My children know that one of my biggest pet peeves is wasting food. Not only do I consider it throwing money right in the garbage, I am always aware of the fact that there are millions of children in the world who go to bed hungry each night and consider it a blessing that my children have always been well fed. This article will discuss several tips and suggestions that I employ on a regular basis in my household to stress the importance of not wasting food. My children are far from perfect and this is an ongoing effort, but I feel these tactics at least set them in the right direction.
Stress The Importance Of “Only Taking What You Are Going To Eat.” I plate my family’s dinner each night and we all start with one serving of meat, vegetables, pasta, salad etc. Whatever I am serving for dinner each night goes on their plates initially with only one serving of each. Of course they are free to satisfy their hunger with a second helping of everything but I do not heap the food upon their plates. If my younger daughter does not want a second serving of vegetables or salad one night, I can easily store the leftovers for the next day’s meals if they are in the original serving dish. Saving salad or meat for another meal is more difficult when it has been seasoned or altered from it’s original state according to one’s preference and then not eaten.
Break Down Bags And Boxes And Snacks Into Single Serving Sizes. How many times have you purchased a bag of chips or box of cookies and found that at least a third of the package has gone stale because someone left the package open after indulging? This happened in my home too many times to mention, so I started breaking down every packaged snack food into single size servings in plastic bags. Yes, I have the added expense of buying more plastic bags, but comparatively speaking it is less expensive than throwing out several bags of chips or cookies a week because someone forgot to seal the bag. The added bonus of individual servings is that it encourages healthier portion sizes.
Make The ‘Five A Day’ Rule A Must In Your House. Steering your children towards the fresh fruits and vegetables at snack time not only encourages healthier snacking and stresses the importance of feeding your bodies the best foods for optimum health, it also guarantees that you will use up your fresh produce before it goes bad.
Take Your Children Grocery Shopping And Discuss The Price Of Food. The price of food is often a mystery to children. Their favorite foods are just always present in the refrigerator and pantry with no real concept of the amount of money it takes to get them there. While children should certainly not worry about rising food prices or feel guilty about enjoying their favorite snack if it is not on sale that week, they should have a rudimentary knowledge of the prices of certain foods. Taking advantage of your grocery store’s sale on chicken or certain produce items sends the message that you respect your family’s food budget and they should do the same. Children glean life lessons from all they see and hear and though it may not seem like it at the time, they are learning from our actions and example.
With a conscious effort and alot of patience, you can make great strides in reducing your children’s waste of food.