How do you reduce food waste ? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 01:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
Triniity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Hi, 

I hope you have some advice. 

 

I want to teach my kids to be respectful with resources esp. food and water and stuff. (and their toys, but that´s a different story I guess) They are not very good with it though. My ds is three years old, so I don´t really expect much, but dd is 5 and I think she should be able to understand a little. 

 

Here is my example: 
DD choose to have a sandwich with salami for breakfast. Our bread was really large (not a sandwich bread) so the slice she took was huuuuuge. I asked her if she is really that hungry, to take the whole slice or if we want to take smaller one, or half it or something, and she was like: No, I really want it, I´ll eat it. I said: Okay, but you really have to eat it, you will not get anything else until you have eaten it, and you have to stay at the table with it. She agreed, slashed butter on it and a quite big amount of salami (it was a huge slice, so I did not say anything more)
She sat down at the table and had a couple of bites (not even a quarter of the slice) and than started to eat only the salami. I told her, that she will have to eat the bread, even without anything on it, if she choose to eat all of her salami without the actual bread. 

She was grumpy but still sitting but not eating. 

My DH did not agree with me and said that he does not think she should eat if she is not hungry (I do agree to this point in general - but feel that I discussed the amount of food with DD) so I said, fine, you don´t have to eat it for breakfast if you don´t want it anymore, but you´ll get nothing else before this slice is eaten. 

And I unpacked her carefully packed breakfast box for kindergarten and put the rather sad looking slice of bread into it. Without anything on it (except the butter), and gave it to her. 

 

Now I feel a bit bad, that she will not have anything nice to eat at kindergarten, and I wonder if this approach was ungentle and if I expected too much from her. 

 

What do you think? How do you teach your children to be respectful with their food?


Trin with DH , DD(7)  and DS(5) ,  DD(2) ,
I am not regularly online at the moment due to the above ...
Triniity is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 02:09 AM
 
Smokering's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 8,315
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)

We're dealing with this issue with DD too (she's three). I don't think what you did was harsh at all - you made things very clear to her before she took the bread. Having a not-so-exciting lunch at kindy for a day won't kill her!

 

Right now I'm trying to stay alert with DD's food, so I don't accidentally give her something new when she hasn't finished her previous drink or snack. She has a habit of leaving half-full glasses of milk around, which drives me nuts. We have a "no dessert if you don't finish your dinner" policy I wouldn't say it's perfect - at this very moment DD is procrastinating about finishing her devilled sausages - but I'm trying to be consistent. If I go the "her body's telling her she's full" route and let her off finishing dinner, she'll be asking for a snack ten minutes later.

 

ETA: I just read a book about food waste that got me really riled up sbout it, so I'm trying to cut down on waste for ALL of us. I put leftover porridge in my bread dough the other day (from the pot, I mean, not scrapings from our bowls!). It was nice, actually...


If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

Smokering is online now  
#3 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 02:15 AM
 
skreader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 681
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

It's not easy to teach kids about respecting food if you live in a situation of abundance. My strategies have been.

 

1) Small portions

If your dd gives herself a serving that you think is too big, intervene and say something like "I think your eyes are bigger than your stomach, start w/ part of it [give her what you think is a more reasonable portion] and then if you finish it, you can have more".

 

So, in the situation you described, I would have tried to change things starting w/ the size of the slice of bread and then the slice of salami.

 

 

2) Reduce choice

 I did not offer my kids much choice of breakfast, at least on a school day. They usually have the same thing, over and over again. It's a routine. My son has had the same breakfast on  school days for almost 10 years. My daughter when she was younger had toast or bagels and/or eggs,  I knew what she liked and the only variations were "Do you want jam w/ it" or "do you want eggs this morning or not". Now that she's older she's starting to make her own breakfast.

 

At supper, I've noticed that when they have more dishes to choose from, they would be more picky. If we only serve one or two dishes along w/ rice or veg, then they tend to eat it w/out fuss, and be more willing to try new things.

 

3) Saying grace

 - Usually at supper, but can be done at other meals too - helps create a mindset of gratitude

 

4) Remove food if they start to play with it

I was really strict about that.

 

5) Do not allow insults of food

It really annoys me if kids say "That looks GROSS!" or  "YUCK, I'm not having any of that". Instead, I tried to teach them to say "I don't care for that, thanks."

