The Clean Plate Club

When we were kids, we were told to clean our plates. You had to eat everything if you wanted to be part of the “Clean Plate Club.” The membership was exclusive: only the kids who ate everything put on their plate. The dues: eating brussels sprouts and other nasty vegetables. These days, nutritionists are quick to point out the Clean Plate Club’s major short comings: it makes kids fat and hate eating vegetables. I’m still emotionally scarred after being forced to eat prawns. (Shudder)

But, this post isn’t about making our kids eat everything on their plates. Oh, no. This post is about our incredible urge as parents to eat whatever they leave behind.

We pile chicken nuggets on our kids’ plates for lunch. Then, we serve ourselves a nice, nutritious (boring) salad. So, when little Johnny is done eating and there are still two nuggets left, we scarf them down like a ravenous dog. I mean, we don’t want them going to waste, right?!

We were at a reception last week. We’d already eaten dinner. But, my kids made themselves plates of food. They’re always “starving” wherever we go. My kindergartener took one bite of his egg salad sandwich and decided he didn’t want it. Did I toss it out or save it for later? Of course not. I ate it. And some chips. Oh, and a cookie. There may have been a cupcake in there, too.

With all the chasing and running we have to do to keep track of our kids, you’d think we’d all be super model thin. But, we’re not. And you know why? The stupid calories we pack on by “cleaning up” after our kids. Maybe it’s a repressed “must be part of the clean plate club” thing. Who knows.

Tell me: what’s the nastiest thing you’ve eaten after your child has rejected it? I’ll tell you right now, I ate the slobbery leftover ice cream cone remnants left behind (and dropped) by my toddler. It didn’t hit the ground. It hit the floor of my minivan. That, my friends, is much, much worse.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. kalleyc
    Sep 21, 2011 @ 15:26:56

    I can’t even bring myself to drink after my daughter. I just don’t like the spit, ugh, all those months of drooling tuned me off from eating anything from her. She even have a nasty habit of taking food out of her mouth, and trying to “share” with me.

    So the nastiest thing that I’ve put in my mouth was half eaten food from my daughter’s mouth, but I couldn’t bring myself to swallow. *shudders*


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