We were born in Canada and immigrated to South Africa. I grew up in a happy family with no tension nor pressure at meal times. Our only problem was, we were inclined to eat too much. This is not the same with every family.
With many of my clients, they told me that when growing up, their parents post-war mentality insisted that kids finish everything on their plates. Children grew up believing this, and suffering as a result. I called it the Clean Plate Syndrome. Now they’re adults, they still feel bad should they leave anything on their plate, even when full.
Forget about your childhood experiences. You're an adult and can take responsibility for your own attitude towards food. If you belong to the “clean plate club,” there are two strategies you can follow. When cooking at home, either cook smaller portions, or dish up smaller portions and put the extra food away for a meal the next day. If you’re at a restaurant, share the salad and main course with your companion. If you feel stingy about sharing food, as if you can’t afford a complete meal, order an expensive glass of wine or leave a bigger tip to compensate.