 

Good luck.

skreader is offline  
#4 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 04:01 AM
 
velochic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Dreaming of the Bavarian Alps
Posts: 8,198
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My dd is 9, so we've been through this... and I think what you did was perfect.  This is exactly what we did with dd.  We did make sure that she knew that if she took a small portion, she was welcome to have more.  We also talked a lot about being good stewards of the earth and that when we eat our healthy food, it's important that we don't waste what the earth has given us.  No guilt trips - just simple facts.  We did (and do) discuss what others have access to in other parts of the world (and in other parts of the US). 

 

We are fortunate that we've been able to travel all over the world with dd, so she has had some hands-on experience that people in other parts of the world eat differently than we do, as a general rule, in America.  It's sometimes difficult to explain the excess and waste that is so prevalent in the US, but I think what you are doing is just right.  A child isn't going to starve if you tell them to finish what they chose.  Your job is to provide the food, their job is to eat it (or not).  For us, I think this has also helped dd to become an adventurous eater. 

 

Never did we (do we) tell dd that she has to finish at that time, a food she chose.  She can put it back for later.  She just knows that if she goes against my advice, and chooses something, that we will put it in the fridge and get it back out for a snack later to minimize waste.  I do this for myself, too.  Sometimes my eyes are bigger than my stomach, but dd sees that I put the food up until I'm hungry again, then eat up the leftovers.  (We also have a leftover night once a week, so she sees that food that was not served, and put the fridge, can be reheated (even put into a completely different dish) and is still yummy.) 

 

Keep up the good work!!

velochic is offline  
#5 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 08:07 AM
 
ollyoxenfree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,895
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)

 

I don't think there is anything wrong with how you handled the situation. Learning portion control can be a struggle though, especially when someone is hungry and that someone is still a child. Her eyes are bigger than her tummy, as the saying goes. 

 

I probably would have avoided the situation by telling her to take a smaller slice of bread (or half-slice or whatever) and smaller amount of salami, and she was welcome to come back for more if she was still hungry when she finished. You are still teaching her portion control and to consume resources carefully. I'd also cut the bread into smaller slices ahead of time, to avoid the temptation to take huge slices. Set her up for success ahead of time, rather than trying to limit and mitigate after.  

 

 

ollyoxenfree is offline  
#6 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 08:26 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 4,031
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)

a little at a time.  I give smaller plates and smaller portions.  If you want more then mama pops up and gets it for you.  My little one had issues with thinking her needs were not being met.  DH is a just a minuter... turns into 5 or 10.  I don't argue I don't discuss, you said you wanted a sandwich, well heres half of a sandwich.  You want more you'll get more.    Also depending on what it is, like fruit or something, they can never eat a whole apple and no one not even me will eat a brown one.  So half apples go to our beagle who is on a raw diet. 

Imakcerka is offline  
#7 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 08:55 AM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)

i have an only. so its been easy for me to do what i did.

 

the thing is to first recognise what your dd is doing is normal. even parents who dont live in an abundant culture - there is enough food for the kids so the kids behave the same. 

 

for me yeah the bread for lunch would be harsh. not saying that is wrong for you, but just that i cant do it. 

 

i have seen with my dd lecture does not work. me having a heavy hand does not work. yes she knows we dont waste food. 

 

i prefer to show by example. so we have volunteered at the food bank, the local farm and fed the homeless. dd has sat with them and learnt that dinner was their first meal of the day or even since yesterday.

 

we have watched movies about other places where hunger is common. read books, magazines.

 

i have read her my school essay on dumpster diving.

 

we have talked. discussed about food. hunger.

 

i have seen if i ask her leading questions (yeah i have been doing this since she was 4) it makes her think.  


 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
#8 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 09:57 AM
 
velochic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Dreaming of the Bavarian Alps
Posts: 8,198
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Triniity View Post
I asked her if she is really that hungry, to take the whole slice or if we want to take smaller one, or half it or something, and she was like: No, I really want it, I´ll eat it. I said: Okay, but you really have to eat it, you will not get anything else until you have eaten it, and you have to stay at the table with it. She agreed, slashed butter on it and a quite big amount of salami (it was a huge slice, so I did not say anything more)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

I probably would have avoided the situation by telling her to take a smaller slice of bread (or half-slice or whatever) and smaller amount of salami, and she was welcome to come back for more if she was still hungry when she finished.

