When You Were Young Did Your Parents Insist You Clean Your Plate?

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dave50 | 09:52 Wed 12th Aug 2020 | Society & Culture
41 Answers
My father always used to insist that I clean my plate before I left the table, ie mop up the gravy with the potatoes or what ever so I didnt leave the plate swimming in gravy which he thought was inconsiderate to anyone washing up and was lazy and I still do it to this day. These days I never see anyone doing this and I think it looks slovenly, leaving the plate covered in mess. Anyone agree with this or is it just me?


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Clean your plate when I was young meant eat what was on it but I never 'mopped' up any gravy etc
yes, I also was brought up like that but mainly so we could get all the available energy from a meal. We use to have bread and dripping regularly, no calories were wasted in my house.
My dad was very strong on eating all the food on your plate. We’d have bread on the table to ‘mop up’ the gravy, but if there was a bit of bread left we’d have more gravy and then there was a bit of gravy left so more bread and so on ad nauseum.

I don’t think people should eat everything to avoid waste. If you don’t feel hungry it’s just as much of a waste to stuff it down your gullet than to wash it away in the sink.
We had to ask dad if we could leave the table. He would glance at our plates and, if there was any food left, he would insist we eat a couple more mouthfuls. Then we were allowed to leave the table, scraping any leftovers into the dog's dish.
As an aside, if any of our friends called while we were dining, they were not allowed inside the house so either had to arrange to meet somewhere or wait on the doorstep.
No. We were never forced to clean the plate, either to mop up gravy or sauce or to eat everything that was on it. To be honest I think expecting people to mop up the gravy is a bit weird but everyone is different. I really don't see how it helps with the washing up.
Like most people post war, my parents hated food waste so we were given suitable sized portion and then seconds if we wanted it and there were any. My dad was an orphan and at the orphanage he was made to eat what he was given whatever it was. I think that gave him an enlightened view about food and we were never forced to eat or try anything if we didn't want to, although we were offered new foods of course.
In the 1950s when my dinner was served up I used to ask my mum if there were any 'afters', she used to reply, 'eat your befores first'!
There wasn't a lot of food about back then and we had little money, but there was always a meal on the table, basic but very filling.
The school I went to had a sit till you finish food policy. it got reviewed when a pupil projective vomited all over the table.
Like Ken had, there was a 'please may I leave the table' policy when I was a child and playmates were kept outside at mealtimes too
Cloverjo // If you don’t feel hungry it’s just as much of a waste to stuff it down your gullet than to wash it away in the sink. //

Not really.

Even if you are not hungry when you eat something, your body will still digest it and turn it into energy which it will use.

Throwing that food away simply means it goes nowhere, so the two are not actually comparable.
This approach is firmly attached to the war generation because when they were growing up, and as adults with rationing, food was always in short supply so any waste was an utter anathema.

I think those traits carried on into the eating habits they passed on to their children. I would get the "There are children starving in Africa …" quote if I left anything, but we were never made to sit and finish everything, if we were full, that was fine.

I always remember my father-in-law would not only clear his own plate, but anything left from anyone else around the table, and that could often be eight people. He never made a big deal about it, but it was clear that he would never see food thrown away.
Remember that film from the early sixties ( I think)
The girl (Susan George?) wouldn't eat her fish, so the father ( James Mason) made the mother put it in front of her every day until she ate it. (which she didn't before the end of the film)
The right portion and it will be finished. Oh Andy, regards your father inlaw, did that make you feel sick?
Spring and Port Wine
Yes, it was war time and food was one commodity that never got wasted.
Spring and Port Wine - I remember a stage or tv version with Alfred Marks as the stern father insisting his daughter eat a piece of fish. It was brought out at every meal until, I think, the cat ate it.
Never. We always had bread on the table though which I don't do. I suppose if I had to shop daily I'd be a bit more fussy.

How is it lazy? I don't think force feeding people is ever a good idea.
No, and I agree with Clover, it is wasteful to eat something you don't need as well, it may as well go straight back in the ground. It is understandable with rationing etc, but i think the teaching of having to eat everything on the plate has caused a lot of obesity and weight problems, now that food isn't so scarce.
I often left stuff on my plate, I was a fussy eater but I i was never told I must eat it , as I said earlier to clean a plate was to clear a plate, something I rarely do even now
pixie took the words right out of my mouth.
Being forced or expected to finish everything on ones plate just leads to eating unwanted food, or just plain too much.
Portion control, and individual appetite come into it too.

The only thing I remember seeing getting congealed on my plate was roast beef...I just didn't like it, but I was expected to finish it. So I was left sitting on my own.
Awe pasta, to remember that must have affected you at the time.
I agree, cbildren sbouldnt be forced toeat .ore than they want. Get the portion right in tbe first place.

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