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Stickers for eating lunch

(24 Posts)
siblingrevelryagain Wed 21-Jan-15 07:35:31

My 6 year old came home with a sticker yesterday for "eating all his lunch".

He usually has a packed lunch as I feel very strongly about the poor quality of hot lunches at their school, but yesterday circumstances in the evening meant I wouldn't be able to cook so I agreed for them to have a hot dinner.

By giving him a sticker, is it a devious marketing ploy to try to get him to nag me into letting him have his (universal free) hot dinner?

I notice lots of overweight children at school; surely just rewarding kids for clearing their plates sets them up with bad habits as adults (I was brought up in the 70's and 89's where you weren't allowed to leave the table until plate was clear. Now I finish everything, whether I'm still hungry or not)? I allow my kids to leave good on their plate if they're full, so now I have even less of an incentive to push hot dinners!

youbethemummylion Wed 21-Jan-15 07:39:07

I dont think its a plot to influence you into putting them on school dinners, mine regularly come home with stickers like that or that say 'I made healthy choices at dinner today' I wouldn't read too much into it.

2cats2many Wed 21-Jan-15 07:45:24

I think you need to get over it.

glenthebattleostrich Wed 21-Jan-15 07:48:56

DD regularly gets these for making healthy choices and eating all her veggies. Not concerned with it myself.

loudarts Wed 21-Jan-15 07:53:55

My dcs school started getting stickers on Monday for finishing their lunch. The dcs are happy with it so I'm happy. smile

siblingrevelryagain Wed 21-Jan-15 07:55:47

I meant to add that of course he ate it all-it was fish fingers and chips; (the 'healthy' part I guess was the 'boiled-at-9am-at-the-catering company-and kept-hot-for-3-hours-peas!)

If they're rewarding anything with regards to dinner there are a number of other things more important (to me at least) than clearing a plate: behaving nicely in the Q, saying thank you, sharing the water jug with friends, using a knife & fork nicely, sitting nicely at the table, not talking with mouth full...

WillWorkForMoney Wed 21-Jan-15 07:56:09

When my dd1 was younger they gave stickers out for finishing lunch. This resulted in her puking all over the TA as she is a pleaser so forced herself to et when she was full. Not a good idea IMO.

Shakirasma Wed 21-Jan-15 07:59:01

They do this at my school and YABU. You are completely mistaken as to the reasons behind it.

Kids need a good lunch to enable good learning in the afternoon, but given the chance, far too many children will throw a couple of forkfuls down their neck and throw most of it away as they are desperate to get outside to crack on with their oh so important revenge footy game etc. They have plenty of time to do both but kids will be kids and they live in the moment.

We have found stickers a good motivator in encouraging the younger children to sit and eat properly, and in turn they are learning that making time to eat their lunch does not mean they sacrifice their playtime.

fascicle Wed 21-Jan-15 09:08:24

Whatever the reasons behind it, it's a bad idea. Part of healthy eating is knowing when to stop eating. Giving out stickers will help override a natural ability to stop eating when full. It's madness to link eating food with reward. So many people have a less than ideal relationship with food. This will not help matters.

Seff Wed 21-Jan-15 09:14:47

I see why they are used, my 4 year old came home with one the other day (sausage, mash and peas - pretty much her favourite meal) but I agree that it isn't helpful in forming good food relationships.

I know that I should stop when I'm full, but I still feel the need to finish what's on my plate and not waste it. It's very difficult to override that.

Kerberos Wed 21-Jan-15 09:20:20

In our school they do this for the youngest. By the time they are in yr 3/4 they are able to choose how much they eat.

You are over thinking it OP. And not all school dinners are as bad as you think.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Wed 21-Jan-15 09:21:11

I wish schools would swap playtime and eating time around!

WorraLiberty Wed 21-Jan-15 09:23:13

School dinners are seriously small. I think the stickers are a good idea to encourage them to eat, rather than bolt a bit down and then run back out to play.