 

But she did do that, as you can see in her OP, ollyoxenfree. 

 

Sometimes kids just don't take our suggestions and have to learn for themselves.  It doesn't have to be forceful or a power struggle... just a simple fact of life.  Wasting goes WAY beyond just food.  In this culture of disposal, the foremost thing that I (personally) think is important is that children learn that life is not disposable.  It's a conservation thing and I *think* most people here probably agree.   It's part of Natural Family Living.  Being able to load up a plate at a buffet and discard 3/4 of it is part of the materialistic, egocentric, and entitlement attitude that pervades our society these days.  A different attitude of take what you want and use (eat) what you take is a good thing, IMO, to instill in our children.  They are going to need that in their lifetime.
 

 

velochic is offline  
#9 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 10:36 AM
 
serenbat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 4,407
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 126 Post(s)

why don't you go back to treating her like you would the three year old?

 

get what amount you want her to have, if she eats al of that, give more

 

talk about things to keep encouraging her ability to select and do so on a limited amount until she gets what you mean, talk about waste and where it goes (if you compost, we even talk about cost and availability, etc) and also as the other PP said, it goes beyond food, we stress this with so much other items by five it is ingrained!!! 

 

 

we do things simple for our three year old- ex pop-corn, one big bowel, I dish out the first scoop into smaller bowels, when empty the three year old gets to take his own scoop (stressing to keep about the same amount as he just had), must eat all that is taken if he wants more- we kind of stick with these rules

 

we stress always taking a small amount and asking for more, this goes for most food items

 

dinner plate, I dish up, you must try each item and can only ask for more if all items are done, this is not the clean plate club but it stress that ALL get done if you really want something else, most times it doesn't happen that he does


 

 pro-transparency advocate

&

lurk.gif  PROUD member of the .3% club!

 

Want to join? Just ask me!

 

"You know, in my day we used to sit on our ass smoking Parliaments for nine months.

Today, you have one piece of Brie and everybody goes berserk."      ROTFLMAO.gif 

serenbat is offline  
#10 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 10:42 AM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)


Quote:

Originally Posted by velochic View Post

Sometimes kids just don't take our suggestions and have to learn for themselves. 

EXACTLY!!!!

 

It doesn't have to be forceful or a power struggle... just a simple fact of life. 

 

Wasting goes WAY beyond just food.  In this culture of disposal, the foremost thing that I (personally) think is important is that children learn that life is not disposable.  It's a conservation thing and I *think* most people here probably agree.  

 

It's part of Natural Family Living.  Being able to load up a plate at a buffet and discard 3/4 of it is part of the materialistic, egocentric, and entitlement attitude that pervades our society these days.  A different attitude of take what you want and use (eat) what you take is a good thing, IMO, to instill in our children.  They are going to need that in their lifetime.

beautifully put velochic. beautifully put. those are my exact sentiments.thumb.gif

 

that is why i give dd these opportunities so that she learns from life - a realisation she makes that stays with her forever. 

 

that is why i no longer stress with dd about the little things. about too much on her plate. because for her hunger has a face - charlie who impressed on her so much - who had just the clothes on him and hadnt eaten in 4 days except water. mind you she met the guy when she was 6 and she never imagined such people existed. how can anyone go hungry. 

 

i KNOW dd watches VERY closely everything i do. her first long sentence was mama u sneezed but didnt say excuse me. 


 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
#11 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 12:02 PM
 
mamazee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: US midwest
Posts: 7,246
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I think you can teach about waste without focusing so much on, in this case, a piece of bread. I personally would try to discuss it in a way that is unlikely to make my kids resentful about the whole thing. What we do is discuss gratitude before each meal and do a kind of grace where we thank the people involved in the creation of our food, and also we have a can that we put a bit of money into at each meal, and then we alternate between donating the money to a local food pantry and a worldwide hunger organization, and talk about how many people don't have enough to eat, and how we need to be careful not to create a lot of waste when so many people have to do without. I would not make a huge deal out of finishing food though. I worry that it will create resentment, and also possibly create other eating issues. I don't personally believe that it's a necessary part of teaching this lesson.
mamazee is offline  
#12 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 12:12 PM
 
insidevoice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,320
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

In my opinion, it comes down to whether or not you want to make food a battleground.  Given the incidence of disordered eating prevalent in our culture, it simply isn't a path I will take with my children.

