Children generally don’t worry much about wasting food. They eat what they want and how much they want to, leaving the rest without thinking about it. As a parent, it’s up to you to curb the habit of wasting food. Children need you to teach them why they shouldn’t throw it away, and why they don’t need to overfill their plates. Teach them when they’re young and this thought process will stay with them throughout life.
How To Stop Children From Wasting Food?
1. Keep The Portions Small And Manageable
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. 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.
3. Plan Ahead
Try and plan ahead when you go grocery shopping. Involve the kids in meal-planning and you’ll save time, money, and reduce food waste. Skip items that they don’t like to eat and replace them with a healthy alternative. For example, if they find cauliflower boring, you could get broccoli, beans and peas.
4. Make Food More Interesting For The Kids
Children don’t mind eating veggies and fruits if only they look attractive! Make sure you use colourful plates and cutlery and present meals using kid-friendly themes such as Disney. Even when you are packing their lunch-boxes, try and be as creative as possible. We promise empty tiffins when the kids return home!
5. Introduce Them To The Process of Growing Food
Educate your kids about food. Show them how it grows. Plant a few herbs with them so they realise the effort that goes into growing food. Plan meals you can cook together, and that your kids can help you with such as mixing, and whipping and measuring. They’ll learn to appreciate food more.
6. Show Them The Reality of Food Wastage
Teach your children not to waste food. Explain to them what happens when they throw away food, and help them appreciate how lucky they are not to go hungry. Drive home the point with food waste facts for kids and tell them that it’s morally wrong to throw away good food that less privileged people would be grateful and thankful for.
Let’s aim to raise socially-conscious and caring children who consider other people and the environment before taking any action. Be the socially sensitive family!