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Clean Your Plate 
7th-Oct-2010 08:33 am
Thanksgiving
Poll #1628822 Clean Your Plate

When you eat a meal, do you usually clean your plate (i.e. eat almost everything on the plate)?

Yes, always
9(10.0%)
Yes, usually
41(45.6%)
More often than not
21(23.3%)
About half the time
8(8.9%)
Less than half the time
7(7.8%)
Almost never
2(2.2%)
No, never
0(0.0%)
Something else
2(2.2%)

Which of the following statements apply to you?

As a child I was told by my parent(s) to eat everything on my plate
41(15.2%)
I eat almost all of my meal because I know that there are people in the world who don't have enough to eat
12(4.5%)
I try to get my children to eat everything put on their plate
4(1.5%)
When I eat a restaurant meal I try to eat everything I order so I get my money's worth
37(13.8%)
I don't eat everything on my plate because I believe that contributes to obesity
12(4.5%)
I eat almost everything on my plate because I don't want to seem wasteful
32(11.9%)
I feel guilty if I don't eat everything on my plate
26(9.7%)
If I am a guest at someone's house for a meal, I try to eat everything I'm served so as not to seem rude
42(15.6%)
I like to leave food on my plate so I don't overeat
14(5.2%)
I think the message of "eat everything on your plate" is harmful
42(15.6%)
I don't agree with any of these statements
7(2.6%)
Comments 
7th-Oct-2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
I do portion control before the food hits the plate. Also, I almost always take half my food from a restaurant home because portions are mostly too large. But I still consider that "cleaning the plate" because I am eating it eventually. I do my best to not throw any food out - I just eat it over a longer time period.
7th-Oct-2010 04:11 pm (UTC)
If I'm at home, then I only put on my plate what I can eat.

If I'm at a restaurant, I know that there's no way I can eat everything. So if I eat half or less then I take home the rest.
7th-Oct-2010 04:12 pm (UTC)
As a child my parents used to always comment on the fact that I never finished my food. They're divorced, so it was from each of them separately, but it still occurred. When I would finish everything, I basically got applauded. I'm not obese now, just slightly overweight, but I still consider it to be a result of the "Eat all your food!" statements. My mom has terrible portion control and I keep trying to teach her it.
7th-Oct-2010 04:13 pm (UTC)
I think these answers largely depend on how much food is on the plate. I eat everything on my plate at home because I put it there and it is what I want and how much I want.

At a restaurant, I usually do not clean my plate.
7th-Oct-2010 04:25 pm (UTC)
No one in my family ever made me eat everything on my plate. It was always eat what you can or want and save the rest for later.

I wouldn't force my kids to eat everything on a plate, it could contribute to overeating in adulthood and eating something that you don't want or are too full for is just as wasteful as throwing it away. It can all be saved for later.

That said, I usually clean my plate anyhow because I love food.
7th-Oct-2010 04:52 pm (UTC)
I generally clean my plate at home where I control my own food's ingredients and portions. At restaurants I often find myself full after 1/3 to 1/2 of my food is gone.
7th-Oct-2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
If I'm at home, I always serve myself enough food and eat it all. If I'm at a restaurant, I may not be hungry enough to finish it all; depending on what is left, I'll doggie bag it and eat the leftovers another day.
7th-Oct-2010 08:00 pm (UTC)
I portion control when I put food on my plate. I'm unfortunately in a situation (though amazing otherwise) where my plate is filled for me and I am given HUGE portions. My housemate and I are good about eating everything we're given, even if it's a bit too much, but one day she just couldn't finish what she was given and our host mom gave her the 'there are starving people out there' lecture. :(
7th-Oct-2010 08:01 pm (UTC)
I don't have a lot of money, so I rarely get to eat as much as I can actually eat when I'm home as I have to save money.
When I'm eating out at a friend's place or at my family's place, I try to eat as much as possible - I usually take minimum two portions.
When I'm eating at a restaurant I eat everything on my plate (Portions where I'm from is around half the size of the portions I've seen at restaurants in New York).
7th-Oct-2010 08:21 pm (UTC)
I usually end up bringing half of my restaurant orders home with me. I don't even try to finish them, because inevitably I will regret it.

My parents always served family style, so we took how much we thought we would eat. Although she would never FORCE us to finish, we had to at least try everything we took, and we were encouraged to not take more than we could eat, since we could always take more.

