The No-no plate

At our local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group today, we listened to a speech language therapist that loves to focus on mealtimes and feeding.   Her name is Andrea, but she runs on social media as “thespeechmom”.  She had tons of real-life scenarios.   Our local moms were engaged and I could just see the wheels turning in many minds. 

So I listened to all her suggestions and thought I’d try some out tonight!  Joe is still in “full-on construction mode” at the dairy so he wasn’t home when we ate at 6:00 and that made it is a bit easier to give it a go. 

First change — After we prayed, I EXPLAINED the foods to them.  Really made me feel strange and we all started giggling. Roast beef that was going to require a bit of chewing, piping hot mashed potatoes that had milk and butter added to them,  cucumber sticks, and cooked carrots that had both the sweetness of brown sugar and the zing of ginger.  Yep, my kids were listening to the descriptions and thinking I was from the moon. Violet was so interested that she wanted to be buckled in. 

Second change — they each got to dish up their own food.  Ava was most delighted with the way that she had to hit the spoon on the plate to get the mashed potatoes to come off. 

Third — I allowed a no-no plate.  What is this?  I had never heard of such a thing either.  It is a small plate next to the regular plate that a kiddo can use to park the food they don’t want to eat.  So, when Ava fussed about not wanting any carrots, I told her she could simply put them on her no-no plate (that I quickly grabbed from the kitchen).    She was so distraught by these carrots on her plate but I insisted she needed to move them.  She barely survived the step of getting them to her no-no plate.  

Here’s the thing:   3 minutes later, Ava took the carrots off her no-no plate, ate them, and asked for more.  I nearly fell off my chair (somebody had to have a close call since Violet was actually buckled in and not dancing in her chair for once). 

Andrea, the speech therapist, had assured us that this would happen!   That a kid would be so thrilled by being able to get foods off her plate, she would experience the plop of food moving onto a new plate, and decide she would just maybe need to try it. 

Honestly, I was sitting in the meeting saying “no way”.  This is a crazy professional talking and she doesn’t get what it is actually like.  Yet, the no-no plate, her expert advise was right on!  

How many times at our farm do experts tell us ideas to try and we just dismiss them?  How many times has our pastor insisted on reading a certain chapter of the Bible and we just think…he has no idea how busy I am. 

So…consider trusting an expert.  They sometimes know their stuff. 

If you are interested in learning more, follow her page on Facebook, thespeechmom.  Website is She also uses this little thing called Instagram that I want to start using more. 

There is just one more neat thing…she has this side business of renting out “Bloomboxes”, an interactive grouping of toys that come with a little sheet explaining what is in there and why.   They would make an awesome gift for the kid who loves in a house where the parents can’t stand clutter — just play with the things for one month and send it back!


4 thoughts on “The No-no plate

  1. Interesting, we always made our kids have a “No thank you helping” which meant one spoonful so they tried it at least.


  2. What an awesome idea, wish I could have thought of this when my child was little. I will give it a try when I’m a grandmother.


  3. Did Ava have to kiss the carrots goodbye? My impression was that using the no-no plate was a way to get your kiddo to experience unwanted food with all 5 senses without actually having to eat it, and the kissing was key.

    Since Wednesday we have used this concept at our house, renamed the “compost plate,” and both Neal and I were astounded with how well it worked! The first time it was used for feta sprinkled on scrambled eggs instead of our usual cheddar. Two kids kissed the feta goodbye and one decided to eat it after all. The second time we used it two kiddos kissed meatloaf goodbye and neither ate any that meal. (And we didn’t push them to eat just one bite or use dessert as leverage to try it, which would have been our default approach.) But when we had leftover meatloaf for lunch the next day one nibbled it and one ate three helpings, no questions asked!

    You are so right about the value of following expert advice, or at least trying it, even if it seems absurd. I for one was very pleasantly surprised in this case.


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