In order to avoid having you and your child deal with leftover food situations, especially when the leftovers stand strong likelihoods of being tossed in the trash, the best thing to do is to help your children not to waste food.
When children are very young and especially when they have never tried foods before, they might want a large serving of an entrée simply because it looks good. They might not think about the fact that they just ate a short time ago and will likely be unable to finish a meal size entrée. Likewise, children often take more of everything available at mealtime, whether or not they have recently eaten, and wind up unable to finish the food on their plates. This could happen when a child does not have a big appetite or because a child ruined his or her appetite by eating a snack before a meal.
When children wind up with more food on their plates than they can eat at one sitting, you could opt to put their leftovers in the fridge. This tactic may work well at home and at restaurant, however, could be problematic when eating at other people’s homes or when saving leftovers is simply not feasible.
Understanding how to help your child not waste food can be a bit tricky especially if you never encountered this dilemma before. However, children can learn to take only what they are going to eat in order to avoid leftovers that go from their plates to the trash as food waste.
While helping children learn not to waste food; however, parents must allow children to choose what they want from whatever foods are available for them to eat at mealtime. After all, it makes no sense to serve Johnny spinach when Johnny only likes green foods when green foods are green beans. Johnny might eventually come to eat spinach – but that’s another article.
Ways not to waste food
These are a few ways not to waste food as a family. It’s important to understand that when we waste food, we also waste the labour and resources such as seeds and water that go into producing, transporting and processing it.
- 1) When serving children, give them small portions of the foods they like and let them ask for seconds if they want more.
- 2) When giving children seconds, give them only about half the amount of a food item compared to the amount you served them the first time.
- 3) When eating out at restaurants have your child choose entrées from the child’s menu or ask the server for an extra dish and serve your child food from your entrée.
- 4) When eating out at friend’s homes, at cookouts, picnics, barbecues, or smorgasbords where children often take what they want rather than having food served to them, watch your child make selections, and remind them to take small servings. Children should know that not wasting food when eating out is just as not wasting food while eating at home.
Parents should also understand that one of the best ways of how to help children not waste food is not to waste food themselves. Children learn what they live and if they live seeing mommy and daddy wasting food they learn that wasting food is really okay – no matter what mommy or daddy says!