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The No Thank You Bite

Mealtime is a struggle with my 4-year-old. 

We sit at the table and he looks for any distraction, from the grain of the wood on the table to the art on the walls. 

When he does actually start eating, he usually chooses an item on his plate and refuses to eat it.  It may be something he loved last week but this particular day and time he refuses.

It is a little song and dance we do and I am tired of that same old song.

It all changed one day after preschool, when we were eating lunch with our 5-year-old friend, he offered my son a wedge of a clementine and my son turned up his nose immediately.

He replied to his reaction with the phrase that has rocked my world,  “You need to take a No Thank You Bite.”  I asked him what he said and for an explanation of what he meant.   He explained that my son should take a bite, and if he doesn’t like it, then you say, No Thank You and move on. 

One bite, then you decide if you like it or not. Like it? Keep eating. Don’t like it? Say, No thank you and don’t take another bite.

Now, I realize I have only been a momma for 21 years, but how have I never heard of this?

So we tried it…and to my amazement, it worked and then it worked again and again.  Such a simple little concept that works.

I began sharing this new strategy with all my mom friends and many had heard of it but not tried it. Some had tried it and I heard that in the little town I live in that many teachers in the school practice this technique with kids. You are never too old to learn, and I needed to share.

Mealtimes are still a bit of a challenge, but it is getting easier and when he does not want to try something, I just say..take a No Thank You bite and the argument stops.  It is amazing at what he has tried that otherwise he would have not.

And a huge shout out to my buddy Will for teaching me a very valuable lesson.

PSA – after implementing this over and over again, my son has tried things I NEVER thought he would try, he is trying and he actually likes so many new things, TRY IT!

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