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Was just wondering if anyone else has this syndrome from years of hearing, come on eat it all up, just think of all the starving children around the world that would love that food and no you cant have a dessert until you have finished whats on your plate. Parents mean well but they have a lot to answer for sometimes (sorry mum :D) I decided to bring my daughter up very differently and to this day (she is 18 now) if we are in a restaurant with the older generation and she leaves some of her meal and says she wants to leave it to make room for some dessert the looks of horror on some faces is priceless. Then comes the heated debates about waste of food waste of money etc etc etc. against why eat everything on your plate if you have had enough of it and why not be able to have something sweet as a treat if you want it and have left room for it. grrrrrrrrrr I still believe this goes on and i think it can be part of some peoples difficult relationship with food and also with being able to listen to your bodys fullness meter. It was for me anyway. x x x
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I am the same, I would never encourage my child to finish his plate if he is not hungry.

I do expect him to try things, especially if it is something new to him, as I don't want him to become fussy. But I would never expect him to clear his whole plate. It just enforces bad habits I think.
I was brought up to finish the food on my plate, but it was also because my mum didn't have much money & we couldn't afford to waste anything.

I never forced my children to finish their food. If they left some & wanted a pudding as long as they'd eaten their veggies they were allowed it. Both have a healthy outlook on food now & won't eat just for the sake of it.
Same here i try to encourage them to eat what they can and if they dont eat all then next time i give them a little less and they tend to eat it, we dont have much desserts here as mummy :) would eat them specially with fruit and icecream mmmmm, but another thing if my kids dont eat all there food and its reheatable they say can i finish it off later instead of supper so most food dont get wasted and with having a dustbin for a 16 year old it goes lol.

Becca Wecca

skinny minny here I come!
I remember when i was little my parents would always tell me to finish the plate, but i think that was more for them making sure i'm eating the right food and not getting fussy about what i eat. but as i got older that changed and my parents would say you dont have to eat it all if you're full up. If i was to have children i'm really not sure what i would do!! all i know is i'd want them to have a healthy eating lifestyle
I always finish all the food on my plate, not because it was drummed in to me when I was small, or because of wasting food. It's because I just love eating! I'm sad to say that eating is my favourite thing to do!

My DS has unfortunately inherited my love of eating and always clears his plate even though I've never made it an issue that he has to.


Wishing and hoping!
i think there needs to be some sort of balance as if that is the attitude you might take advantage, i know i certainly would opt out of the healthy go straight to the pudding. I just think it is important to teach about healthy eating :)


Fighting the bulge
I dont know why i do it!! Im terrible, even if im full il leave it to one side thinking i'll leave it until i have more room and then i pick at it until its all gone.

Ive sort of solved this by making smaller portions so that i can put it all on my plate and it still wont be too much - that way if im generally hungary i can make something else.

I tried to encourage my brother to have one more mouthful of things but this is because i'll give him a tiny portion and he'll have 2 mouthfuls and say 'im done' and then an hour later he's telling me that he's starving!!

I was ALWAYS like this until I read a book called 'Overcoming Overeating'

It had this fantastic quote that completely made me change my view of wasting food. Something like:

"Eating something that you don't want/need IS STILL WASTING FOOD- so you may as well put it in the bin"

i think there needs to be some sort of balance as if that is the attitude you might take advantage, i know i certainly would opt out of the healthy go straight to the pudding. I just think it is important to teach about healthy eating :)
:) yes i think thats very true also, healthy eating, healthy amounts, good nutritional education and if you are in that mind set and truly practice this then it would be unlikely you would take advantage by skipping straight to pudding unless it was fresh fruit salad ;). Unfortunately i dont practice this and although im trying to stop the clean up your plate thing, the things i tend to leave are the veg cos i like the meat and potatoes more. So new angle for me, eat the veg first and leave some of the potatoes or meat when i feel reasonably full but not stuffed. What a battle this is after years of malfunction on my part :eek::eek:


Silver Member
I clear my plate because I love food and if I've made something I particularly enjoy then I want to eat it all!!

That said, I swapped my main dinner plates for smaller plates so my portions are smaller.


Fighting the bulge
I agree with the above!! We were always told eat your meat as thats what were paying for! Esp. with meals out, I can understand the logic that if u pay £15 for a steak meal - it is the steak your paying for, im going to attempt to eat my potatoes etc last for now on :)
My Parents always enforced the "you will not leave the table until your plate is empty" theory. We never had pudding, as that was considered a luxury in our house! Lol. Up until 2 years ago I used to feel guilty about how much food was being wasted..until my GB! Now I just cook the same quantity of food that I would give to my Daughter!
My little one eats as much as she wants to. She has seconds at Nursery and eats healthily (I am never worried about her appetite!). She always tries something new when it is offered to her to form her own decisions about whether she likes something or not. The other morning she tried grapefruit and really likes it!
The only rule we have is that snacks are more fruit than anything else, although she has sweets too.
I rmember going on one of those holidays where you were sat round a table every night with the same people. It fascinated me the order people at things in. It struck me that the skinny ate the best first, and those that obviously struggled saved the best til last. There were four couple round this table. On lady was skinny, me and another three that obviously struggled. I asked the skinny lady why she at the best bits first. She just said that she had to eat the best things first, in case she didn't ahve room for it after eating the rest. Well all us other three just looked at ehr like she was bonkers, with out chins on the floor. She was eating steak at the time, and eating it first. One of the other ladies eventually said, but you would always ahve room for the steak, no matter what, surely!! She said that no, not if she'd filled up with veg. Perhaps that's the difference in the relationship with food. I could never leave a bit of food I love, just because I'm full. Never!! I remember the first time I went out for a meal without parents, acting at being grown up. It was a pub, and I had scampi, chips and peas. I hate peas. I was half way through swallowing the peas like pills with my coke, so I could then relax and enjoyt the rest when I suddely thought to myself. What am I doing!!?? My Mum isn't here to amke me sit here til its gone. The weird thing is though, I'm not sure she ever did that anyway. The school dinner ladies did though. I jsut felt guilty with my Mum. She worked full time, ina stressful job, m,oney was tight, then she would come home and cook. I jsut felt guilty if I didn't eat ehr food!

crikey Lynda "mumtheshopper" that is really interesting. So, i tend to leave the veg or salad and eat the meat and potatoes cos i prefer the latter. I've just been and asked my daughter who tends to leave the potatoes and her answer to leaving those was that she likes all of them but prefers the salad/veg and meat and doesnt mind leaving potatoes if she feels full. Obviously then, i just prefer the foods that are not quite as healthy and have more calories. Must stop clearing my plate and must retrain taste buds. Lets hope the saying of "cant teach an old dog new tricks" is wrong :confused:

I also remember our dinner ladies making us finish all our meal and i remember swallowing garden peas like medication. Still dislike them even now :) x x

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