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The Clean Plate Society

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I grew up in what I like to call "the clean plate society". I'm sure many who grew up in the 60s & 70s share my experience. And I am married to someone who still believes every scrap of food should be eaten off every plate.
In my case, I believe this comes from my parents upbringing. Both my mother & father are children of immigrants. My father's family was well off, but my mother's family was not. She was the youngest of 5 children & in her family, every penny counted & had to s-t-r-e-t-c-h. Her fears of being 'without' have totally ruled her life. And ours. As a result, eating EVERYTHING served was the rule.
Of course, this, then, influences how I ate as an adult. I ate EVERYTHING. And I made sure the plate was clean even when I was already full. I can remember eating until I felt sick because I didn't want to miss out on any food item available. I ate my way to 187 pounds!
As I began losing weight, I was able to change my thinking. Instead of needing to eat everything, I told myself that I could eat it at another meal. Funny thing I learned though - I never want that food at another meal.
I can now leave food on my plate. In restaurants, I don't order much & I usually have them bag up quite a bit. I watch as others around me keep shoveling it in, but I no longer feel the need.
So there might be waste at my house...but there won't be too much 'waist' for my body!
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    2493 days ago
    I want to follow up here with a comment from my pediatrician about our children & grandchildren. When my youngest son was 4 & we went for our annual visit to the doc, he had gained only a pound since the visit before. He was VERY small. The doc suggested that our putting food on his plate very well may be his undoing. When a small child is handed a plate piled with food, he can become overwhelmed & not eat at all. Instead, in promoting healthy eating habits, let the little ones serve themselves. If you are serving healthy foods, then your little ones will be choosing from healthy foods, no matter how much they eat. But by allowing them to choose from available healthy items, they will get what they want to eat in the amounts they can handle. We're not cringing at the wasted food & they are learning to feed themselves appropriately & in the correct amounts, thus never having to go on a 'diet'.
    2498 days ago
    I grew up that way too but I never put anything on plate I did not want to eat or cared for. I was such a picky eater so I would spend most evenings at the table because I wouldn't eat anything except for corn & bread off my plate. My mother tried her best to no avail I got in the "real" world and found burgers & fries & the rest is a life filled with not being healthy even though I was at what was considered to be healthy. It's uphill struggle but I'm going to be healthy at all cost.

    God bless & thank you for sharing!

    2498 days ago
    So true. I too, grew up learning about starving children so be thankful and eat your food. emoticon Thank goodness Sparkies help us remember eating it all isn't going to help the starving children.
    2498 days ago
    I also grew up in the clean plate society - and had to worry about children starving in a variety of places all over the world. Of course, in the 50's and 60's when I grew up, we didn't tell our parents to "send the food there" - wherever children were starving. But that's what my son used to tell me. Send that food to China, or the Sudan, or wherever ...

    Now that I have grand kids, I tell them there are two places to waste food. Inside you and outside of you. And which is worse? I make sure they understand that "inside waste" is bad. And while it hurts me to see them leave food - often a lot of it on their plates - I just let it go.

    2498 days ago
  • PJ2222
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    2498 days ago
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