Rules about eating
Saturday, May 18, 2019
As kids, we were expected to eat everything on our plate.
We did not get to fill the plate....that was done for us.
I have memories of long vigils with my brother or me, sitting at the table after everyone else had left, knowing I could not be excused until some dreaded (and now cold) food had been consumed.
Once, when I was a very young child, I remember telling my mother that my stomach was upset and I couldn't eat anything.
She told me that if I was sick and could not eat, then I had to go to bed--thinking she was calling my bluff.
She was surprised when I accepted those conditions, and she was only convinced when she then heard me vomiting in the bathroom.
Looking back, I understand now that those early scenes were more about power and who was in charge. It was all about being an obedient child.
When my turn came at motherhood, that was one approach I did not use.
My sons were not forced to eat anything. Of course, I was not above bribery when it came to some foods, but there were no after-meal ordeals at our home.
One day a good friend told me a rule she taught her kids to follow whenever they were guests for a meal: always leave some food on the plate. She explained that the uneaten food would give a message to the hostess that you were filled, and had eaten all you wanted.
Today, whenever we eat out at a restaurant, I usually leave food on the plate. The portion sizes today are much bigger than they ever used to be. I think they are too big.
Many of us take home the remaining food. And eateries are usually ready to package it up for you.
During the year I lived in London, I saw that the portions were much smaller. And one time when we asked to take home the food we did not eat, it was seen as a strange request. We never did that again!
When I was a kid, we were not allowed to drink soda. My husband, on the other hand, had soda all the time. Unfortunately, he still likes to drink it today. When our grandkids are eating at our place, I explain that Grandpa has this very bad habit; and I tell them how Coke would take the paint finish off your car.
Kids were also not allowed to have coffee or tea, because of caffeine. And candy was a rarity.
Those are rules I kept for my own kids.
Finally, we kids had to ask to be excused from the table before we were allowed to leave. Sometimes when I hear that being done today, I like it. I did not teach that to my sons.