6 Ways to Help Your Kids Stop Throwing Food
6 Ways to Help Your Kids Stop Throwing Food
In this article, you will learn about 6 Ways to help your Kids stop throwing food. Across the world, about one third of all food produced for people gets wasted that’s like buying ten bags of shopping at the supermarket and popping three bags in the bin as you leave the shop. Or asking your dinner lady for three sausages for lunch and leaving one on your plate untouched.
What a waste! You can increase kids’ awareness about leaving uneaten food on a plate to encourage budding responsibility. With a little effort and training, your youngsters will never look at a discarded sandwich the same way again. Explain that it’s important to use all the food that Mommy and Daddy buy to eat. There are two reasons why this is a good thing. One, food is expensive and it’s not good to waste it; and two, wasting food means that you’re throwing away perfectly good food that someone else might have eaten.
Here are 6 ways to help your kids to stop throwing food:
1. Give them less food and show them that the food is good
Babies and toddlers love to play with their food and when we serve them a big helping of table foods, it literally gives them that much more ammunition. Sometimes the reason they’re throwing their food is because it’s an overwhelming amount in front of them, but even if that’s not the case, giving them just a few pieces (meaning 1-3 at a time) on their tray will often decrease or eliminate the throwing of food all together.
You might say “Mommy loves her chicken,” then place a piece on your fork, eat it and smile and say “Yummy.” See if your child will imitate you. This may take several or more tries, but eventually kids get curious and want to parrot what they parents do. Teach your children to put smaller portions on their plates, without piling them up in one go. Make them understand that it’s okay to take second, third, or fourth helpings. They may fear that food will run out and fill up their plates at one time. They need to be taught that there’s more if they want it. Once they learn, wasting food in school and at home will be reduced.
2. Be calm, even if you’re not
Giving the illusion of calm will help your child learn that you are not fazed by any food they throw. This is particularly powerful if your kiddo has gotten into the annoying habit because of the attention they receive while throwing their food. While you may have to fake your calm-attitude initially, in the long run, it will help you to be more patient. This patience will set a valuable tone for mealtimes that allows your child to feel comfortable exploring new foods and eating until their belly is full!
3. Offer easy choices.
Ahead of the meal, you can offer a choice between two foods to make your toddler feel happier about what you’re serving. A choice between two veggies or fruits can go a long way to making a child feel like they have a say in what they get to eat. You can also try teaching younger toddlers the sign for “all done”, which might give them something else more productive to do with their hands—and the independence to communicate more effectively!
4. Save The Leftovers
If your kids have wasted food, you don’t necessarily need to throw it out. Kids have smaller appetites, but with all the activity they do they get hungry sooner too. You can save their leftovers in child-friendly containers for them to finish later. Naturally, you won’t feed them items that are three days old! It’s just for the next meal. You can also use leftovers to create another dish. For instance, leftover pasta can be used to make pasta salad.
5. Seat them at the table
There are lots of booster seats available that you can use on top of a regular chair that are appropriate for an older baby or toddler. When you use one, with them strapped in but without the tray attached, you can push them right up to the table. In this case, you’ll probably want a place mat (we used one like this, the crumb tray is genius) to put their food on.
Being tucked into a table makes it harder for a baby or toddler to throw food onto the floor! There are lots of benefits to your child being at the table with you for meals, and not on their own separate island, and while food hitting the floor will likely reduce, it’s still possible some will find its way there.
6. Plan and Batch cook meals
Be smart about your weekly meal plans. Yesterday’s pasta can become today’s mac and cheese, while batch cooked dishes like bean salad and fruit crumble store well in the fridge and mean you have healthy meals on hand for days. If you’ve gone overboard you don’t have to eat that lasagna all week: freeze it in portions to avoid springing for takeout next time the fridge is bare.