Curtis Stone tells parents to let their kids go hungry

Celebrity chef and Coles ambassador Curtis Stone has come out with a controversial opinion on children’s meal times. Many of

Celebrity chef and Coles ambassador Curtis Stone has come out with a controversial opinion on children’s meal times.

Many of us have experienced kids who are fussy eaters and have lived through excruciating meal times where no matter how hard you try you can’t get them to even take a bite.

Curtis, who has two young sons, says he thinks more parents should let their kids go hungry if their not going to eat what’s on the plate in front of them.

“I think the problem is too many parents worry about their kids being hungry that they let their children dictate what they eat,” he told the Herald Sun.

He said kids shouldn’t be given snacks in between meals to ensure they are hungry enough when their main meal is served, and if they refuse to eat it parents should wrap it up and serve it to them again for the next meal.

“Say you make a fish pie and the kids won’t eat it; I’d wrap it up, put it away and offer it again later when they’re hungry,” said Curtis.

“What’s wrong with fish pie for breakfast? I’d love a fish pie for breakfast. I think the problem is too many parents worry about their kids being hungry that they let their children dictate what they eat.

“I don’t see the big deal in letting kids go hungry a few times. They’ll eat when they’re hungry.”

His opinion has split many parents down the middle, with some condemning his harsh words and others saying they think it’s a great idea.

“Absolutely spot on, Curtis!” wrote one commenter.

While others questioned his expertise on the topic.

“Who made Curtis Stone an expert on parenting? This wouldn’t work in my household,” said another.

Having raised kids of their own for many years, there are lots of baby boomers out there who have an opinion on this controversial issue.

What are your thoughts this topic?

Should kids be left to go hungry if they don’t eat what they’re served? Did you make your kids eat everything on their plate? What was it like when you were growing up?

  1. when I was young many years ago, If I didn’t eat my dinner then I could leave the table after everyone was finished theirs. Nothing else was offered in lieu of, and by breakfast, I was hungry enough to eat a horse. There was never a question of likes or dislikes or snacks in between. We ate what was put in front of us or nothing at all. Kids today eat too much anyway.Sounds hard but look at all the over weight children of today.

  2. Agree entirely! Too much fussing about what kids like and don’t like. Put food in front of them and if they eat it, great. If they don’t, that’s their problem. They won’t starve, and they might learn to eat with the rest of the family instead of getting preferential treatment and being fussed over. I wasn’t forced to eat everything on my plate but I would never have entertained the idea that I had a choice and might want something different to everyone else!! I ate well and loved my mother’s cooking! My own children ate food without fussing. I wish I could say the same for some of my grandchildren!! Good on you Curtis, common sense and wise advice!!

  3. Suzann Young  

    I totally agree , our boys ate what was put in front of them, no sweets unless the plate was clean.No snacking before dinner.

  4. I totally agree, kids of today make all the rules not parents ,we ate what was put in front of us no questions asked, if we didn’t we left the table and no snacking either.parents have no rights anymore the kids do.

  5. Kathy Noseworthy  

    Growing up in a have not province on the east coast of Canada, where the main food groups were beef, fish, wild game, potatoes, carrots, turnip, cabbage and bread and where Mac and Cheese was considered a luxury, it was instilled in us that we were very fortunate to have food at our table while so many more did not. We didn’t always have a snack after school, mainly because we didn’t have time. It cut into our social play time. If we didn’t eat our meal, so be it. We weren’t going to die. Our brain matter didn’t wither away. We were not traumatized by missing a meal. We all grew up to get university degrees. I went on to get a Masters degree. We still loved our parents.
    When I had my own children, I was able to provide a greater variety of meals but continued to live by the rule that if you don’t want to eat your meal, I will save it for you until you are ready for it, composting it if it still wasn’t eaten at the end of the day. I also involved my boys in planning our meals and going to the grocery store on a regular basis to help with the buying of groceries as well as to choose five items to place in the food bank box at the front of the store.
    In the end it is up to the parents. If they are willing to prepare a variety of meals for lunch or dinner, stress over their child not eating therefore going to bed hungry and spend time coddling their child into eating – they have way to more time on their hands than I did or want.
    A pediatrician once told me,when I thought my son was not eating enough, that some children peck like birds but when they are hungry, they will eat.

  6. Lyn  

    I agree. Kids have way too many snacks/treats today and there is too much discussion on what everyone wants to eat. Most cooks can make allowances for certain dislikes in individual meals but the meal itself should be centred around the same theme. If they refuse to eat anything on the plate they are either not hungry or pressuring parents to comply with their demands. Missing a meal will not hurt the child and, if they are hungry enough, they will eat something from the plate if it is offered later when the fuss dies down. If they don’t nothing else should be offered till the next meal. Curtis is right, they will eat if they are hungry enough, even if it is not the whole plate full but further snacks, treats or second, different meals should not be offered or discussed.

  7. Being a grammar nazi, can someone please proof read these articles – there, their, they’re.

    • Riana Inger  

      Agreed. Their grammar over there severely compromised the importance of this article. I wonder whether they’re qualified to make such statements?

  8. Our parents and teachers (I went to boarding school) would always make us go hungry if we wouldn’t eat what was put in front of us and serve it up the next day. Nothing new in that!

  9. Joan  

    Children’s palates are quite sensitive, my mother indulged our dislikes, we were never served anything we did not like, and I followed the same habits with my son. Now we eat just about anything. By contrast, my husband had been forced to eat what was put on his plate, and ended up being a very fussy eater. Having said that, we were not offered snacks, or ‘convenience’ food, only the range of healthy meals that we liked.

  10. Mal Pace  

    When my children put food on their plates I expected/requested they ate all they had taken. If they did not, they were given it for the next meal.

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