Why You Shouldn't Encourage Your Kids To Finish Their Plate

July 5, 2018

© Photowitch | Dreamstime

While mom and dad know a lot of things, teaching you to eat everything on your plate was probably not the best parenting, according to dieticians. In fact, we should do the opposite. Truth is you want kids to stop eating when they feel full regardless of whether the food is finished or not. Being told to finish everything on your plate often encourages overeating and eventually, emotional eating when they get older. A far better strategy is to ask them how hungry they are out of ten and serve them accordingly. Other parenting advice at the dinner table is to stop calling food "good" or "bad." While we may label watermelon as a good food and cake as bad one, labeling food demonizes it and could lead to your kids hiding "bad" food and feeling guilty when eating it, which can lead to emotional eating and yo-yo dieting. Avoid calling your kid a picky eater. By telling your child they're 'picky', you're encouraging them to actually be a fussy eater. Instead, hope that it is a phase and make mealtimes as stress-free and easy as possible. Make sure you aren't rewarding them by finishing their plate. If you find your child has eaten more than they would have done normally, acknowledging it is fine but praising them or demonizing them can again lead to emotional eating later in life. Finally, don't beat yourself up if you don't get it right every time. Being aware of triggers and working to prevent situations from becoming triggers is not easy but self-awareness is enough knowledge for you to offer the best food parenting as possible to your children. No one is perfect so don't expect yourself to be perfect in guiding you kids in healthy eating habits. 

SOURCE: Daily Mail

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