We don't make our child eat everything on her plate either (she's not old enough to create her own portions), but we like her to at least TRY everything. And if she doesn't, oh well. Our dog is all the happier for leftovers. ;)

Also, yay for Tampa!
7th-Oct-2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
I'll eat until I'm full. After that, I'll save the leftovers for lunch the next day, or later that night if the dinner was early.

Usually if I'm eating at another's house, you serve yourself the food so as not to potentially waste it. If I was served a portion I couldn't finish, I don't think I'd feel bad about it. I'd compliment the food and ask to take my remaining portion home if possible. It's rarely an issue.

I don't want my kids to feel like they have to eat everything on their plate. I usually serve 3 different things to my toddlers and I feel great if they eat 2 of the 3, but I don't push it if they only eat 1 of the 3. I only ask that they take a bite of everything to try it.
7th-Oct-2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
My mom made me sit there until my plate was clean. Good thing we had a dog!
8th-Oct-2010 12:10 am (UTC)
I was never made to eat everything. My family is big on giving smaller portions, then taking more after. (I remember my great grandmother telling me I could always have more when I thought she was cutting me too small a piece of cake.)

I will usually clean my plate when eating at home. Sometimes I find that I did take too much and just can't eat anymore, though.

At restaurants I rarely finish my food. I usually eat a little more than half, then bring the rest home for lunch (or sometimes 1am snack :p) if it is something that will save.
11th-Oct-2010 09:44 am (UTC)
Pretty much this.
8th-Oct-2010 12:44 am (UTC)
My mom didn't force me to clear my plate, like many parents in previous generations did (I've heard that's a leftover habit from the Great Depression). She had read a study suggesting that forcing children to eat all the food, even if they stop being hungry, turns off their ability to sense when they're full and predisposes them to obesity. Despite my mom's being careful, I've still struggled with emotional/binge eating, and portion control is very hard for me. I've gotten to the point where I can prepare small meals for myself, but I still can't seem to control portions in restaurants or at parties.
8th-Oct-2010 02:44 am (UTC)
For question #1, I have two answers. If I'm in a restaurant, I almost never eat it all. I usually take home the leftovers and sometimes it'll last me for at least 2 or 3 more meals. I'll eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner the next day if I have to as I don't usually consume leftovers after more than 24 hours. (I have really bad IBS and older leftovers seems to trigger it.) If I can't finish all my food at home, my husband will almost always eat it no matter what it is, so it doesn't usually get wasted.

At home, I usually take about half of what I think I might want and eat that. If I'm still hungry, I can always get more, but I don't want to end up throwing away food. (Not that I have a lot of heartburn about that, really. If food in the fridge goes past my personal safety date, I toss it without regrets. I try not to waste stuff like that, but I'm also not going to eat something that might have gone bad.)

I was never made to clean my plate as a kid. I also never said that to my kids and never sat around trying to get them to continue eating or eat one more bite or something like that. Most of the time, I tried to have mostly healthy food at home, and that way they'd be getting healthy food most of the time. This was easier when they were little, but I still continued this even when they were older.
8th-Oct-2010 04:16 am (UTC)
I just think we should put less on our plates and then feel free to eat all that is there. That's what we try to do in our house. Only make what we will eat, put a smaller portion on our plates, and save leftovers.

11th-Oct-2010 09:43 am (UTC)
As a child I was told rather to only get as much as I could eat so I could finish my plate.

I try to only serve as much as one would eat too because in most times even if one keeps the food in the fridge(of the leftover) the chance that it is eaten is quite low(in comparison to food that is left over in the pot)

15th-Oct-2010 06:03 am (UTC) - Posting half asleep (may not make sense...)
Of my three best friends at school (I'm in high school), one is from Thailand (and I think might have been kind of poor there) and another is from Africa (and I think she may have been in a similar situation), and they ALWAYS tell me to eat all the food in my school lunch of if we go out to eat so I'm not wasteful. Because of them I've started to have that attitude at home as well and appreciate food more... It's your responsibility to only get as much food as you're going to eat, I've started to think.
17th-Oct-2010 02:27 pm (UTC)
i try not to TAKE more than i know im going to be able to eat, so eating everything is not a problem. sometimes, it looks so good though, and there have been once or twice i wasnt able to finish, but not usually.

when im out at a restaraunt, i love getting larger portions, because i KNOW i wont be able to eat it all, which allows me to take it all home and eat it again :) LOL
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