I admit to posting very little on food waste for the past few weeks. It isn’t that the waste is not happening. My attention has been elsewhere – on making food, preserving tomatoes, back to school, and of course, BlogHer. We’ve done okay with food waste, and we can always do better. Not shopping much last week helped us use up food in the fridge. Of course, all the kids are now “Where’s the snacks, Mom?” “We don’t have anything to eat for lunch, Mom.”
Children choosing a food and not finishing it is a food waste issue that comes up way too often for us. Some days I vacillate between nice mom and mean mom, and other days, I set firm boundaries. I’m getting better about setting firm boundaries with a little wiggle room.
We’re very clear about the dinner/ice cream rule. If you finish your dinner, then you can have ice cream. It’s okay to eat only one piece of vegetable, but you do need to eat one piece. After all, I did my job. I made a nutritious meal and put it on the table. You get to eat it, or not. There’s always breakfast. A side tip for parents – if you’re not sure your child will like the meal, then give them less. Size can affect their decision to eat.
Snacktime is where I struggle. We’re eating an 80% whole foods diet with as much organic and grassfed as we can afford. The price of food is going up. Only a week ago, I paid $3.99 for a 3 lb. bag of organic apples. Now, they’re $4.99. If a child decides not to finish their apple because “it’s too spicy,” I usually tell them no more food until they finish the apple. Where it gets sticky is if a child tries a new food and doesn’t like it, or they eat something they’ve liked in the past, but change their mind. I want to give them some wiggle room, but not too much.
How do you handle kids, food waste, and food choices?