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DS1 - given a prize for eating all his lunch...what do you think?

(8 Posts)
oopsagain Thu 11-Jun-09 08:48:55

I have never ever told/ encouraged my kids to eat all ntheir food...

I tell them they need to listen to their tummy/body and eat what they need to eat.
And sometimes they don't eat much and sometimes they eat 3 platefuls...
I guide them as to what is protein, what is carb etc and if they aren't eating alot of one or the other i explain what each is for and it usually triggers them eating it.

So today- and not for the first time, ds1 came hoem with a ticket to a raffle for eatng all his lunch.
It's happened before and he maintians that anyone who eats all their food will get one.
Not sure what the prize is.. a bigger pair of traousers amybe???

anyway- having suferred food issue all my friggin' life due to eating to please my mum etc i just don't want my kids to do the same.

Am i right in worrying about this- or just a bit precious?

i really don't want them to be encouraged to over eat on a competative basis....

melissa75 Thu 11-Jun-09 09:54:26

This is such a difficult issue, because I totally see what you are saying, and I totally agree with you, speaking as someone who struggled with weight as a child...and still do now, but have learnt healthy eating habits now, which I did not learn as a child. Anyway, I understand your concerns re this, however, I also see the other side of the issue, working in a school, there are SO many children with packed lunches and school dinners who either do not like what they have, or for whatever reason throw their food out without eating it...and then we get the parent in saying "I do not know what my child has eaten because you allow them to throw it out" or on the other side of the spectrum, we get the parent whose child does not want their lunch so leaves it in their packed lunch box so mum and dad can see what they have and have not eaten and inevitably we get complaints about that too, where parents come saying "why is my child not eating their food, and why are you not encouraging them to eat it" and on and on and on...so my point is, as you can see, no matter what is done, there is always going to be parents with issues over it. Although I do not know your school and obviously cannot comment directly on their reasonings, I have taught in schools where children get "rewards" for finishing all their lunch, and the reasoning behind it is because too many parents come complaining when their child does not eat all their lunch...so a rule has to be made. Its difficult, because your one parent, and although I am sure there are other parents who agree with you, a school is very often dealing with 200+ families, and they have to try to please all of them, which is impossible...but they have to go with what they feel is best, and obviously under the circumstances, they have decided to do the route you describe.

The only thing I can suggest is if you are really that against it, speak to the school and tell them your feelings and tell them that you do not want your child to participate in the scheme, but then do not complain when your child does not get the "raffle ticket" for finishing all his lunch and he comes crying to you at the end of the day that his friends all got one and he did not.

We just cannot please everyones wants and needs, and sometimes you just have to think where your issues truly lie, and what your willing to accept and what your not, but if you are truly not able to accept it, then you must be willing to deal with all aspects of changing the way it works. (as in what I described above)

oopsagain Thu 11-Jun-09 10:18:01

ok, i spoke to another parent at the school who loves the dinner tickets. he ds has food issues and won't eat much at all. so it's an important thing for them to help him eat.

I don't agree with it applied school wide, but i appreciate that maybe it's not such a big deal.

I can cvarry on treating the kids the smae as i usually do and explain why they do it...

<puts handbag down and gets cup of tea instead>

goldrock Thu 11-Jun-09 10:20:10

I agree with you OP, i don't think its right to reward children for eating everything just for the sake of it. You don't say how old your DS is or if its a hot or packed lunch but assumimng he's old enough to know that if he doesn't eat everything he may be hungry later then he should be left to make his own mind up.
My DCs have packed lunches and I would be annoyed if I thought they were being forced to eat it all. I try to give them food they like but sometimes I try new things and often put something in the wrong box and DCs get something they don't like and it would be wrong for them to have to eat it just because it was there.
At my DCs school there are a couple of children who don't eat much and I know they are sometimes left in the hall until they've finished while the others play which seems strange to me.

edam Thu 11-Jun-09 10:22:53

I'd be a bit taken aback if ds's school did this for the reasons you outlined in the OP. But interesting what you say about the other parent.

So I'm going to sit on the fence!

juuule Thu 11-Jun-09 10:25:01

I agree with your op, oops.

I would be upset by this and go into school to let them know. I'd also opt my dc out of the raffle and let my dc know why. It's not a race or a competition.

travellingwilbury Thu 11-Jun-09 10:28:55

I agree that it sounds like a weird way of teaching children about food but it does sound like your ds has listened to you rather than the teachers anyway . If this has only happened a couple of times then he is probably getting the ticket on the day he would have eaten all of his lunch anyway rather than feeling forced into doing it .

If he was coming in waving a ticket every day then I would be more concerned .

oopsagain Thu 11-Jun-09 11:37:07

stupid thing was , he has packed lunch and he'd actually left some of it!!

I do have problems around him and food, but my way of dealing with it is to pout the food on a plate and put it in fromt of him and use the opportumity for us to sit and tlk- usually there's me, ds1 and ds2 and it's a nice sociable occaision.

They ea what they need to eat.
and if they clear the paltes, i'll suggest we have some pancakes or ice cream - but don't use it as a reward IYSWIM. i just ask if they have a bit of space for it.

I praise them for sitting nicely a t the table and using cutlery as well as they can. And i don't tolerate whining about the food- if they don't like it they can leave it..
And if they are still hungry later- i do sometimes dish up the dinner againa dn they eat it!

Anyway, I have other fish to fry with the school.. (ha- see what i did there grin)

I'll let it go- mty friend has big big issues iwth her ds so I'd hate to mess that up.
And for ds1 it has only been twice- I just didn't really know it was happeneing.

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