Having said that, all the schools round here give them for finishing packed lunches too, but given the banquets most children turn up with, very few actually get a sticker.

rookiemere Wed 21-Jan-15 09:26:12

There's lots of things I disagree with around school lunches.

It's not so bad now he's in P4, but when DS was younger they had to bolt down their lunch in lightning speed time to allow other classes to use the area and the first person to finish it got a well done sticker. Just what my slightly chunky child needed, an award for getting his food into his stomach faster than anyone else hmm.

DecaffCoffeeAndRollupsPlease Wed 21-Jan-15 09:41:40

I don't she with children being rewarded for finishing a break as it teaches them to eat what they're served rather than eat to their appetite - a natural skill that gets switched off if you override your natural satiation sensations too many times. Stickers are a great incentive for little children, but they need to be used for the right reasons.

SmokyRobinson Wed 21-Jan-15 09:41:49

I agree with you. Stickers for finishing plates is rewarding the wrong thing imo.
In general I think there's too much attention on what kids eat. Just give them a plate and let them decide how hungry they are, without fussing over them.

HolyTerror Wed 21-Jan-15 12:20:27

I think rewarding a child for eating everything on their plate is poor practice. There's another thread on here at the moment where people are astonished at their small children's self-restraint at eating a little bit of something treat-ish and putting the rest away for another time - I think adults who can't do this, who plough on, slightly sick, to the last chocolate in the box, are in part the result of the 'clear your plate' mentality.

Helphelphelps Wed 21-Jan-15 12:29:31

I agree that it's a good idea to let children decide when they're full, however, if a child is eating two mouthfuls and then running off in order to get a longer lunchtime and then being tired, grumpy and hungry later, i think a sticker to encourage them to eat a bit more is a good idea.

It's fine at home when they can come back to it later, but at school, when it's gone, it's gone.

It also encourages children who perhaps otherwise might not have a balanced diet (eg, eating sausages, but no mash or veg), to eat a 'full' meal.

TBH, if i'm paying £2 every day, i'd really rather DS finished (or at least tried to finish) his meals.

fascicle Wed 21-Jan-15 12:55:12

if a child is eating two mouthfuls and then running off in order to get a longer lunchtime and then being tired, grumpy and hungry later, i think a sticker to encourage them to eat a bit more is a good idea.

In that situation, the supervising adult could ask the child to spend more time in the dining area, before shooting off to play. If the child eats well at breakfast, dinner, break etc, than the quantity eaten at lunch should be less crucial. But the concept of performance related eating stickers is just bonkers.

EatShitDerek Wed 21-Jan-15 13:12:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Helphelphelps Wed 21-Jan-15 13:34:00

I would hope they do that too fascicle

Plenty of people use stickers for toilet training, doing a wee in the toilet etc, how is this different?

It's not like they're punishing them for not eating, they're rewarding them for eating a fairly small balanced meal. It's not perfect, but it might encourage some.

Jollyphonics Wed 21-Jan-15 13:41:48

OP are you sure the sticker was for "eating all his food", and not a reward for general good behaviour at lunch time? At my DCs' school they get stickers for eating nicely, miminal messing around, minimal fuss, being polite, eating their veg, not pushing and shoving to get pudding etc. It's not just about how much food they actually consume. However, when my DCs translate it they say they got a stciker for eating their lunch, because they can't be bothered to articulate the details.

fascicle Wed 21-Jan-15 13:57:04

Plenty of people use stickers for toilet training, doing a wee in the toilet etc, how is this different?

Helphelp Presumably (and hopefully) they are not awarded on the basis of quantity and quality of output, so not quite the same principle as the OP's scenario.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 21-Jan-15 14:03:31

Plenty of people use stickers for toilet training, doing a wee in the toilet etc, how is this different? Eventually most of us have to pee in the toilet. We shouldn't be finishing our food. We should be stopping when full. Small children are actually better at this than a lot of adults and we are training them out of it. Madness.

Hacked is right. Swap the times around.

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