Woman Tries To Enforce Her 'Clean Your Plate' Rule Onto Friend's Daughter & The Little Girl's Mom Steps In

The rule is used as an incentive to earn dessert, however, some people believe that it causes more harm than good.

Child, dinner plate gpoinstudio / Shutterstock / Mumsnet

After a woman challenged her friend’s “clean your plate” dinner rule she enforced on her children, her friend argued that it was “only fair” if her children followed the rule while in the presence of her own children.

Now, the woman is wondering if she was wrong for putting her foot down.

The woman’s friend tried to get her daughter to ‘clean her plate’ while she and her kids were eating at the woman’s house.

Sharing her story to the UK-based parenting forum, Mumsnet, the mother revealed that she and her children often eat dinner together at her friend’s house with her children while they occasionally switch it up and eat dinner at her own home.


However, her friend has different expectations for her children at mealtimes than she does. “They enforce a very strict ‘clear your plate or no pudding’ rule, I don’t do this,” the woman wrote.

When the woman’s daughter is at her friend’s house eating dinner, she expects her to follow this rule since it is her friend’s house. Her daughter is not exactly a fan of this.

“There have been quite a few times recently when she’s become very upset at being forced to eat a whole plate full of food she doesn’t want with the threat of no pudding hanging over her,” the mother wrote of her six-year-old daughter. “It’s got to the point where I’m finding reasons not to go there to eat because DD [dear daughter] is so anxious about it.”


RELATED: Babysitter Asks If She’s Wrong For Calling Cops On Mom Who Was Too 'Hungover' To Collect Her Child

While the woman expects her daughter to follow the rule when she is a guest at her friend’s home, she does not ask her to obey it when her friend and her children come over to eat at her house. Although, her friend disagrees and attempts to enforce it on all of the children despite where they are eating.

upset young girl sitting at dinner tablePhoto: Dejan Dundjerski / Shutterstock


RELATED: Mom Shamed After Sharing The Prepared Meals She Packs For Her Kid Whenever They Go Out To Restaurants

One evening, the woman pulled her friend aside and confronted her about it. “I told her that I don’t generally make DD clear her plate and explained why,” she wrote. “She said fair enough, but for the sake of making everything fair to her kids when they’re all eating together the rule has to apply since it’s not fair her kids have to do this while mine don’t.”

The woman argued that she is generally aware of her daughter’s balanced diet throughout the day and does not believe in forcing her to finish everything on her plate at dinner in order to get dessert.

“I also don’t want to force her to eat or use pudding as a reward,” she shared. She believes that her friend should respect her rules in her home, just as she does in theirs.


Most forum users sided with the woman, arguing that her friend had no right to tell her what to do with her children, especially in her own home.

“No one force feeds my children, you're their mother and entirely capable of determining their nutritional needs,” one user commented.

“You do not allow anyone to do ANYTHING to your child that you do not agree with,” another user wrote.

RELATED: How To Know If You're An 'Almond Mom' (Or If You Grew Up With One)

Other people were concerned that the woman’s friend was establishing unhealthy relationships with food for her children with the ‘clean your plate’ rule.

“I believe being forced to clear your plate leads to unhealthy relationships with food and struggles with being overweight. If you begin to get used to clearing entire portions when you're not hungry, that becomes a habit,” one user shared. “How can we expect children to have a healthy relationship with food and make good choices as adults if we are force-feeding them as children?”


“Demanding a cleared plate is outdated and damaging. It's forcing a child to overeat and, as parents have said, encourages a bad relationship with food,” another user noted. Someone else wrote, “By all means encourage your child to try different things, to widen their palate and enjoy food, but to make them eat everything or no pudding? Bloody h–ll, that sounds awful.”

Health experts agree that the “clean your plate” rule does more harm than good for children.

New-York based R.D. Jessica Cording explained how forcing children to eat everything on their plate creates harmful habits. “Cleaning your plate sets you up for using external cues as opposed to internal cues for figuring out what’s an appropriate amount of food for you,” she said in an interview with SELF. “If you’re used to feeling like you have to clean your plate, on a subconscious level, you might ignore those internal cues that you’re full.”

It appears that it is time for parents to do away with this rule, and allow their children to eat when they are hungry.


RELATED: Woman Lets Daughter's Friend Visit Without Meeting Her Parents — Now It's Late & They’re Nowhere To Be Found

Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.