Eating Styles

Periodically as an educator, I’ve spent a little bit of time chaperoning a lunchroom filled with teenagers. Aside from their hi-jinks and giggles, I have been very attentive to how a group of 400 people go about organizing, prioritizing, and eating their food. I know this sounds strange, but it helps me keep my focus and my sanity as I patrol. If you think everyone is alike, all you have to do is watch a large group, any large group, any age eat a meal. Everybody does it differently. Everybody has their own eating “quirks”.

In my quest to categorize and label the world of eaters I have found the following subgroups exist:

Desert Firsters– These eaters eat desert or anything sweet first. Doesn’t matter what the main course, they dig into the sugary treats. They go for the surge, and then pick at the rest of the meal. This group does not deny themselves instant and immediate pleasure. No waiting, just do it.

Ketchup Stylists -For the ketchup lover, it’s all about individual style. With French fries for example, did you know some people move their fries off to the side of the plate and then squeeze a “load” of ketchup on a blank part of the plate and proceed to dip and eat? Another group squeezes the ketchup all over the pile of fries and then eats. The third group, which I find the most fascinating (at least in a school cafeteria) opens a packet of ketchup and loads each fry individually with ketchup and eats it. They repeat the process over and over and over again until complete. It’s exhausting to watch:a painstaking process-all for the perfect bite of ketchup with French fry.

Liquidizers-Some people sip liquids slowly during their meal as a “wash-down”; some people drink their liquids first as a “thirst-quencher”; and some people end their meal with a “chug-down” of anything not consumed during.

“Condimentally” Preferred- Some people go with condiments right out the packet or jar; some take packet offerings and mix and match to make their own personal combinations of goodness, like ranch dressing and ketchup (Russian dressing). Some people also eat condiments unconventionally: They drink them straight out of the pack (probably more favored by the 12-13 year old population), they spread them on foods that one wouldn’t think needs extra help (like ranch dressing on pizza), or hot sauce on French fries.

Same Thing Every Day’er–Some people are creatures of food habit. They eat the same lunch every single day. Doesn’t matter. Same. Same. Same. They may not even really like it, but it’s their food habit. Nothing new will change them. One path; one lunch. Period. No discussion.

Sandwich Insiders-This group only eats a few bites of the insides of the sandwich. Take a couple bites. Put it down. On to the other half. Never crust eating. Probably only eat ¼ of sandwich. Seem to enjoy looking at “bite” patterns in sandwich more than the eating.

Drinkers-This group doesn’t like utensils. They tend to “drink” their meals, even if they aren’t liquid. They hold the container up to their mouth and slurp it.

Never Enough “Chocolaters”-If eating coco puffs, this group uses chocolate milk as their liquid. Never enough chocolate. Never. Not kidding.

Never Enough “Dressing’ers”-One packet, two packets, nope-they go for the fat overload. It’s more about the dressing than the salad or sandwich.

No, No to Napkins-Aren’t necessarily neater than anyone else. Just don’t ever choose to use napkins. Don’t resort to finger-licking. Either leave with “foody” fingers or wipe on clothes.

Players-It’s more about a playing experience than an eating experience. Some have rituals with moving food around or playing with it instead or before eating it. Making sure it’s correct on the plate; or just enjoy fooling with it to keep busy.

Talk More than Eaters-Twenty minutes can go by and they haven’t taken a bite. Always talking-and not eating. At least don’t talk with mouth full. Always entertaining. Lunch is more about being social than nutrition. The food in front of them is just a part of the setting.

Eat More than Talkers-Never talk. Only dig into meal. Eat methodically and with purpose. If ask a question, grunt answer.

Traders-Take great pleasure at choosing meal to buy, then trade all parts of meal for something entirely different. For these future Donald Trumps it’s the art of the deal and not lunch.

Two Biters-Doesn’t matter what they are eating or what day it is-take two bites and are full. Never finish; throw more away than eat.

Fingers Only-Regardless of food, never use outside utensils. Always use fingers. Try chili fries with fingers. It’s a good trick.

Would Rather Throw It than Eat It-this one speaks for itself. We all know the type.

Ritualistic Eaters-These people have a distinct ritual for their mealtime. Napkin down as place mat. “Spork” place on the side. Separate food, so it doesn’t touch. Methodically attack meal, same way, every day. No variation, ever.

Food Stealers-Doesn’t matter what they have to eat, they take someone else’s food. Someone can be eating a rotten baloney sandwich and it will be stolen. Everyone else’s food always looks better. Or they’re just meanies.

By now, you’re reminiscing about your school days, and you think you don’t have any of these habits anymore. I beg to differ. You may (I said may) think you are more civilized than you were at 12. Next time you’re in a group eating situation, check out those around you. I guarantee you’ll see that body size may change, but eating styles are probably the same.

Enjoy your lunch and nurture your inner child.


Welcome to my quirky world. As Lazy Susan at I post day to day quirky commentaries. My purpose is to entertain and give you a pleasant moment in your day. I hope you will enjoy my variety of writing and will tell a friend. Thank you for spending your time with me. Life is always better when shared.