 

What we do to get around the whole issue (and focus on healthy habits!) is to measure out 'a serving' of a specific food.  We dish out a single serving, and if someone is still hungry, they may get another serving. $20 invested in a food scale and some fun/easy measuring utensils (unless you already have them in your home) works wonders.  I won't limit food access, but I do limit the amount taken at one time. This way, kids learn to eyeball a healthy serving of food early on, and our culture of excess is apparent to them from an early age. 

 

A fun experiment is to have them fnd some advertising pictures of breakfasts at Dennys or something like that, then have them make the same meal with appropriate/suggested serving sizes.  Let them see the difference between what is marketed to us as a single meal, and what a healthy serving really is. 

insidevoice is offline  
#13 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 12:14 PM
 
McGucks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: among the wildflowers
Posts: 1,222
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I had a friend who did this rule:  if a parent serves it to you, you can stop at one bite...if you served yourself, you have to eat that portion.  I think she did it with kids older than yours, though.  Actually, I'm not sure what I think about that one.  I don't want to encourage over-eating, and that could. 

 

As far as not wasting food for adults, we label (masking tape/Sharpie) every leftover that goes in the fridge.  Since we mostly eat a lot of the same things, we can re-use the tape, too.


 sleepytime.gif I got tired of my signature, but I still love my children and husband and miss my little brotherkid.gif

McGucks is offline  
#14 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 12:56 PM
 
Drummer's Wife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Land of Enchantment
Posts: 11,487
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

I think you can teach about waste without focusing so much on, in this case, a piece of bread. I personally would try to discuss it in a way that is unlikely to make my kids resentful about the whole thing. What we do is discuss gratitude before each meal and do a kind of grace where we thank the people involved in the creation of our food, and also we have a can that we put a bit of money into at each meal, and then we alternate between donating the money to a local food pantry and a worldwide hunger organization, and talk about how many people don't have enough to eat, and how we need to be careful not to create a lot of waste when so many people have to do without. I would not make a huge deal out of finishing food though. I worry that it will create resentment, and also possibly create other eating issues. I don't personally believe that it's a necessary part of teaching this lesson.

 

Yes, this.  Especially the part I bolded. 

 

I have four kids, and there is going to be some food waste.  It doesn't happen to be a "button" or big issue to me, though I realize that it definitely is to other people.  Sometimes to the point of creating a bigger issue than a wasted bowl of yogurt. 

 

 


ribboncesarean.gif cesareans happen.
Drummer's Wife is offline  
#15 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 01:25 PM
 
pauletoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,085
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by insidevoice View Post

In my opinion, it comes down to whether or not you want to make food a battleground.  Given the incidence of disordered eating prevalent in our culture, it simply isn't a path I will take with my children.


I agree.


Wife of 20 years to my superhero firefighting DH. SAHM to 2 boys and 2 girls (3 babies in Heaven- Baby # 5 5/2010 & Baby #6 8/2011 & Baby # 7 2/1013). Cancer Survivor 2011 ( Persistent Malignant Gestational Trophoblastic Disease)

pauletoy is offline  
#16 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
Triniity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Thank you for all your answers, they really got me thinking! 

 

The point is, I do not make her finish her food, it´s like caedenmomma´s friend does it, if I serve it to her, and she isn´t hungry, that´s fine. It´s more about the fact that we talked about the food waste that will be coming (and the slice of bread is really just an example, it can be anything, even icecream, they decide they want another serving, have one bite and are finished). 

 

Obviously I could just have told her that I won´t give the big slice to her, since it is too big, but she took it herself and decided that she wants to eat it, all of it, she prepared it all by herself. And I really want to teach her that you cannot really just touch something and than throw it out. I mean, my granny made us sit on the table and eat until we gagged. I would not want to do this. But I think she is old enough to learn, and not to be only controlled by me ywim? Maybe she is too small for that, and maybe I´ll just go back to the three year old stage. 

But there will be a time where she should "know" how to calculate her appetite, and how can I possibly teach it if she never faces the consequences of making the wrong decision? (This is a real question, no sarcasm or something)

 

And, just to be clear, it was not a lunch packet, just a snack. She gets cooked lunch at kindergarten, so she did not have to eat this poor slice of bread the whole day, she did just not get the usual fruits and cute sandwich faces and goodies. 

