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How to reinforce a child's negative views about food.

(22 Posts)
Goldmandra Sun 15-Jun-14 16:14:30

I cannot imagine a better way to teach children that eating is a chore to be endured in order to gain an extrinsic reward than this plate.

This is an appalling idea and I dread to think what you are supposed to put in the reward pot at the end. A sweet I assume, just to ram the negative message about savoury food home.

I agree it's stupid. But I don't have a fussy eater so maybe I'm talking shite.

whitepuddingsupper Sun 15-Jun-14 16:19:18

I quite like it but I

whitepuddingsupper Sun 15-Jun-14 16:19:32


whitepuddingsupper Sun 15-Jun-14 16:20:41

I'm not going to pay £17 for it as I think the novelty would wear off pretty quickly.

£17! Bloody hell.

LastTango Sun 15-Jun-14 16:22:47

The last time I saw Dr Tanya Byron with a 'fussy' non-eater, they were clapping and praising every single mouthful. Far from being negative, it turned eating into a positive activity.

What's the difference between ^^ and the plate?

Goldmandra Sun 15-Jun-14 16:22:56

£17 to teach your child to feel even more pressured and negative about eating their meals.

What a bargain!

Goldmandra Sun 15-Jun-14 16:27:48

I tried to be charitable when I saw TB doing that and allow for the fact that there may have been other complications in that case. I don't know why she did that but it goes against all the research I read and may well have been edited to show a more positive outcome.

There is plenty of evidence that rewarding children for eating causes them to view it more negatively and contributes to the battles for control that dominate mealtimes in households where there are fussy eaters.

In 14 years of childminding I have seen it first hand dozens of times.

ErruptionOnMyShoulder Sun 15-Jun-14 17:25:45

I quite like it but I have a 6 year old with ASD and learning difficulties who eats a very limited diet!

For school lunch he has two plates - one of food he loves and the other is food he has to try / wouldn't eat easily. He has to make a good effort with the first plate before he can have the second plate!! In the last few weeks since trying this method he is eating a far greater variety of food. Before he would have lived on bread and cucumber!!!

It's easy to be judgemental, and I'm so glad you have all the answers, some of us have to do our utmost with children who will not eat.
I'm not going to pay that much for a plate but if I did the "reward" for ds would be melon or cucumber, he hates sweets!!!

VitoCorleone Sun 15-Jun-14 17:34:17

I don't see any problem other than the price

Goldmandra Sun 15-Jun-14 19:29:49

I've held enough parents' hand through getting them to take a step back and allow their child to take responsibility for what goes in their mouths to know that this is a really bad idea.

It isn't 'all the answers' and I'm well aware that eating problems in children with ASD are massively complicated to the point of being life threatening at times but this is not a good thing to promote for NT fussy eaters.

CorusKate Sun 15-Jun-14 19:35:28

You do not tell me what order to eat my food in. Fuck off. grin

BertieBotts Sun 15-Jun-14 19:42:11

I'm with you OP.

Goldmandra Sun 15-Jun-14 22:45:52

I'm with you OP.

Glad I'm not completely out on my own limb with this grin

Didactylos Sun 15-Jun-14 22:50:15

Seems odd

I do like the unnatural photoshop on the pictures though

CailinDana Sun 15-Jun-14 22:51:42

I think food is one area where rewards should be used with extreme caution. With food you are essentially asking someone to put something into their body. Because of that, and because we're programmed to be wary about food (as in the past, eating the wrong berries could mean game over) messing with reactions and forcing eating can be very very damaging emotionally. My DH is very picky and it always frustrated me. But now that I see how MIL is with DS around food, I totally get his "pickiness" - it's not pickiness at all. In fact, MIL is so controlling about food, that he reacted as a child by absolutely needing to control food himself. He has let go of that control so, so slowly over the years but it is still very entrenched. He is not picky at all, in fact he has a very eclectic taste and likes most things, but he was so harrangued by his mother as a child that he cannot relax, to the extent that he has to cook every single meal we eat as he cannot bear the thought of me making him eat something he doesn't want.

Goldmandra Sun 15-Jun-14 22:58:59

he cannot relax, to the extent that he has to cook every single meal we eat as he cannot bear the thought of me making him eat something he doesn't want.

That is really sad.

The problem with rewards is that they can create a negative view where there was not one in the first place. I remember being taught in a child psychology class about an experiment in which children had a free choice of activities but were rewarded for a popular one (I think it was painting). After the rewards stopped the children chose the activity less than they had prior to the rewards because the reward had cause them to view the activity as less attractive, i.e. it can't be fun if I am rewarded for doing it.

LatinForTelly Sun 15-Jun-14 23:08:37

I have a child with a growth and feeding disorder who I think would be classed as 'neurotypical' and this plate would've been great for him when he was learning to eat (aged 4).

For a start, he's mega competitive, and the competitive framing of food might have spurred him on grin

Also, breaking up a 'big' scary meal into tiny bitesize chunks would have been appealing to him. It would also have sorted the food-touching thing out for him.

I dunno, I think there are worse things tbh. But it is very expensive, yes!

MonterayJack Mon 16-Jun-14 00:24:28

I don't think it's a good idea. Whether you deconstruct a sandwich into a smiley face or make a plate into a game, you still can't get round the fact that if a child meets a taste or texture they don't like, they still are going to struggle to eat it. And the bigger deal that is made about that, the bigger the potential problems. I'm sure that when my very fussy dd was little she would have loved this plate, but I don't think it would have done her any favours in the long run when it came to having a healthy relationship with food. Mind you, saying that, despite my best attempts she still became anorexic in her late teens.

CouldntGiveAMonkeysToss Mon 16-Jun-14 09:15:46

I think the plate looks quite fun and could work for some kids who don't eat but I really really dislike the way so many parents are so controlling over food. I grew up with an anorexic mother and it was awful feeling that every bite you took was being monitored and judged. I also had food forced in my mouth even as a teenager.
As a result I will not make food into an "issue" for my children.
I cook healthy meals and put it on their plate. if they eat it then great, if they don't (and my ds2 rarely does more than pick at it) then the plate is taken away without comment at the end of the meal.
If there is dessert I allow them to eat it even if they haven't eaten the main meal (dessert is normally something fairly healthy like fruit and plain yoghurt or custard)
I was at a children's party recently, a lunch for the children was provided in a box. It grated on me that all I could hear was "no, put that down, you can have the biscuit if you eat your sandwich" "just one more bite of sandwich" "no you can't have the crisps you haven't finished your sandwich". I wanted to shout "IT'S A FUCKING PARTY!" I just chatted to my kids instead and they actually left the chocolate biscuit as they were too full but I wouldn't have given a shit if they'd ate it either.
I find it odd to basically say if you force a sarnie in even if you're not that hungry you can have a "treat". It's rewarding kids for eating and encouraging over eating in my opinion.
My ds2 eats very little but he's healthy and energetic and right weight for his height so I presume he knows his body best.
Meal times should be a relaxed family time.

Goldmandra Mon 16-Jun-14 10:13:40

but I don't think it would have done her any favours in the long run when it came to having a healthy relationship with food.


It might work in the short term as a new way to pressurise children into eating a few more mouthfuls on one or two occasions but, in the long run, the messages it gives will do nothing but harm to their perception of food and eating.

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