Clean Plate Policy: Not Always The Best Policy

In many homes, parents enforce a Clean Plate Policy, meaning that what is on your plate has to be finished, there is to be no wasting of food. It is an extension of the premise: Waste not Want not.

Fair enough at one level, that you are teaching your children the value of food because so many people in the world have so little. Also parents often feel that their child has not eaten enough; or more particular has not eaten enough of that which is nutritious. [child nutrition]Clean Plate Policy

Recently however hat it is thought the Clean Plate policy may not be the best policy; It is suggested that parents ought not to insist that their children belong to the Clean Plate Club.

There is the apprehension that this is a habit that causes children to overeat and form a lifelong habit of overeating; consequently risking obesity and its attendant problems.

Generally if parents insist on their children finishing everything on their plate, the child grows up into an adult who feels guilty if everything on their plate is not over and will strive to finish everything even when there is the feeling that one is full or a level of satiety has been reached.

Many people who have tried to lose weight as adults often find that if as children they were taught to clean their plate, they met with less success in their weight loss endeavors later in life.

It is also thought that parents tend to perpetuate another fallacy in their children, that of not ‘spoiling dinner’ or ‘spoiling lunch’ by not letting the child eating anything while waiting for a meal. This is so that the snack that precedes the main meal does not spoil the appetite of the child.

It is now felt that this is also not the best of policies, because this may be a reason why a person may overeat at the actual meal time. Because by the time the meal is actually ready or it is actually time for lunch or dinner the child is so hungry that he or she may well overeat. This again is a habit that is likely to follow a child through their life even as an adult.

So perhaps the next time you insist upon your child clearing his or her plate, contemplate on whether he or she is just fussing or whether they have really had enough and are really full.

When you deny a child a snack before a meal consider that it may not be the best thing to do; a reasonable solution would be to give the child a healthy snack at such a time; offer a carrot stick or a fruit. [healthy snacks for kids]

It will take the edge off the hunger, it is good for your child and he or she is not likely to over eat because he or she is no longer so very hungry!


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