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does anyone have a good article explaining why children should not be rewarded with food/forced to eat "just one more mouthful"

(24 Posts)
oopsagain Sun 12-Jul-09 21:21:37


i want my nanny to understand that I'm not just being strange
I don't want her to make food a big thing for the kids and "encourage" them to clear their plates by promising pudding...

I can't get through to her by telling her- I'd like her to read a couple of articles to see if that will help.

Washersaurus Sun 12-Jul-09 21:30:35

If only I could get DH to understand this too...

trixymalixy Sun 12-Jul-09 21:39:17

Ooh, DH and i were having a conversation about this tonight. He thinks it's nonsense and DS should be made to eat all his food before he gets pudding. Something to explain this to him would be good if anyone has any links.

hunkermunker Sun 12-Jul-09 21:47:05

You just need Franny to write a long post, Oops grin

oopsagain Sun 12-Jul-09 21:48:18

ohh, we're all lining up here.
Whose going to help us? grin

woodenchair Sun 12-Jul-09 21:49:23

Don't have a link but i'm convinced that my weight issues stemmed(sp) from being forced to over eat as a child. "just eat your meat" was a common chant from my parents. I never really learnt when i was full because they told me that i needed to keep eating.

It took me until my thirties before i could leave anything on my plate.

thepuddingchef Sun 12-Jul-09 21:52:19

I had major issues with ds and eating and I got this book which tells you exactly that (and it worked a treat....he eats very well now.)
It's 'meals without tears' Dr Rana Conway. There might be extracts on the web somewhere

tearinghairout Sun 12-Jul-09 21:58:26

This is something that Paul McKenna emphasises in his book 'I Can Make You Thin'. He does a good job of explaining the harm that this can do, along with the guilt-inducing "There are starving children in India so eat up" - what, so it'll make them feel better for me to get fat?

It's a totally brilliant book. I bought my copy for £5 on Amazon last year & lost a stone and have just about kept it off by following his tips.

greenelephant Sun 12-Jul-09 22:04:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mintyy Sun 12-Jul-09 22:09:56

Susie Orbach is your woman. Don't have time to search for you, but am sure a quick google

food + children + Susie Orbach

will find you lots of invaluable sensible rational advice.

oopsagain Sun 12-Jul-09 22:28:21

greenelephant, that is my point.
I tell them to eat what they need to eat and leave the rest.
I don't make them enormous portions and i do side dishes with veg in them so these can be put in fridge and bought out again next meal.

My kids eat really really well when I/m with them
I know ds2 usually eats alot for about 3 days then next to nothing for a day or so. I don't make him eat on the that day- what's the point.

Anyway, thanks for the replies, will get googling

Pyrocanthus Sun 12-Jul-09 22:41:55

In the Paul McKenna vein, Christopher Green (Toddler Taming) says something along the lines of 'unwanted food is wasted whether it ends up inside the child, the parent or the bin'.

oopsagain Mon 13-Jul-09 00:08:24

i googled susie orbach but didn't find a useful article.
I'll see if i can get a copy of toddler taming- thanks for that.

i just need to be able to give her some information.
i wonder if i'm explaining it well. it's something that stresses me so i may not be doing it all justice IYSWIM

Pyrocanthus Mon 13-Jul-09 12:19:55

oops, I think any childcare book would say something similar - can't think of any childcare guru who'd suggest you stuffed you tot until it popped.

Toddler Taming is useful if read selectively - Green is very brisk and no-nonsense on eating, but at a guess, I would think someone like Tanya Byron would be very good for general parenting and encouraging a healthy attitude towards food - haven't read any of her books, but she's both authoritative and humane.

Be assertive with your nanny - she should do things the way you want them done; you shouldn't really have to supply proof, though I agree it'll make it easier to discuss.

HerHonesty Mon 13-Jul-09 12:54:27

there was a good baby led weaning article in the telegraph a while back which may be a bit young but sort of sets out the principles quite well?

meltedmarsbars Tue 14-Jul-09 10:23:48

Surely the only way that being made to clear your plate would lead to obesity is if there is too big a portion on the plate at the start!!

My children are all made to finish the main course or no pudding, and if there is a disliked item then we agree that half can be left. I always made sure that the portion size is smaller than they would be able to eat - so they can have the pleasure of finishing and asking for more.

