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February 25, 2019
Why does the “clean your plate” mindset have to stop?

Today, I decided to write a diary different than the others. My motive? The empty plate that…grandmothers desperately want to see, as well as some parents who might have grown up listening to this phrase every time they wanted to leave that last bite of food. In fact, it might have been more than just a bite. The…clean-your-plate mindset is widely spread, without that meaning it is right. Food is definitely supposed to end up in our stomachs and not in the trash, but in no case does this mean that we should pressure our kids or ourselves to clean the plate from the moment we feel full. Why? I’ll tell you right away…

#1

Because the portions we serve might not be the…proper ones. Every man needs a particular food quantity which depends on the gender, age, amount of exercise, and -of course- the overall health. From that point on, though, there seems to be no measure in serving food, as we tend to forget all the above. How is it possible to ask our kids to clean their plate when this plate might even have the portion size that an adult would eat? Here, you will find useful information regarding portion control, while -regarding kids- your pediatrician can answer any questions you might have for the portions you serve -always according to the kids’ age and everyday needs of course.

#2

Because pressure leads to overconsumption. With mathematical precision. It is important to help kids understand that they have to respect food, but in no case does that mean they’ll have to clean their plate if they feel full. By saying “bravo” to a kid because it ate all of its food (without really needing all of it), we lead them to consume a lot more food than they actually need. At the same time, we don’t help them understand and accept the feeling of satiety. What does that mean? That they get used to eating even when they aren’t hungry…

#3

Because our kid might want its plate…differently. Tell me the truth: How many of you let your kids serve food on their own? I imagine only a few. However, it is very important to boost the kids’ self-esteem and let them fill their plate on their own. We can simply have all kinds of foods on the table and suggest that they use all of them to make their plate super…powerful! Here, you can find everything you need to know regarding the healthy eating plate – this plate describes, shortly, which are the food groups that we have to eat in our everyday life and in what quantities they should be consumed. 

#4

Because we might make our kids hate foods that they would differently love (or -at least- put up with)! By pressuring a kid to eat food that it doesn’t love (especially when it feels full), we simply drive it to eventually hate that food…Here, you will find some smart ways to help kids look at foods that they don’t like differently, while here, I have gathered some steps that you can follow in order to teach your kids how to eat healthy.

#5

Because even leftovers can become the best lesson for food management. Their food may not end up in their stomach the first time, but it will the second. Why? Because it will go back into the pot or into a food container, and it will be consumed in the evening or the next day. It is important to teach the kids that food shouldn’t end up in the trash and that there are countless ways to manage any leftovers. Here, you will find interesting information and smart ideas regarding the management of leftovers.

Our food is indeed our strength. Not all of the food, though, but the quantity that we really need in order to feel full, be healthy and full of energy! And that is probably one of the most important things that we have to teach our kids, in a world where food choices are endless. So, our goal should not be an empty plate but a nutritious, tasty meal. And both of these things are up to us ;-)

 

Akis

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