Friday, August 12, 2016

The Bites Game

How many times have you made dinner and your kid simply rejects it and will not even try? A bazillion? That sounds about right. While I still cook my son's preferred foods here and there, I am also starting to get more confident in planning new dinners and serve the family healthy recipes that we try together.  Last night I made a delicious chicken pot pie that was super easy to make, very delicious and healthy. Chicken pot pie is one of my husband's favorite foods, and I had never made it before.  Since he is gluten free I had to find an easy GF recipe that looked good enough for all of us to eat.  It was a success! Even my son's friend who was over ate the pie. I swear, I didn't know how that would work out because I know the friend can also be particular about foods. I was prepared to make the kids a grilled cheese sandwich expecting a big fight.  However, I decided to first give the "Bites Game" a try.  Let me tell you, it was a success!!!
All the kids ate their food.  Yes it took a lot of cheerleading, high fives, and the promise of ice cream after dinner, but they ate all their bites!
Tonight when dinner time rolled around, I decided to offer the leftover pie again.  My picky son shouted "hooray!" from the other side of the room. I was seriously taken aback. Where did my picky eater go?  I have gotten him to try foods in the past, but never to want it again the next day. I'm starting to notice a change there. I do think the age plays a big part on this, he's 5 now.  But nonetheless, I'm super happy about that.  Can you tell!? 

How the game works:

Getting ready for the first bite
Like all the games I post here, this is a very simple one.  All you need is a piece of paper, a crayon to mark the bites your kid takes.  In the beginning (or if your kid is still young) you can make the check marks for them. I just estimate how many bites it will take and make that number of squares, hearts, clouds, or circles - whatever they choose at the time, I started with just boxes in the beginning. Make sure you agree on a prize before hand. The prize does not have to be candy or ice cream like we did yesterday.  Kids love that and you may start with those treats first. Kids usually respond well to electronics time after dinner if they eat their food.  Many times I've used 30 minutes of iPad time as an incentive.  You know your kid, so you know what would work for him/her. Then for each bite your kid takes, you can check a box.  It's that easy.  Give praise for each bite taken and make it fun! They love that.  

Coloring the shapes in this modified version

Mission accomplished!

Hope this simple and easy game will serve as a tool to get your little one to eat the foods you prepare.  My goal is to never again have to make separate dinners.  While I'm still not there, it is happening more often now, and I love that!! 

Even the little one is in on the game, and she's not even picky
Good luck! And let me know in the comments below if the game is working for you or if you have any questions! 

Also if you have some time (I know that is hard to come by!) read 15 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Better from Parents Magazine.  Really good info, some of wich I touch here. I agree with most points, but not so much with 8 and 9.  


  1. Such a simple idea, but I can imagine it is super super effective!

    1. It is so simple! And that's the beauty of it! Anyone can do it!

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