 

Some things are difficult to teach....

 

 


Trin with DH , DD(7)  and DS(5) ,  DD(2) ,
I am not regularly online at the moment due to the above ...
Triniity is offline  
#17 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 02:17 PM
 
Smokering's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 8,315
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)

Is there any evidence that a consistently-applied approach of "Are you sure you want to take that much? Then you need to finish it" causes "disordered eating"? Any evidence at all? Because we're not talking about "I'm going to sit you down and force-feed you fries" here, nor "I'm going to withhold all food as a punishment for a prolonged period of time". Depression-era mums were always pretty strict about finishing food, and that didn't seem to result in a generation of kids with eating disorders - they're way more common today, as is a "Meh, just chuck it out" attitude to food waste. So I don't buy that the OP's about to turn her daughter into an anorexic or something here.


If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

Smokering is online now  
#18 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 02:30 PM
 
insidevoice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,320
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Triniity View Post
 But I think she is old enough to learn, and not to be only controlled by me ywim? Maybe she is too small for that, and maybe I´ll just go back to the three year old stage. 

But there will be a time where she should "know" how to calculate her appetite, and how can I possibly teach it if she never faces the consequences of making the wrong decision? (This is a real question, no sarcasm or something)

 

 


This is where the measuring and weighing comes in handy.  It's age appropriate and good practice for them and, more importantly, look around you as you walk down the street- the majority of people simply DON'T learn to calculate their appetite.  If they did, we wouldn't have the huge problems with obesity and related health problems that we do.  The majority of people in the US do not have the ability to recognize a serving.

 

This is kind of a neat quiz that helps people see the change over the past 50 years. http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/portion/index.htm  

 

It's really hard for adults to see a proper serving- particularly when they are hungry- expecting a child to see it even into adolescence without giving them tools to help check is an unrealistic goal. 

insidevoice is offline  
#19 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 03:06 PM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Triniity View Post

But there will be a time where she should "know" how to calculate her appetite, and how can I possibly teach it if she never faces the consequences of making the wrong decision? (This is a real question, no sarcasm or something) 

first of all - all children do this. it isnt about overeating or calculating her appetite. its about wanting to eat only what they want to eat and piling it on. it really isnt about hunger. its the same principle of toys. that's MY toy I want it. no one else plays with it.

 

first of all her appetite is her deal. as she becomes more aware of the world, starts looking at how you behave - she will follow you. you dont have to insist now unless that's how she is ALWAYS eating. if once in a way she eats with her eyes let it go. she will figure it out. what YOU do with your food is more important than what she does.

 

since dd was 7 i stopped telling her how much sweets to eat. i gave her carte blanche. 'its ur body, you know how much you can handle. but dont come to me asking for empathy or medicine if you feel sick from eating too many sweets.' eyesroll.gif she still asks can i have more icecream mom?

 

 


 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
#20 of 22 Old 08-24-2011, 06:36 PM
 
ollyoxenfree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 4,895
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)



Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post


Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

I probably would have avoided the situation by telling her to take a smaller slice of bread (or half-slice or whatever) and smaller amount of salami, and she was welcome to come back for more if she was still hungry when she finished.

 

 

 

But she did do that, as you can see in her OP, ollyoxenfree. 

 

 


 

Well, no, she didn't tell the child what size portion was appropriate. She asked......

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triniity View Post

Here is my example: 
DD choose to have a sandwich with salami for breakfast. Our bread was really large (not a sandwich bread) so the slice she took was huuuuuge. I asked her if she is really that hungry, to take the whole slice or if we want to take smaller one, or half it or something, and she was like: No, I really want it, I´ll eat it.......
 


and what followed after that kind of mild suggestion was almost inevitable - the child helped herself to more than she could manage and was forced to finish it, eventually. 

 

If you are going to set out rules about food and enforce them, then I think it is more in keeping with gentle discipline and less coercive to set out a rule about portion size, rather than a rule forcing a child to finish everything. It creates fewer struggles and avoids negative outcomes to say at the outset "This is a reasonable portion to start with. If you are still hungry, you are welcome to come back for more". I wouldn't expect a hungry 5 y.o. to be able to resist the temptation to load up her plate. 

