I am unemployed at the moment so we can not afford to throw anything out. If my son can't finish what's on his plate we cover it and save it for later. He just turned 12 and "later" usually means in about 2 hours but it's still better than snacking on junk food.
It comes down to a simple question: what do you want out of life, and what are you willing to do to get it?
Stop digging your grave with your own knife and fork.
Nope! In fact I don't even save it for later knowing I would finish it for her myself (which I DO NOT need to do). So i have told her it is OKAY to throw out food she doesn't want to eat. No one should feel guilt associated with not feeling like eating more. It is VERY hard for me to scrape my plate in the trash - I have to tell myself to leave 3 bites behind so I get practice and hopefully it will become okay for ME not to clean MY plate.
I am going to say I have 2 healthy eaters - what is left on their plates is just excess food - not pickiness. I have a college boy and if dd (9)says she is done, sometimes he will ask if he can have her unwanted food. He is really thin and mostly vegan so he can use the fuel. I tend to cook 4 servings of dinner and the 4th serving is for me to have the next day for lunch (or dd or ds). So I don't usually have enough of anything for leftovers (or second helpings). it REALLY helps me to not snack while cooking or snack on leftovers when each portion feeds one person.
I have taken to making my daughter eat more of her veggies before she can go back for seconds of something else. Only because she will make an entire meal out of her favorite part of the meal, and miss out on everything else because she's full. We have never told her to clean her plate. I do though want her to have a balanced diet, so I like her to eat some of her meat, veggies, etc.
I don't make her eat something she doesn't like, but she does have to try it. She will often make judgements based on how something looks. It always makes me laugh, when it ends up getting a thumbs up.
My children must try everything on their plate. I don't force them to eat anything. And they do not have to clean their plate. I am trying to teach myself that I don't have to clean my plate. However, I also taught my children to eat dinner, then a fruit, then dessert.
Right now my daughter is picky about meat, so I am learn some vegetarian dishes. We all eat vegetarian once a week so my daughter has a break from meat. Some days she eats it easily, some days are a struggle.
If you are concerned, talk to your family doctor. My kids are both healthy and happy so I try not to worry about their food intake. I serve healthy meals (most nights) and they eat a lot of fruit. So far, so good.
I agree with everyone so far. Take one bite and try it before you write it off. However, I don't think anyone should ever be forced to eat when they are not hungry. Wow, do I wish I could unlearn that "clean your plate" attitude that my father pushed on me as a child. Unfortunately, I was already an overweight child and he still required me to "clean my plate."
Now as an adult I feel panic when I see food being "wasted." It has taken me a long time to not feel obligated to finish all the food that was prepared. Don't do that to your kids!
"Fall seven times. Stand up eight." -Japanese Proverb
I require my kids to try a bite of eveything on their plate. This keeps my picky 9 yo son trying new items and giving old "yuck" items a new chance. After that if they are not hungry, like previous post, I cover it and save it for later.
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I encourage my kids to at least take a bite and try something but if they don't like it I don't make them eat it. I too get onto the kids if they get seconds and don't eat it. I also have a 3 year old who wants to eat one food only for dinner and ignore everything else on her plate so if I know it is a food she likes I make her eat it first before getting her more of the other food.
i try to teach them to put a bit on there plate then if they want more they can,when they have the first plate i donīt expect them to eat it all if they donīt want to but if they get seconds then leave it i get a bit narky,saying if you didnīt want it you shouldnīt have got more,as it is a waste but i donīt make them eat it all.i just give them a lecture in the hope that next time they will think twice about getting seconds.
Save it for later. If my kids don't want to eat something I cover it and put it in the frig. Then if they say they are hungry later they can finish their dinner. Like you I think it's important to let kids learn how to eat when they are hungry - just don't let them pass up a healthy dinner in order to eat a snack later.
...for in Him we live and move and have our being. ~ Acts 17:28
My husband and I argue about this topic all the time. We were both raised that you don't waste food and you eat EVERYTHING you are given. He still believes in this philosophy, I however do not. For one thing, my kids are little, (5 and 3) they don't ask for a certain amount of food. I just dish it up. So if they aren't that hungry, I don't think they should be forced to eat it all. Another irritation of mine is that I think forcing kids to "clean" their plates is part of the problem with childhood obesity.
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