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Old 01-10-2013, 06:22 PM   #1
happysmileylady
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Getting over wasted food

I fear I am making a bigger deal than I want to and not sure what to do bout it.

My 4yr old eats just about everything. There are very few foods that she isn't willing to eat and she's usually willing to try just about any new food. So cooking for her isn't a problem.

But like any 4 yr old (or really like anyone else) there are times when she wants something different than what's on her plate. Sometimes it's stuff that is easy for leftovers, like tonights turkey. Just throw the turkey she didn't eat in with the res of the leftover turkey. Other times it's stuff that doesn't work for leftovers, like salad with dressing or fish filets that do not reheat well.

I find myself telling her to finish what's on her plate before she gets something else. That's not how I want to play this whole eating dinner thing. With my older daughter I made the meal and she could eat it or make herself something else. I think that worked out well and that's how I want to parent the other three as well.

But the food waste is driving the thrifty part of me crazy. Watching an entire bowl of salad go in the trash when I know she likes salad is like watching dollar bills go in the trash.

I don't want to raise kids to think wasting food is ok but I also don want to have kids who feel like they HAVE to eat everything someone put in front of them whether or not they are hungry or like the food either.


How do you walk that line?

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Old 01-10-2013, 06:29 PM   #2
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Re: Getting over wasted food

I would give smaller portions of everything. I don't like to see wasted food, but I'd rather see wasted food than have my children overeat and have problems with their health later on in life. I will say though that if my children don't want what's on their plate but they want something else, I will tell them that if they are still hungry they need to eat what's on there. But if they just aren't hungry they don't have eto finish it.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:43 PM   #3
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Re: Getting over wasted food

We go with a sort of middle road. At dinner, children are expected to eat what I fix. Breakfast and lunch they usually have options. Yes, they complain sometimes, but not often. I just let them know that I have 5 people to feed and everyone likes different things, so we take turns eating what everyone likes.

Maybe if you gave her the options and let her know that she needs to stick to whatever she chooses, things would go smoother.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:44 PM   #4
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It all goes in the fridge for later here. Usually ds just doesn't eat because he would rather be doing something else. If I know he likes it and he refuses to eat anything, it goes in the fridge. He doesn't like that is salad is soggy? He should have eaten it instead of playing. He learns quickly that he needs to eat instead of playing around because its not as good the second time around.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:48 PM   #5
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Re: Getting over wasted food

I prefer to give smaller portions of a variety of foods I know my kids enjoy. If they want more potatoes, then they need to finish their salad and protein before getting a second helping of potatoes.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:19 PM   #6
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Re: Getting over wasted food

I give small portions. (Actually, I get annoyed at my husband because he give big portions that get wasted.) I don't make my kids finish everything on their plate if they are full. They can stop whenever they want. However, in our house, they have to eat what is on their plate if they want seconds of anything. I try not to serve them things I know they don't like. If they do genuinely dislike it after trying it, I don't make them eat it. But, if I know they like it, they have to finish what is on their plate before getting something else. To me, that is not about learning to stop when full, because they are still hungry. It is about not being wasteful. Forcing them to finish everything even if they aren't hungry doesn't help them learn to stop when they are full, but I don't do that.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherlovesCDs
I give small portions. (Actually, I get annoyed at my husband because he give big portions that get wasted.) I don't make my kids finish everything on their plate if they are full. They can stop whenever they want. However, in our house, they have to eat what is on their plate if they want seconds of anything. I try not to serve them things I know they don't like. If they do genuinely dislike it after trying it, I don't make them eat it. But, if I know they like it, they have to finish what is on their plate before getting something else. To me, that is not about learning to stop when full, because they are still hungry. It is about not being wasteful. Forcing them to finish everything even if they aren't hungry doesn't help them learn to stop when they are full, but I don't do that.
This is what I do too. And no junk food or special treats if you don't eat your real food. I limit those items too but she doesn't get any if he doesn't eat meals
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:04 PM   #8
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I do one or two bites of everything I've made (unless it's something DS has tried multiple times and still doesn't like) and usually he'll have one thing and the rest will get thrown away, but that's why I give him very small bits. He can ask for more of anything on the plate until there's none left for anyone. If he wants something that's not on the plate he has to take a no thank you bite. I don't generally offer DS meat, since it often just gets thrown away and I don't like wasting meat, but the rest doesn't bother me. (and of course I give him meat if he asks, which happens never).
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:37 AM   #9
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Re: Getting over wasted food

Ditto the above with my kids. I just try to keep the portion sizes small enough that there isn't much to waste. And depending on the food I kinda know how to gauge how much to give them.

Where I have trouble with this whole deal is MYSELF!! My parents weren't even "clean your platers" but I have this awful feeling when I'm somewhere that I don't serve myself, like a restaurant or someone else's house, if I don't finish. Because then I'm wasting it. and at a restaurant I'm getting better about just stopping when I'm full. But at a friends?! AWFUL! I don't want to be rude and waste their food they worked to hard to earn and make for me!

and now that I'm trying to avoid grains, I'm having the same trouble, if I haven't served myself and end up with a big scoop of rice or a couple slices of bread, how do I leave it untouched?! I usually end up eating it. :/

I'm trying to teach myself that it's ok to waste a little. Otherwise it just goes to my waist. It's a hard battle in my head though! GL!
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:23 AM   #10
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Re: Getting over wasted food

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcpforever View Post
I prefer to give smaller portions of a variety of foods I know my kids enjoy. If they want more potatoes, then they need to finish their salad and protein before getting a second helping of potatoes.
This. For my skinny Minnie 4 year old, 3-4 tablespoons (one each of a veg, protien, and starch) are all she starts with. After she eats that much, she's welcome to more.
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