 

Instead letting her take as much as she wants and but then enforce a rule that she must finish it all is likely to motivate her to eat past the point of satiety, just so she won't be forced to take it to school for lunch. Both parent and child are unhappy. Chances are it ended up in the garbage at school anyway, negating the entire lesson - don't waste food. "If you take more than you can eat, you must finish it later" is the kind of rule that sets up a whole bunch of bad behaviours, struggles and emotions around food. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by insidevoice View Post

In my opinion, it comes down to whether or not you want to make food a battleground.  Given the incidence of disordered eating prevalent in our culture, it simply isn't a path I will take with my children.

 

What we do to get around the whole issue (and focus on healthy habits!) is to measure out 'a serving' of a specific food.  We dish out a single serving, and if someone is still hungry, they may get another serving. $20 invested in a food scale and some fun/easy measuring utensils (unless you already have them in your home) works wonders.  I won't limit food access, but I do limit the amount taken at one time. This way, kids learn to eyeball a healthy serving of food early on, and our culture of excess is apparent to them from an early age. 

 

A fun experiment is to have them fnd some advertising pictures of breakfasts at Dennys or something like that, then have them make the same meal with appropriate/suggested serving sizes.  Let them see the difference between what is marketed to us as a single meal, and what a healthy serving really is. 


Yes, this is the sort of strategy I was thinking about. 

 



 

 

ollyoxenfree is offline  
#21 of 22 Old 08-25-2011, 03:26 AM
 
amberskyfire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2,213
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think you did the right thing. You warned her and she verbally agreed to the consequences.

 

We are very poor, so food wasting is a huge deal in our house. I don't make DD eat anything she doesn't want to eat, but I have one major rule and that is if you ask for it, you have to eat it and you don't get anything else until it's gone. You don't have to eat it in one sitting and you can put it in the fridge for later, but nothing else comes your way until you do eat it. It took a couple of tries, but she did learn that I was serious and she never asked for anything after that unless she really wanted it.

 

I also agree with the other moms who suggested small portions. Sometimes I just don't take arguing about it. I'm not depriving her of food. She can have more if she finishes it. If she's going to have a fit because I gave her half a sandwich instead of the whole thing, then she can just not eat until she's hungry enough to eat the food because she's hungry - not for the novelty of having a huge portion.


Mama to a bright 5 y/o girl dust.gif and a beautiful boy born 03/10/12 fly-by-nursing1.gif Loving unschooling, 2xuc.jpgfamilybed2.gif ecbaby2.gifand natural living in Hawaii.rainbow1284.gif
amberskyfire is offline  
#22 of 22 Old 08-26-2011, 05:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
Triniity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

After a couple of days of thinking about it and reading your posts and suggestions (which really got me thinking, which is a good thing!)

- and talking to DD and seeing how she reacted and everything I got to the conclusion that it was the right thing to do. Obviously everybody has his own parenting strategies, and they´ll change over time as well. 

In general, we try to teach our children to be able to make their own decisions and make their own mistakes, which would come into the "natural consequences line", wouldn´t it. 

In the situation I described I had to decide if I take over her decision and question her ability to choose for herself or if I let her face the consequences. I decided to take her own responsibility in a not so big decision, where she would not get hurt by a mistake at all.

 

It was not even the slice of bread, at the end of the day, the breakfast box has the same kind of bread in it, anyway, only with salami and together with a couple of goodies that she missed now. 

 

We talked about it in the evening, how someone grew the wheat for the bread and had to work on it and carried it home and somebody else made a bread of it (which is mommy often times - not this time thought) and it is not very respectful to just throw it out. I think she understood what I was talking about. Not that I think that she will never make a mistake again, far from it, but I honestly think that the experience brought us closer, me understanding her better, she understanding me better. 

 

And maybe there is a bit of overinterpretation in here - but it´s fine. I think, it was a good teaching point for us. She wasn´t hurt, and she was surely not forced to eat anything that she totally did not like, maybe it was not as nice as it would have been but anyway. 

I agree with amberskyfire, she needs to learn that ones has to finish his/her meal, and we (parents) do this as well, I personally love leftovers (leftover bread fried in butter with a little cheese on it ... mmmh) and I don´t throw out slices of bread or anything like that. 

 

But again, I really loved to see your insights on that point! 


Trin with DH , DD(7)  and DS(5) ,  DD(2) ,
I am not regularly online at the moment due to the above ...
Triniity is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

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


Forum Jump: 

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