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Do you think that telling a child to eat all their food is bad for them?

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Old 01-21-2012, 08:59 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MariaMaria View Post
You know, your parents did their best.

Part of being a grown-up is accepting that your parents were flawed, and moving on.

You eat too much because you eat too much, not because It's All Mommy's Fault.
I vehemently don't agree with this. I think it's patronizing, borderline insulting, and it doesn't recognize that some people had a different upbringing than you. Some parents did NOT do their best, and part of understanding our flaws is understanding where they came from and learning tools to move past it. Some tools include talking it out, and resolving not to repeat mistakes. I experienced the same thing sontaikle did:


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Originally Posted by sontaikle View Post
I too was raised in a house where we were told to clean our plates and forced to eat things we didn't want. ... I was yelled at because I ate too slow and was forced to choke down my meals.

[...]

I'm still angry about it [...]
I experienced the same thing. If I didn't clean my plate in a certain amount of time, I got "the belt". This is just one more chapter in an abusive upbringing. It's not like I was underweight and finicky... I remember being fat from as young as 5. I was full to the point of gagging and heaving and still forced to clean my plate, which was loaded up with adult-sized portions.

I have NO CONCEPT of "just enough food to be satisfied" as a result. I'm trying to learn it now, but it's difficult.




If your physician says you need to feed your child more in order to keep them healthy, ask them how much, and ask them for tactics that won't create an unhealthy relationship with food. Yes, it's a fine line to walk where you can feel damned if you do, and damned if you don't. I think being aware enough to ask the question puts you way ahead of the game.

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Old 01-21-2012, 09:56 AM   #17
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I do think our childhoods contribute to food behaviors. Yes, most of our parents tried their best. In my case this was true. No one is perfect though.

We were always told to clean our plates. For the starving kids in... (insert current famine area.) We were also told to not take more than we could eat, which was a hard concept to grasp as a child. I think the most damaging thing, for me, was how much my father over ate. He would eat 3-4 large servings, not just seconds. I wanted to be just like Daddy, so I over ate too.

I think it's really important to model the behaviors you want your kids to have.
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telorida View Post
I vehemently don't agree with this. I think it's patronizing, borderline insulting, and it doesn't recognize that some people had a different upbringing than you. Some parents did NOT do their best, and part of understanding our flaws is understanding where they came from and learning tools to move past it. Some tools include talking it out, and resolving not to repeat mistakes.
I agree that the way you were raised has an impact on your behavior as an adult. It makes it harder to develop good habits after you've been taught terrible ones. The only thing I'd add though is that you can't help how you were raised...but you can change how you live your life today. It's just a shame that some parents gave their kids a crappier hand to start the game with. My parents taught my brother and I bad eating habits, my brother being the worst, but I'm trying to break them. I don't think I'll ever make an impact on my family but my brother is a few pounds shy of being considered officially overweight so we'll see what happens.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:18 PM   #19
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How about making smaller plates for them not putting as much food on their plates as you normally would and see how that goes? (or if they're serving themselves mention it to them that they never can finish their meal so instead of grabbing so much take a little at a time and go back for seconds if their still hungry.) I know sometimes you just can't finish a meal because you're that stuffed (thats when I'd say it's a little unfair to demand your child to finish their food off their plates.)...that being said you shouldn't see them getting up for a snack an hour later because they are "hungry" if they claimed they were too full.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:50 PM   #20
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exactly! if you put small/normal portions of healthy food, the child can eat it all up.
teaching your child to leave food or throwing it away is very arrogant in my opinion.
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:36 PM   #21
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I don't put much on their plate, and I try to get them to eat most. If they don't they will be in the junk 30 min later. They are both normal weight. My other is a toddler so I just try to get him to eat anything LOL. I try to focus on the health part of eating with them, never the fat/weight issue.
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Old 01-24-2012, 02:39 PM   #22
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I tell my kid to eat til she's ok and put the rest in the fridge for later. There. Leftovers aren't wasted and she isn't being overloaded.

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Old 01-24-2012, 03:41 PM   #23
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It really depends. I'd say my opinion lies closest to berryblondeboys - push if your kid is in danger of being unhealthily underweight, and let them do what they do otherwise.

On the flipside, I think pointing out that an overweight kid eats too much can be detrimental to their weight. They may start hoarding and binging in secret, which is never good.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:35 PM   #24
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I am so glad someone started this thread. My aunt tells everyone that I blame her for me being overweight, and she's right. I spent a lot of time staying with my aunt and grandmother when I was younger. My mother worked a lot. I was forced to er everything on my plate. The bad part about it was she let me fix my own plate then would tell me if I was gonna put it in my plate I had to eat it. I was a child! Why couldn't she fix my plate with what she thought was a normal amount of food and then scold me if I didn't eat it? Anyway, I have struggled with weight my whole life. She says it's hereditary. Just because they always over ate doesn't mean I had to!
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:24 PM   #25
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Without having read all of the previous posts, I do think that telling a child to finish their plate is bad.

I come from a family where it was common to polish off the entire plate and then have all the fixins at the table to get more. It was buffet style every day (and man the food was good - ok lemme stop LOL).

Children have the inherent ability to know when they are and are not hungry. We all do. Environmental factors change that as we get older, i.e. being forced to eat everything on the plate regardless of hunger level, not developing healthy coping mechanisms.....

I honestly feel that if we are left alone as kids (i.e. eat until we are no longer hungry), we wouldn't struggle with over-eating or feeding emotions when we grow up.
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:30 PM   #26
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I have two children. They are 7 and 4. They are both naturally active and thin. My only rule is that they try everything on their plate. I think making a child clean their plate sets them up for a life of needing to feel "full". Children are pretty good at regulating their hunger. Mine eat when they're hungry and stop when they're full. I don't want them to lose the ability to feel that. Sometimes they want seconds. Sometimes they barely eat at all. It's all fine. Barring a serious medical condition, a child will not starve himself!
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:19 AM   #27
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I actually was talking about this today. Whereas, I don't think there is anything wrong with a parent encouraging a finicky child to eat, I don't think a child should be forced to eat if genuinely not hungry/not malnourished. My son pulls the "i'm not hungry" card quite often. When he does this, since he is a teenager, I tell him I don't care if you don't eat the sides, but you will eat some protein. I also don't make him "clean his plate". I could not get up from the table when I was a little girl UNTIL all of my food was gone. I hated it and used to sit at the table for HOURS after everybody was done. In the end I just found clever ways of discarding the offending foods (in my pants--on a trip to the bathroom). So I don't think that is a good policy in all, and it made me feel very secluded from my family who would move on to watch movies in the living room together.I felt like it was their way of punishing me for being different/stubborn.
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