Alexandria wrote a new post, Ketchup w/ a Side of Whatever (You Will Eat All of That), on the site f00d 4 thought 5 years, 6 months ago
The most commonly used method was a threat (n. 61, 57%), and most of these involved negative punishment (e.g. “you cannot leave the table until you finish;” “you cannot have dessert until you finish your vegetable”). The second coercion technique (n. 46, 43%) involved making the target food more appetizing, and was usually accomplished either through the authority figure eating the food and proclaiming its appeal, or adding flavoring to the target (e.g. butter, ketchup). A third technique (n. 35, 32 7%) involved guilt-inducing efforts, and can be subdivided into the categories of wastefulness guilt or emotional guilt.
As mentioned in my post, ‘Power @ The Table,’ I have experienced forced eating many times throughout my childhood. This excerpt of ‘You Will Eat All of That!’ related to me due to experiencing all three techniques. Of course, I still have that same memory in my head because it was THAT prominent to my little childhood brain that I carried it with me all the way until now.
My dessert was threatened when I couldn’t bare the taste of that italian sausage. My desert was threatened often, but I hardly cared because I barely liked sweets. I’m a real food eater. I’d prefer an extra two or three helpings of mashed potatoes waaaaay before a slice of cake!
When my father went as far as saying I’d have to eat the same sausage i’d been staring at for 2 hours the next night for dinner if I didn’t finish, I looked to my grandma for help. She gave me ketchup (which I really don’t like too much either but it worked) and i drenched it. I am honestly still disgusted at this combo.
I was also always told to finish all of my food. All of it, no exceptions. (Yes, my dad was very strict about eating. Yes, it was very excessive and unnecessary because I, as a kid, loved broccoli) I remember once finishing a bowl of ramen and being stopped by my uncle during my path to the sink. He took the bowl from me and scraped any excess noodles onto my fork and gave me on more bite.
Living with my dad and my uncle had a long term effect on my eating habits. I was a little girl and they were hefty growing men! They would finish two helpings in the time I could even get my plate made by my grandma. If we were having one of my favorite foods I’d have to scarf down my first plate just to make it in time for seconds! This caused me to develop very fast eating habits, and now I’m always the first one done! I have to make efforts to slow down my eating because then I’m never full after one portion, which is very unhealthy! Also, whenever I go out to eat I always want to finish my entire over portioned meal simply because I feel guilty wasting it.
It’s like I finish it all as fast as I can – unless I’m being self conscious and chewing in slow motion.
Wow, the image of your uncle scraping the noodles and making you take one more bite is a powerful one! : )
I love how you looked to grandma to save you, and she gave you ketchup. Which — btw — makes an interesting title!
Post titles are so important, They either draw in readers or not.
I love the guilt coercion! It never worked when my parents told me children far away were starving. I mean, what kid really understands that??
It makes sense how you have fast eating habits now since you were literally in competition with others for more food. But yes, eating too fast can cause your body not to realize sooner that you’re full, causing you and others to overeat. As for tricks to help slow down, try drinking a glass of cold water before your meal an hour before, use chopsticks when possible, and linger on the taste of the food before swallowing. As for not finishing a meal at a restaurant, I try to order a small appetizer and salad instead of one of those ginormous meals, so I’m not pressured by others to finish what’s on my plate, and not have overeating regrets.
I, too, was a picky child and can completely relate with your post. I had to sit at the kitchen table until I finished my food because “there are starving kids in Africa”. I also had a habit of eating fast and had to learn over the years to slow down my pace. I think that may come from having to “clean your plate” as you experienced also. I enjoyed reading this article, you made it so interesting! I also loved the picture from Brave 🙂
Girl! I completely can relate to this! When I was younger, I had 3 other siblings, my mother and father, and sometimes my grandparents, or uncles. It was crazy trying to compete with all the older people in getting more food! If we liked it, we had to EAT FAST! And, if we wanted leftovers (if there were any) we had to eat all of our food, and then scream for leftovers at the end “I call leftovers!” So, that made us REALLLY eat fast! As I grew up, I just kept with the same patterns which was not good. When you eat fast, your stomach cannot catch up and tell your brain, and your mouth that it is stuffed. So in this case, I would ALWAYS over eat. So, as I started eating with my friends, I started to slow down more. When I was with my friends, I would finish before they even took a bite. My bestfriend is actually the one who made me slow down. I would always finish my food, and she would be on her second bite, and as I am staring at her food, I would want more. She is a SLOW eater. And I mean not normal, but SLOW! So, in order to keep pace with her during meals, I slowed down. Now, I am actually the slowest eater along with her. Oh, how the tables can turn.