It’s after 10pm. On a school night. You’re sitting at the dinner table, staring at a large pile of cold tuna casserole.* Which is exactly the same thing you’ve been staring at for the past two and a half hours.
When my friends and I were kids, we were all told to eat everything on our plates before we could leave the table/have dessert/watch telly. Now that I’m a mum myself, it’s a situation I don’t ever want to find myself in. It’s not fun for my kids. It’s not fun for me.
Have you noticed that some days your kids will eat like a bird, and other days you can’t seem to fill them up? Children moderate their own food intake really well, and it ebbs and flows as they grow. When their bodies are growing, they will eat. They stop for a while when they don’t need it.
It’s a much better idea to offer a range of healthy foods to your child and let them stop when they feel they’ve had enough. Forcing them to finish everything you’ve served up only encourages over-eating now and in the future.
Were you made to ‘clean your plate’ as a child?
*Okay, so tuna casserole ain’t my thing. Insert your most hated dinner here.