Tuesday, February 23, 2016


How’s the food playing going? Have you made progress in getting you little one to touch the different textures and explore new foods in a play setting without the pressure of eating it? If this is the first time to hear about this activity, please refer back to my previous post, here. It is so important for your picky eater to be exposed to new foods and new textures. If he refuses to touch anything in his plate, then having a fun play time just to explore is important.

What I wanted to introduce in this post is a game that has helped me many times. I use it when my son refuses to even look at the food. It takes practice, it takes time, but like I always say, patience and perseverance are important. You have to start somewhere, right!? To write you begin with ABC, to sing you begin with Do-Re-Mi and to eat, you begin with Kiss-Lick-Bite.

The Kiss-Lick-Bite (KLB) game

Now that you have practiced letting your kid play with food, you can move on to playing the KLB game. If your kid is more comfortable with a certain food that you introduced, you can ask her to kiss the food. You are still not trying to get her to eat the food this moment; you will work up to it. So grown up, please be patient! Kissing is a way to get the food close to the mouth but not threatening enough that your kid will run away from it. Slow steps are important here. Show your kid how you do it, give the food a little kiss and put it back on the plate or play table. Continue with your games you’ve been working on with food. It is important not to force too much, I can’t emphasize that enough. Put too much pressure and your baby will get on the defensive again. Keep practicing until you feel your little one is comfortable with the kissing part.
Use affirmative phrases like:
- Let’s play a new game, let’s kiss the food
- Give it a little kiss
- Now kiss it

Once you feel that you introduced a couple of foods to the kissing part of the game, move on to the licking part. Use a food that your kid is comfortable kissing. You don’t want to stall progress. Again, show how you can just lick the item you are playing with. They might barely touch the food, but just the fact that they are opening the mouth with the food in front of them is great progress. If your munchkin refuses to do it, practice more of the kissing game. Remember to obey the kid’s own time. Don’t rush through it, don’t force them to do it, and don’t get frustrated. This negative behavior will only set you both back so far.
Make encouraging remarks like:
- Now let’s lick it
- Touch this “insert food here” with your tongue
- Give a little lick

When you’re both tired of kissing and licking part of the game, move on to giving a small bite. Tell your baby to start with a tiny little bite. Again, use a food that has already been introduced thru play, then kissing, then licking. It is always a progression with the same food. You will get some no’s. But remember to keep your cool. Try again next time. The same language goes to try to get them to bite. You get the picture from the examples above.

As simple as the KLB game is, it does create results. As I mention in my previous post, you need to keep a very calm and pleasant voice. Raising your voice and creating the negative association with this game will only make matters worse. And remember to go slow, introduce one food at the time so your little one is not overwhelmed.
I hope you have some success using this game. Once you have played enough with the play food, you can start to introduce it at the table. I have gotten my picky son to eat foods that I would have never imagined he would try by using this game. I did not introduce this game to him. The therapists were the ones who did. But by observing them I saw their patience with my son and the attitude of “no big deal if you don’t kiss it (or lick it, or bite it), we will try again later” that they had with him. Sometimes when I am mad I try to think “how would a therapist deal with him now”. It helps me take step back and try again. Hard many days, I know you can relate. But we are doing our babies a favor by practicing our patience. I also need to tell you that many times he refused to take a bite. But I persisted and I knew that if he kissed and then licked, I could try to introduce it again next time to see if he would progress. Some foods were easier than others, but stay with it. It pays off in the end.
Picky Eater - From Picky to Eater
Kiss-Lick-Bite Game

1 comment:

  1. Good post.It will be helpful for kids to taste new food with different taste.Thank you for sharing this wonderful strategy.Looking forward for more post like this.
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