Gratitude Bites

Earlier this week I was a guest on “Radio Times,” a public affairs show out of Philadelphia’s WHYY/NPR Sirius. (Thanks to those of you who listened and got in touch!) Joe Yonan, longtime Washington Post food editor (and author of Eat Your Vegetables), and I were there to talk about dinner, namely how to get it on the table without losing our collective minds, and I hope you get a chance to listen to it. (If you didn’t, it’s just long enough to get you through a six-mile run at my pace. Just sayin!) We covered a lot of ground — tips for the time-starved, how to address multiple diets, where we get our inspiration from, etc. — and one of the best ideas, I think, came from neither me, nor from Joe, but from a caller. She told us that every one at her table is required to take “gratitude bites,” one bite for every year they’ve been alive, as a way to show appreciation for the cook. So the two-year-old takes 2, the three-year-old takes 3, you get the idea. Not sure my 13-year-old would necessarily be on board with it — especially when it’s tofu night — but for those of you with little ones…try it out and let me know what happens.

Related: Another neat trick

Photo credit: Doug Schneider

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Jan @ Family Bites

We do something similar but call it a “thank you portion.” We ask for three bites minimum, regardless of age, as a way of politely showing thanks to the cook. I like the idea of one bite per year, though – brilliant!


we do the same! Everyone has to take a thank you bite of everything to show appreciation for the cook’s hard work.


On the downside, not all dishes come out like I hope…and I’d sure hate to have to take 36 bites of something that didn’t work!


Loved the podcast. I am not sure about the gratitude bites, but my daughter’s preschool has the two bite club. You get to be a member if you take 2 bites of a new food. She is proud to be in it so will take 2 bites of new food even at home.


We are trying thank you bites as well… Thanking the cook and thanking the farmer/rancher/fisherman. My toddler is not on board yet… but we are trying


Why do Americans find toddlers playing with food, or smeared with gooey cake cute? Not just at birthdays, but at every meal? Mealtimes are not playtime, and gratitude is eating every delicious (hopefully) morsel on your plate, because you come to the table hungry.


We do that, but I never thought of it as a way to show the cook appreciation we just do it as a way to be “fair” (you know how everything has to be fair. 🙂