Do you think it is right to force a child to sit there and finish all on plate?

United States
February 6, 2008 12:54pm CST
I used to make my children finish all the food I gave them but I don't do it now since I myself stop eating as soon as I feel full. What do you think?
7 responses
@pheebsy (21)
• Philippines
11 Feb 08
i think what you should do is to teach your children about proper nutrition then tell them to only get what food they can finish..if not possible..give them an enough amount first..just gibe more if they ask for more...it is not good for children to have any negative impact on food..so there...:)
@lucy67 (819)
• China
11 Feb 08
i don't think it is right. it's true sometimes some kids don't behave well when having meals but it's not right for parents to force a child to eat. because if one is not in good mood when eating, it will do harm to his health.
@Thoroughrob (11771)
• United States
7 Feb 08
My parents always forced us, and I do think it is wrong. I do not force them to clean their plate, but I do make them eat a serving of vegetables. I also stop when I am full.
@aseretdd (13712)
• Philippines
7 Feb 08
I read that it is not good to force children to finish everything on the plate because that might lead to obesity or other eating problems... the key should be to put not too much food on the plate and just to add more is the children still want more... If they no longer want to eat... it just means that they are full... and we as parents should respect that... my daughter's pediatrician also gave me that advise...
@GardenGerty (90274)
• Marion, Kansas
6 Feb 08
No, I never have felt that way. My parents tried it one time, maybe, that I remember. It was even with a food I like. You just set yourself up for a rebellious child with an attitude like that. I started with small portions and my kids could ask for more. I made a variety of foods so that they could have a choice.
@Sillychick (3282)
• United States
6 Feb 08
No, I don't think it is right to try to force children to eat, let alone forcing them to finish every last bite. I always hated it when my mom said I had to finish because 'there are children starving in Africa.' How is me eating everything going to help them. I think trying to force it leads to unhealthy eating habits because they should learn to stop eating when they are satisfied. Telling them they have to finish everything can lead to overeating, and can be a habit that sticks with them well into adulthood. You made a good point about how you stop when you've had enough. And only you know that. Some days you eat more than other days. All people do. So I think children should be allowed to stop when they've had enough. However, they should be taught not to waste, so try to take only what you will eat.
• United States
6 Feb 08
I guess that depends. I was totally against forcing my children to eat anything. I was raised that way and vowed I would never do it to my kids. However my youngest child had a issue with weight gain, mostly because she would not sit and eat a whole meal. We had to play catch up by putting heavy cream in her milk for the fat content, and I had to make her eat. It was very hard for me, and harder for my husband, but we had to do it. Finally I started giving her 4 small meals a day and 2 snacks and that worked well. Now she has gained weight nicely, back to her average, and will sit through a whole meal like the rest of us. I do agree though that on a normal basis, no I would not force my children to clean their plate. If they are full they are full, that just encourges them to over eat. Maybe make their portion sizes smaller though, so they are eating til they are full and not feeling like they have done something wrong by not emptying their plate.