Ooopsagain, telling them that its ok to leave lots of food on the plate is teaching them to be wasteful. You putting too much food on their plates is wasteful. (there are starving children in Africa dontcha know? grin)

If youre cooking good tasty food it should all be eaten.

Horton Tue 14-Jul-09 12:17:02

I don't agree, meltedmarsbars. Why should anyone eat what someone else's idea of a portion is? Don't you ever have days when you feel less hungry than usual and don't really fancy a whole meal? I know I do. Equally, sometimes I feel much hungrier and want more than usual. The only person who's qualified to make a judgment on whether I am hungry or not is me and the same goes for children, IMO.

I agree with oopsagain that allowing a child to stop eating when they are no longer hungry is much the best way to do it. I think Penelope Leach's book 'Your Baby and Child' has good stuff on this topic but don't have a copy to hand right now. I bet your local library will have it, though.

Helen31 Tue 14-Jul-09 12:25:05

There is stuff on this in the baby-led weaning book by Gill Rapley, that I noticed chimed with Paul McKenna's observations.

Don't agree with meltedmarsbars, that plates should be cleared, as it is absurd to think that anybody can gauge exactly how much is going to be eaten at a specific meal, especially when most of us are buying the ingredients up to a week ahead.

Do agree that good tasty food is there to be enjoyed though!

Pyrocanthus Tue 14-Jul-09 23:57:01

I agree with not overfacing children with big portions, but I don't think anyone's yet come up with a scientific formula for working out the correct portion size. Learning to stop when you're full is a vital anti-obesity tactic.

And I refer back to the Christopher Green comment that unwanted food is wasted wherever it ends up. You can avoid waste by trying to anticipate how much is likely to be eaten, but not by shovelling the excess into unwilling mouths.

penona Wed 15-Jul-09 21:57:12

Am really interested in this, DH and I been discussing what to do when the DTs don't eat their meal and then want biscuits an hour later cos they are hungry. (we don't give in BTW but the whining is soul-destroying!)
Just wondering how you help a 2 yr old to understand this is mealtime and when we eat, and that there won't be more food on offer later. (which there isn't).

Agree with all of you, as a child we were forced to eat everything on our plates, and as an adult I have to do the same, the feeling that wasting food in the bin is a sin (whereas wasting it in my tummy isn't) is totally ingrained. Am v interested in the comments on Paul McKenna about this - I know is my food (and thus weight) problem.

fruitstick Wed 15-Jul-09 22:07:20

I can't leave food on my plate either.

I never make DS clear his plate but he is not allowed pudding if he hasn't had a decent go at it. It's not making pudding a treat though, merely that if he is not hungry enough to eat his dinner he is clearly too full for pudding.

tomps Wed 15-Jul-09 22:18:17

I've just spent about 15 minutes trying to find an article online which I tore out of paper some years ago on this very subject ! I can't find it but it was by Raj Persaud and he was basically reviewing a piece of research which had just been published ... which I have found for you ! h&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=978a91da9b6dac 401f793e5d14f10433 Hope that works. Persaud wrote:" Puhl and Schwartz discovered that binge eating and chronic dieting in adults are significantly related to their parents' use of food to control their behaviour". Hope you read this after all my research !

penona Wed 15-Jul-09 22:18:28

fruitstick - that is exactly the conversation I had with DD tonight who refused to eat any of her dinner, then moaned for a yogurt like her brother (who had eaten most of his). I totally agree with you, if you're not hungry enough to eat dinner you don't 'need' a pudding

<sneakily eats more chocolate cake now kids asleep. no 'need' there >

Horton Wed 15-Jul-09 22:59:27

I let my child leave her dinner if she is very clear that she doesn't want it. She can have as much fruit as she wants later on and also dull things like slices of bread or cheese (basically stuff that is zero trouble for me). If she doesn't eat her dinner and then fills up on bread, fruit and cheese then I do think that's a perfectly nutritious thing to be eating. I agree that I wouldn't let her have pudding, though, in that case. I do sometimes give her a biscuit or some chocolate (one square or a couple of smarties) when she's eaten well, though I don't explicitly link it to that. She is so skinny that I don't actually think a few empty calories will do her a scrap of harm.

I guess if she was older (she's only 2.10) then I might feel moved to be a bit stricter about when we eat etc but at the moment I honestly don't think she can quite grasp the concept of 'if you don't eat now you'll be hungry later on'.

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