Awarding stickers for eating food - AIBU?

Oh, we're done with all that vegetable-steaming and mess, our children are cutlery-wielding, spaghetti-chomping angels... at least some of the time.

Awarding stickers for eating food - AIBU?

Postby twilightfan » 22 Jun 2012, 19:17

My DS's nursery have told me today that they are starting to award stickers for when the children eat up all their food. My boy got a sticker and they made a bit of a big deal about it. They've started doing it because one of the children doesn't eat anything when he's there and I guess they want to help him eat his food. I think it's a bad idea personally; I've purposely never congratulated my boy when he has eaten well - he is generally a really good eater - and equally I've never really commented to him when he hasn't eaten well. I take a relaxed approach that if he's hungry he'll eat and if he's not he won't (recently he's not been eating great but then I don't think he's feeling too chipper).

Anywaay... I guess I'm just concerned that my boy will now start using food as a bargaining tool (if I eat more food can I have a sticker) and that their approach will undermine my 'don't make a fuss attitude he's not eaten much today, oh well he'll eat more tomorrow'. I guess I'm just uncomfortable about the focus they are placing on food and how much everyone is eating.

But I do understand that they want the other child to eat and that if this helps him that is a good thing - what to do?? :?

I want to talk to them about it but how can I get my point across to them without upsetting them or appearing to being difficult. Have you any advice for me oh wise ones?

eta! - Am I over thinking this? and should I just go with the flow and see how it all pans out?
DS born 2010 and BLW since July 2010
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Re: Awarding stickers for eating food - AIBU?

Postby sparkling » 22 Jun 2012, 19:21

I wouldn't like it - and I don't think that rewarding plate emptying is necessarily going to help the other child. Could they reward trying something new, or trying a bit of everything?
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Re: Awarding stickers for eating food - AIBU?

Postby Seriously_Nutty » 22 Jun 2012, 19:24

Surely making an issue out of it is the last thing that will help the poor child eat??? Fuelling the fire imho. I would ask where the idea came from? The parents or the nursery?
“You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.” - Franklin P. Jones
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Re: Awarding stickers for eating food - AIBU?

Postby Rosie_t_Riveter » 22 Jun 2012, 19:26

I wouldn't like it either. TheWriggler gets praised for eating neatly, trying food, leaving what he doesn't like on a plate, sitting nicely etc but never finishing his plate. That gets "you must have been hungry!" I would have a word with nursery for sure.
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BabyBean - March 2012
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Re: Awarding stickers for eating food - AIBU?

Postby Louisianablue2000 » 22 Jun 2012, 19:32

I don't think it's a good idea but they did it in DD1's room at nursery for a while (children aged 3+ so quite a bit older that yours) and it didn't particularly affect her. There was some talk of finishing everything on your plate at home but we just concentrated on her serving herself and thinking about how much food she wanted to eat and to remember that it was better to take a little and go back for seconds than to take too big a helping and waste food you didn't need. She doesn't talk about finishing everything anymore.

I've never been one for reward charts etc but would stickers work as a reward at two? I'd ask them to emphasis tasting new foods rather than finishing everything. Maybe they could have a Fruity Friday where they get to try lots of new and exciting fruits? The point is surely to give kids the courage to try new foods, and it really is arrogant of adults to assume everything must be eaten. As adults we can easily avoid things we don't like but children need to be given a choice.
See DD1's first few meals here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisianab ... 629434614/
See DD2's weaning video here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisianab ... 826217940/

DD1 Dec 07, DD2 June 09, DS Sept 12
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Re: Awarding stickers for eating food - AIBU?

Postby TPM » 22 Jun 2012, 19:37

No, I'd be absolutely dead against this, personally. It's the total opposite of the whole ethos of blw. There should be no ulterior motive to a child eating. There shouldn't be an emotive link. My mil ALWAYS tells the girls they're 'good girls' when they eat lots and it drives me barmey. Along with the sweet rewards for being 'good' and the use of food as a distraction when theyre crying for whatever reason. And she wonders why 3 of her 4 children are overweight, emotional eaters who seek and find comfort in food...

:oops: Whoops sorry, that rant just totally snuck up on me :wink:

Eta: yes I think sticker rewards for trying something new or tasting each rhing in the plate would be more sensible. I'm having a hard time with the mil at the moment and I think I inadvertently just took it out on your los nursery!!
DD1 05/08, DD2 01/10 & DD3 04/12
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Re: Awarding stickers for eating food - AIBU?

