Preschoolers: 3 to 5 Years
Here are some great eating tips for feeding preschoolers 3 to 5 years old excerpted from Dr. Wood's book, How to Get Kids to Eat Great & Love It!
- The one-bite rule
Although preschoolers may be more willing than toddlers to try new food, this can still be a challenge. There is a technique called the "one-bite rule" that many families incorporate. I find that many preschoolers can follow this rule. The one-bite rule allows preschoolers to try the food, and if they do not like it, they do not need to finish it.
My son, who loved the croutons in salads, was always encouraged to also take a bite of the lettuce. One night he asked for more salad, and at the age of four he turned into a great salad eater. Some children may adamantly refuse this rule, and then it is probably not worth the battle. Encourage, but never force.
When your child has his fourth birthday, this could be one of the new rules for being four. Another trick to gain cooperation is to engage the help of your pediatrician. You could privately ask that at your child's next visit, the doctor discuss the "one-bite rule." I tell children that their taste buds change and food that did not taste good when they were three, may taste good when they are four.
Sometimes hearing it from an authority can have an impact. They can keep a "New Food Diary" where they draw a picture of all the new foods they tried. They can label those they ended up liking. This could be sent to their doctor or any other important figure in their life.