Should You Request Your Children to Finish Food or Eating?

No. Based on four studies about preschoolers and school age children, all of them suggest not asking children to finish their food. If you do, it may cause them to dislike healthy food because of eating pressure, or they may become picky eaters and develop food avoidance behaviors because of decreased eating enjoyment. To prevent your child from becoming a picky eater, 2 studies suggest that inviting children to cook together with you (for school age children) and modeling healthy eating are more effective than pressuring them to eat.

Created on November 21 2015 at 08: 00 AM

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1: "'Finish Your Soup': Counterproductive Effects Of Pressuring Children To Eat On Intake And Affect," Appetite, 2006, by AT Galloway, LM Fiorito, LA Francis, LL Birch. (Citations: 253).

The authors examined whether pressuring preschoolers to eat would affect food intake and preferences, using a repeated-measures experimental design. In the experimental condition, children were pressured to eat by a request to finish their food. We collected ...

2: "Research Maternal Feeding Practices, Child Eating Behaviour And Body Mass Index In Preschool-Aged Children: A Prospective Analysis," International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2010, by JE Gregory, SJ Paxton. (Citations: 63).

2010 Gregory et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, ...

3: "Food Avoidance In Children. The Influence Of Maternal Feeding Practices And Behaviours," Appetite, 2011, by FC Powell, CV Farrow, C Meyer. (Citations: 43).

The aim of this study was to examine the contribution of a broad range of maternal feeding practices in predicting parental reports of food avoidance eating behaviours in young children, after controlling for child temperament, and maternal dietary restraint which have ...

4: "Overcoming Picky Eating. Eating Enjoyment As A Central Aspect Of Children'S Eating Behaviors," Appetite, 2012, by K van der Horst. (Citations: 31).

Picky eating is a relatively common problem during childhood, and parents lack clear strategies with which to decrease picky eating. This study examined whether increasing eating enjoyment and cooking enjoyment might give opportunities to decrease picky ...

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Should You Request Your Children to Finish Food or Eating?

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