Postby DustyMcBrush » 22 Jun 2012, 20:17

I realise that sticker charts have their place but i would be dead against them doing it for food. I know that not everyone goes in for the laissez-faire attitude of BLW but reward charts seem very over the top.
"So they went off together. But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest a little boy and his Bear will always be playing."
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Re: Awarding stickers for eating food - AIBU?

Postby catkin » 22 Jun 2012, 20:21

Not unreasonable at all, I'd be very unhappy with this. What everyone else says really. Stickers for eating neatly, trying everything, sitting nicely at table - if you must. For eating a full plateful - totally out of order. Gives totally the wrong message.
Mum to Mouse b May 2009 & Little Hamster b Feb 2012.
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Postby twilightfan » 23 Jun 2012, 11:39

Hmm, thanks ladies I guess I've just got to figure out how to approach it with them as they are suppose to be the professionals with experience! I guess the main issue for me is that they don't try to make my boy eat more then he wants too. Right, will have words on Monday thanks again and LOL at TPM!
DS born 2010 and BLW since July 2010
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Re: Awarding stickers for eating food - AIBU?

Postby Fozza » 23 Jun 2012, 12:14

I think you should say something. We have the same issue with school. They have to eat it all and quickly...does my head in.
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Re: Awarding stickers for eating food - AIBU?

Postby Tintin » 23 Jun 2012, 15:34

Stompy was proudly displaying a star sticker one day when I collected her one day and the staff enthusiastically told me it was because she was the only child who had finished everything on her plate. I just burst out laughing and said to Stompy, "so you were hungry today then? Fair enough, but you know you only have to eat as much as you need - mummy and daddy would much rather you left food on your plate than eat it just because it's there!" "yep, I know" said Stompy happily. The staff doing the handover gave me a vacuous smile without saying anything, but Stompy's never had another sticker for it, though I am often told she's the only one who ate all of X, or who had seconds of Y, or who tried a bit of Z...
DD1 Stompy, home-birthed Feb 08
DD2 Squeak, home-birthed March 11
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Re: Awarding stickers for eating food - AIBU?

Postby Antje » 23 Jun 2012, 16:01

I don't like it either! Bring out an Ellyn Satter book if you need backup when speaking with them.
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Re: Awarding stickers for eating food - AIBU?

Postby BigFlower » 23 Jun 2012, 16:15

TPM wrote:No, I'd be absolutely dead against this, personally. It's the total opposite of the whole ethos of blw. There should be no ulterior motive to a child eating. There shouldn't be an emotive link. My mil ALWAYS tells the girls they're 'good girls' when they eat lots and it drives me barmey. Along with the sweet rewards for being 'good' and the use of food as a distraction when theyre crying for whatever reason. And she wonders why 3 of her 4 children are overweight, emotional eaters who seek and find comfort in food


OMG you're not me are you?! lol

Totally agree with what everyone else has said, what a weird thing to reward for!! Good luck with approaching them about it.
DD - Feb 2010
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Re: Awarding stickers for eating food - AIBU?

Postby AB&M » 23 Jun 2012, 17:55

I am totally against anything like this. Food is for hunger. No food for rewards & no rewards for eating. I praise trying foods & the rules are eat 1 of each thing on your plate in this house.

It is so arbitrary - how much should be on the plate etc.

I would ask to speak with the nursery manager & say you are concerned with the new clear plate policy they have introduced & you'd like to know more about it. That's not too defensive.
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Re: Awarding stickers for eating food - AIBU?

Postby Popsie » 24 Jun 2012, 19:24

It's definitely wrong. I'm already fearing for what will happen when midge goes to school...
Midge gets praised/ rewarded for sitting sensibly and making mealtimes pleasant by talking and chatting a reasonable amount (not all the time!), trying food and using cutlery well.
Fwiw my mil amongst others says how good midge is for eating everything and even DH does! Thing is, I am with midge most so I tell her what I expect and that actually she doesn't have to finish if she's really not hungry but she must eat a decent amount as she's not to say she's hungry and wants a snack as soon as dinner is cleared away! She gets this and can filter out comments others make. I think if you're really consistent at home with the message you give, it'll be ok even though it's flipping annoying. After all, kids are exposed to all sorts of conflicting advice as they grow up and so long as you've instilled the values you believe in, I reckon you're ok.
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