The Clean Plate Club

by Katie on May 15, 2009

Growing up, my family had a “Clean Plate Club” at supper time. You were only a member if you cleaned your entire plate that night, and as competitive as my sister and I were, it soon was a race to be the first member of the Clean Plate Club every night. I don’t think we actually even had a real incentive to join the club – just a claim on the title. 
[Sidebar:  I understand the concept behind it – get the kids to eat the green beans and the beef, not just the mac-n-cheese. But still, I’m not so sure this is the best way to instill good nutritional habits?]
Well, Brandon takes the whole Clean Plate Club idea to a new level. 
He has this thing about eating every single bite on his plate. This is somewhat convenient when it comes to disposing of things I don’t want to eat. I just load his plate up, about halfway through he complains of being full, I remind him he doesn’t actually have to eat every bite (knowing he will anyway), and he forges on until he’s stuffed and the plate is empty. 
Now, I realize in the long run this probably isn’t healthy. I’m just saying that it does have its advantages at times. 
When Brandon finally stumbled in last night about 9:30, he had been working for a solid 21.5 hours, and hadn’t eaten anything since he stopped in for lunch around noon. So, it was a typical day around here. 
The supper menu last night consisted of spaghetti I made one night last week, then froze the leftovers to eat sometime when I was busy. I had to conduct a couple of webinars for work in the evening hours last night, so it was a good time to thaw the spaghetti. 
Only Brandon has been a little turned off by spaghetti lately. By lately, I mean in the last three weeks. He says he doesn’t even know why, it just doesn’t sound very appealing to him. 
So, he opted to eat the last of the leftover enchiladas we had, along with a burrito filled with leftover ground elk, cheese and taco sauce.  
I had eaten hours earlier, but I joined him at the table while he ate supper. 
He had already consumed the enchiladas, and was nearing the end of his elk burrito, when he asked, “This isn’t the same ground meat I used on the burritos I made a couple days ago, is it? It tastes a little different.”
“Yeah, it is. And it tastes different because it’s elk. And that’s a pretty full burrito. You’re probably just tasting more of the meat than you did before.” 
“Yeah, I bet the burritos I made were only a third this size.”
“Well, I thought you were hungry.” (and the ground meat had been in the fridge a few days…)
“I was, I’m just having a hard time eating all this elk by itself.” (with just a bite or two left) 
“You know you don’t have to eat that last bite, right? I could always put it in a casserole.”
[Joking, of course.]
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