't really knowwhat they like or more importantly don't like. The meal "battles" are definitely something I am glad we took on. Last night Calder at Borscht for supper and the night before a stir-fry with every veggie imaginable in it. He doesn't even question when we put a casserole on his plate and will now eat every bite without us even having to identify the components.  It took until Calder was 4 years old to get him to eat potatoes that didn't come in the form of a french fry, but Calder always tried a bite and one day he just ate them all! At this point, the only food I would say that Calder dislikes is tomatoes. He will eat them cooked in a chili or spaghetti sauce, but will only eat his one bite if they are raw in a salad!

The only downside of our try one bit rule is that I have to "try" a cucumber every time we have a tossed salad. We eat a lot of salads. This sucks. Ha!

What do you do to encourage your kids to eat? We have a real problem with the time it takes Calder to eat. . . he is such a slow poke! Would love to hear anything that has worked for you!

Happy Wednesday!


  1. He always eats fast here :) it's a race to finish their plates so they can be the first back down to play. All he needs is a little competition! As soon as Boone is old enough they will be having races to finish first :)

  2. That is hilarious! I might just send him over to your house on the odd night and he can compete against your kids until Boone gets a bit bigger! He is driving me nuts! We have started setting the timer when it gets to a certain point. This morning he picked what he wanted to eat and when he wanted to eat it and he still had only taken 2 bites after 10 minutes. We set the time and told him breakfast was over when it went and he would then have to have his toast and eggs for a snack. We also told him his trains were going in time out (they had just gotten out of time out from slow supper eating last night!). This will go in phases . . . we will be using the timer and threatening time outs for a while and then for a couple of weeks he will eat well . . . and then back to the timer. Ugh!!! Calder is competitive. Hopefully we can use that to our advantage at meal time!


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