explaining to four year olds why we don't waste food - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

Thread Tools
#31 of 32 Old 06-20-2012, 04:34 PM
moonjunio's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 98
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I run into any feeding questions, I go and review Ellyn Satter's advice. I have her book Child of Mine, but a brief outline of her work is available on her website:


When we are emotionally invested in how much our kids eat (and who isn't, to some degree) it's all to easy to create pressure that kids automatically resist. This can lead to "you can't make me eat" tactics that result in waste.

Even being too flexible can backfire. Positive pressure is when we invest too much into making eating pleasant (i.e. menu planning centered on their likes/dislikes, rewards, cute food, encouraging bites) Kids can sense the pressure to eat, even when we ourselves didn't realize it was there.

A few concrete suggestions, get rid of grazing and try limiting his choices to selection at the dinner table, not at the store or in the kitchen. Provide a few options at the table and let the family serve themselves from serving bowls/platters. Make sure it's food you're willing to eat also, not just "kid food," sit down and eat with the kids, even for snack if you can. Eat without comment, talk about other things. If they make a fuss, just say they don't have to eat it, but it stays on their plate after they choose it. Give them the chance to help put away leftovers, it's a wordless way to get them thinking about where that food goes.

It is painful to throw anything away when you would much rather not waste a bite, but working on their food acceptance is the road to reducing waste. You can guess how much the family will eat without worrying too much about what individuals eat if you refuse to do "custom orders."

I hope you find some of the above useful, Ellyn Satter's book has been a wonderful resource for our family ;-)
moonjunio is offline  
Sponsored Links
#32 of 32 Old 06-20-2012, 05:21 PM
Wolfcat's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 1,313
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 47 Post(s)
Originally Posted by DeerMother View Post

I'm happy with how I'm handling the consequences of their actions. '

What I want to know is - how do I explain my reasoning to four year olds? How do we go to the store, pay with a card and they relate that to me working. How do I explain that in our culture everything has a value including food? How do I teach them to be grateful for the things we have and not ask for something different/better/more?

Originally Posted by ssantos View Post

This is probably not the answer you are looking for but it could still get your point across to your children - show them how you do not waste food.  We almost never throw out food in our house.  My dh manages the food and he gives our kids (5 and 7) a little more than they can eat for dinner.  They typically eat about half of everything.  Either I finish eating what is on their plates or I scrape it into a tupperware to take for lunch the next day (the meat is already cut into bite size peices smile.gif ).  They can have fruit between meals if they are still hungry.  I am showing them how "we" don't waste food.

We use small portions and either we eat what the kids didn't instead of getting seconds for ourselves, or I try to salvage what they've left into leftovers or lunches for the next day.

As for money, I talk about how we work so that we earn our food and home. The company I work for gives me money because that's how we change what we earn into what we get. Our home, clothes, food, even electricity for heat and Tv all take money, and that's how those people earn money for their homes, etc.
We let D's keep coins he finds on the floor and he has to take quarters with him when we go shopping if he wants a toy from the coin-operated machine. If he doesn't have quarters, he asks us. I explain to him that sometimes we can't get quarters because we are paying with the card. Or that we have to get milk with our money and so we don't have extra for quarters. It took a while, but he's really grasping the money thing at 5 yo.

We also talk about saving for things we like better. Like getting cheaper cereal so we can visit gramma & grampa more. We talk about how its silly to waste things because then we would have to buy more of it sooner. And not have money for treats, then. We garden and talk about how instead of using the money we work for to get the food, we are doing more work.

It's a constant thing. I wish my parents had been more realistic with me about how money is used as an adult. It was kinds shocking to learn how much it takes to run a household. I want my kids to understand money-love or hats, money isn't going away any time soon. Kwim?

Check out my radio blog, Pagan Musings, and my writing (as Selina Wolfcat & Sarah Buhrman).
I'm a head-covering witchy mama to DS ('06) and DD ('10) with DH, Stormie, a Heathen breadwinning daddy.
Wolfcat is offline  


User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 8,279

13 members and 8,266 guests
alenamiy , anacrish , davilaolga766 , Dooby , hillymum , IsaFrench , katelove , moominmamma , rhutes , SPrada , Tara 1st Timer , transylvania_mom
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.