Article Source:

Parenting Tweens and Teens – Always a Changing Game

Is it just me or is 24 hours really not as long as it used to be? And what about our kids? They’re growing up at warp speed. Probably a blessing we’re all too busy to notice them morphing into young adults before our eyes, otherwise how scary would that be? Of course, when it comes to other people’s kids, you can’t miss the changes, but with our own… most of us have a terminal case of blind spots. Unfortunately, turning a blind eye to reality isn’t the most effective way to parent. =>

Trailer for “Something Rotten” (for teens)

The Book:

Something Rotten: A Horatio Wilkes Mystery
by Alan Gratz

Denmark, Tennessee, stinks. The smell hits Horatio Wilkes the moment he pulls into town to visit his best friend, Hamilton Prince. And it’s not just the paper plant and the polluted river that’s stinking up Denmark: Hamilton’s father has been poisoned and the killer is still at large. Why? Because nobody believes that Rex Prince was murdered. Nobody except Horatio and Hamilton. Now they need to find the killer, but it won’t be easy. It seems like everyone in Denmark is a suspect. Motive, means, opportunity— they all have them. But who among them has committed murder most foul?

“Own Your Space–Keep Yourself and Your Stuff Safe Online”

This is a free 16 chapter eBook available for download here =>

Teenagers and Sleep

From Pivotal Families

Do you ever wish that you could be young again like your teenage son or daughter? They are full of energy and life!  But all too often they are also full of sleepiness.


Later School Start Time May Make Better Students

Would starting school 30 minutes later make better students? Researchers in Rhode Island have published a study that suggests it might.

Dr. Judith Owens and her colleagues studied 201 high school students who had their school start time delayed from 8:00 am to 8:30 am. Before and then two months after the switch, the students completed a survey that asked about their sleep habits.

After the change to the later school start time: read more …

Are teens just a bunch of selfish slackers?

Teens are no more egotistical than previous generations, new research shows, despite previous studies that described today’s youth as self-centered and antisocial.

In a scientific analysis of nearly a half-million high-school seniors spread over three decades, Michigan State University psychology Brent Donnellan and Kali Trzesniewski of the University of Western Ontario argue teens today are just as happy and satisfied as their parents’ generation. The study appears in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Read more …

Teen Blogging a Good Thing, Study Suggests

A new pilot study is supportive of teenage blogging, as the vast majority of study subjects used the blogs to nurture relationships with their peers and build a sense of community.

In the investigation, Ohio State University researchers studied 100 teen bloggers from around the United States.

The finding that the blogs were used in a positive manner, rather than to admit misbehavior, was a welcome discovery.

This preliminary study suggests that blogging could be used therapeutically to help troubled teens express themselves in positive ways, said Dawn Anderson-Butcher, associate professor of social work at Ohio State.

Read more …

Adolescent sleep problems: Why is your teen so tired?

Adolescents are notorious for staying up late at night and being hard to rouse in the morning. Your teens are probably no exception. But it’s not necessarily because they’re lazy or contrary. This behavior pattern actually has a real physical cause. And there are ways to help mesh your adolescent’s sleep schedule with that of the rest of the world.

Read the list here

A new US study shows a significant percentage of sex offenses against minors are committed by minors:

Juvenile predators: New study
Written by Anne Collier
January 05, 2010

Much has been reported (often with hype and inaccuracy) about “pedophiles” or “predators,” with people thinking these terms only refer to adults. But a new study released by the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention offers quite a reality check. “It is important to understand that a substantial portion of these offenses are committed by other minors who do not fit the image” those terms tend to conjure up, according to the report, “Juveniles Who Commit Sex Offenses Against Minors,” by David Finkelhor (director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire), Richard Ormrod, and Mark Chaffin.

Here are some key findings:

* More than a third (35.6%) of those known to police to have committed sex offenses against minors are juveniles (though “juvenile sex offenders account for only 3.1% of all juvenile offenders and 7.4% of all violent juvenile offenders”).

* “Juveniles who commit sex offenses against other children are more likely than adult sex offenders to offend in groups and at schools and to have more male victims and younger victims.”

* “Early adolescence [particularly ages 12-14] is the peak age for offenses against younger children. Offenses against teenagers surge during mid-to-late adolescence, while offenses against victims under age 12 decline.”

* One out of eight juvenile offenders – are under 12.

* 7% of juvenile offenders are females.

* “Females are found more frequently among younger youth than older youth who commit sex offenses. This group’s offenses involve more multiple-victim and multiple-perpetrator episodes, and they are more likely to have victims who are family members or males.”

* 77.2% of juvenile offenses committed by females occur at home and 68.2% of such offenses committed by males occur at home.

* Several intervention strategies have already been proven effective in reducing recividism among child and teen offenders, and this was encouraging:”Researchers found that one brief treatment for preteens reduced the risk of future sex offenses to levels comparable with those of children who had no history of inappropriate sexual behavior.”

The only reference to the Internet in the report is the recommendation that it be used to get “prevention and deterrence messages” to youth.

Source: Connect Safely