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Clean plate award

(94 Posts)
AlwaysNeverOnTime Sat 19-Nov-16 14:26:31

DD has school lunches on Fridays only. Yesterday she came home with a sticker that said 'clean plate award'. I asked her what it was and she said you get the sticker if you eat everything on your plate. I then asked her if you got one if you eat most of it, but she says no. Only if you eat everything, which us why she's never had one before.

This really annoyed me as my DD was really pleased she had got the sticker and said she's going to try and clean her plate next week too. Now I do think kids should be encouraged to try new foods ect but I don't think children should be trying to eat more just to clean their plate.

DH thinks I'm completely over reacting but I've always had issues with food and am trying to teach my DCs to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full.

Should I speak to the school about this or just leave it? Is this a thing they do in all schools?

INeedNewShoes Sat 19-Nov-16 14:30:15

From what I've read and what I gather from friends with primary children, the portions are absolutely tiny at school lunch. There is no danger whatsoever of a child overeating when they're given one sausage, one scoop of mash and a few peas.

TeacherBob Sat 19-Nov-16 14:41:08

Never seen this as a problem tbh

TeacherBob Sat 19-Nov-16 14:41:33

And now you have me thinking!

TheAntiBoop Sat 19-Nov-16 14:43:56

These have been great for dd as it has encouraged her to try new things (they always put a little bit of everything) and eat a decent portion (served size is not big).

Although it depends on how old your dd is.

Littletabbycats Sat 19-Nov-16 14:46:59

I agree with you op but wouldn't bother saying anything as I'm just not brave enough.

TeacherBob Sat 19-Nov-16 14:56:16

I will wait and see other responses.

We use this in my school, I am now considering challenging what we do.

TheAntiBoop Sat 19-Nov-16 15:00:24

My dd's school they do it for a few reasons - trying new foods, encouraging the kids to eat instead of mess around, ensure they have eaten enough to sustain themselves for an afternoon of school!! Emphasis is on eating a good balance which is served to them. They can get seconds but don't have to finish.

I think it would be different if they serve themselves.

mrz Sat 19-Nov-16 15:01:06

We don't have "clean plate" awards but agree with comment on portion size.

Bagina Sat 19-Nov-16 15:03:25

If the portions are tiny then fine, but as an overweight greedy person, I've been trying to teach my dc to stop eating when they're full, and only eat if they're hungry. I have to stop myself telling them to eat everything. It's very difficult.

BeanAnTi Sat 19-Nov-16 15:19:00

I have started doing this with my class this year (teachers do infant lunch duty here) as they are such terrible eaters.

Our portion sizes are tiny. 3 chicken nuggets/ fish fingers and 3 potato wedge things, about half a cup of soup, tiny slices of meat etc.

It was mostly the boys who were putting food in the bin, which is first of all a waste and second of all, a big effect on behaviour in the afternoon.

AnguaResurgam Sat 19-Nov-16 15:20:59

It depends on the portion size.

Clean plates were expected when I was at school (decades ago!) and I think that led to less fussiness.

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 19-Nov-16 15:26:27

We used to have the "slow eaters" table when I was at school. And Mrs Fisher who used to send you back to the table if you hadn't eaten enough of your braised heart or cod in parsley sauce.

AlwaysNeverOnTime Sat 19-Nov-16 15:27:27

Obviously I would check with the school how the stickers are used as DD is only 5 and I know she can get things wrong.

I don't really think a small portion size makes it okay as some kids survive on very little. My DD for example is a healthy weight/night but eats very very little. Her 3 year old brother eats loads more and is also a healthy weight and height.

AlwaysNeverOnTime Sat 19-Nov-16 15:30:00

That should be height, not night!

Bagina Sat 19-Nov-16 15:32:37

I think it's difficult as they just want to play, and eating is the barrier to that. I'd imagine the waste is terrible, and teaching hungry children just as bad.

BeanAnTi Sat 19-Nov-16 15:40:01

You would look very precious complaining about it OP. I would not force a child to eat but a sticker for eating everything is not going to be eating-disorder inducing.

I am more concerned with children who don't eat enough.

TeacherBob Sat 19-Nov-16 15:46:11

I dunno, my stock answer to most school things are 'give the school a break and let them get on with their job' but I now think I am siding with OP on this....

...bah!

eurochick Sat 19-Nov-16 15:46:18

I'm actually pretty horrified. Learning to eat to appetite and stop when you have had enough is what we should be teaching children.

irvineoneohone Sat 19-Nov-16 15:48:42

What happens to the children with packed lunches? Are they excluded?
(My ds can never have school lunch due to complicated multiple food allergies.)

BeanAnTi Sat 19-Nov-16 15:50:22

If they eat all of their packed lunch, they get a sticker too.

SailingThroughTime Sat 19-Nov-16 15:51:08

I wouldn't be happy at all about it. Being told/forced to eat everything whether hungry or not has caused massive eating issues for me and DH.
People need to eat until satisfied and no more.

Astro55 Sat 19-Nov-16 15:52:15

I was just going to mention packed lunches are excluded!!

We had very sad DC not getting stickers in the lunch hall -

mrz Sat 19-Nov-16 15:52:30

Most children stop eating school lunch when they see others going out to play IMHE not when they are full. I imagine the idea behind clean plate award is to discourage this but like many ideas it depends on the common sense of those implementing it and not insisting a child eat everything to get a reward.

TeacherBob Sat 19-Nov-16 15:52:50

What happens to the children with packed lunches? Are they excluded?

In the case of my school, yes they are.

What we do is have a sticker on the bottom of some plates. The children swap the sticker for a prize (pencil or some other crap). They have to finish their plate to be able to turn it over to see if they have won.

That said, I am not sure that it only goes to people who have finished everything or if it is just the person with the sticker regardless, but I will be asking that question on monday.

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