Weight Loss Support - Eating your child's leftovers




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tricon7
08-25-2011, 04:14 PM
I have three children ages six and under, and I must admit that I find myself eating their leftovers fairly regularly. Especially hard is breakfastime - they love waffles with Mrs. Buttersworth syrup! Aggh! My favorite. Sometimes they don't eat any of their waffle, and they leave the table, while the plate of yummy waffle sits there, taunting me. I only planned on eating a bite or two - then the fork took on a life of its own and it shoved the entire waffle into my mouth. :?:

I hate to see food go to waste, but there's really no saving a syrup-soggy waffle. I suppose my only option is to hurry and scrape it off the plate into the trash can. Does anyone else with children have hints on how to avoid this pitfall?


ncuneo
08-25-2011, 04:21 PM
Yep, I used to. Then it just became a non-negotiable thing - food left on DS's plate goes in the trash or is saved for HIM for later. No questions. Does it suck throwing food away, sure, but sorry it's just not up for discussion.

XLMuffnTop
08-25-2011, 04:22 PM
I've never had this problem with my son as he is a disgusting eater. Eventually everything on his plate seems like it has been licked, nibbled or chewed once and spit out. :barf: I may end up having this temptation with my daughter as she gets older though.

You might try giving them breakfasts that you can eat as well. My kids love eggs, turkey sausage and whole wheat toast or oatmeal (not packaged with tons of sugar) or a bowl of Cheerios with sliced banana.

If they're just not in to that you might consider making smaller portions so there are fewer leftovers. Maybe you won't feel so bad throwing out if there's less to throw out!


JayEll
08-25-2011, 04:24 PM
Throwing it away as fast as possible is the best strategy. If necessary, throw old coffee grounds on it. Or better yet, run it down the disposal if you have one.

You aren't the garbage can. You don't need to "save" food from being "wasted" by adding it to your hips! :lol:

How about not even making waffles soggy with syrup for the kids? Do they really need that food? Maybe if they are leaving it behind, you could take a hint... and make something else.

Good luck!
Jay

IsobelRose22
08-25-2011, 04:24 PM
When I'm tempted, I pour washing up liquid all over the leftovers immediately.

mzKiki
08-25-2011, 04:27 PM
I find my kids leftovers kind of gross lol. But Waffles and syrup are yummy. Try sugar free syrup and whole grain eggo's my kids definitely can't tell the difference and it is low enough in calories that you too can eat it.

gardenermom
08-25-2011, 04:36 PM
Maybe you could give the kids who are old enough a "chore" to clean away their own leftovers (and those of their younger siblings who cannot do this yet) - pack anything you tell them is salvageable into a container for the fridge, and everything else into the trash? Then you have less hands-on opportunity with the leftovers and they have a small chore to do.

I struggle with the same thing at dinner time - having them clean their own plates and put them in the dishwasher themselves helps.

midwife
08-25-2011, 04:41 PM
Better in the trash than on your @##. :)

kelly315
08-25-2011, 04:41 PM
one of the things I had to learn to do was to throw food away. I used to finish off all of my junk food, even if I wasn't hungry, because I somehow convinced myself that the food= money. But in reality, you're probably losing a few cents when you throw things like waffles away. Isn't your health worth a few cents?

XLMuffnTop
08-25-2011, 04:50 PM
one of the things I had to learn to do was to throw food away. I used to finish off all of my junk food, even if I wasn't hungry, because I somehow convinced myself that the food= money. But in reality, you're probably losing a few cents when you throw things like waffles away. Isn't your health worth a few cents?

If you run with this idea you could end up costing yourself more money in healthcare bills than the cost of the syrupy waffles from all the added weight you'd be putting on. ;)

ANewCreation
08-25-2011, 05:11 PM
Better in the trash than on your @##. :)

Yes, this is my philosophy too :D

I grew up being part of the clean plate club so I know this is hard to do. I often remind myself that I am NOT a trash can. I have a trash can and a garbage disposal and I will use that instead! No more 'cleaning up' leftovers, food I don't particularly care for, food on it's 'last legs', etc.

I don't like to waste food either but I am not the household trash can any more :dizzy:

mamakat
08-25-2011, 05:18 PM
I had a sobering moment when my DS was young...I knew then I had a problem. He was eating his lunch and then had to go "potty". The moment he was upstairs I ate his food thinking he was done. He came back and said "mama, you ate my food." he had such a sad face. From then on, it never happens, never. I felt so bad even though it's easy enough to make more food, but the disappointment on his face nearly killed me.

Good luck, o and real quick take it to the sink and squirt dishsoap on it or spray it with cleaner.

tricon7
08-25-2011, 05:23 PM
Yeah, I have to realize that if I eat this stuff, I'm just going to have to burn if off again. It's not like it's going to a good home.

April Snow
08-25-2011, 05:31 PM
Better in the trash than on your @##. :)

this.

I package it all up and it goes in the fridge for him for another time. I have a ton of tiny little plastic containers! lol!

With waffles in particular, I don't give him syrup. I don't really like it myself anyway, so it was not a conscious decision not to use it on waffles, pancake, french toast, etc., it just happened. He likes it that way and it makes it much more portable to eat in the car and to pop any extra into a container or baggie for later.

RJ 1980
08-25-2011, 05:43 PM
My son never has leftovers. :D

You could teach your kids to scrape off their plates in the trash when they are finished. Or immediately pour something gross on it.

Horo
08-25-2011, 10:32 PM
I'm sorry if these seems at all abrasive, since it really isn't my intention, but if you feel that syrupy waffles aren't something you are supposed to be eating.. why are the kids?

Why not try cooking something healthier, served in small portions so there aren't tons of leftovers, that you and the kids can eat the same things together? I'd imagine there would be less temptation to eat their leftovers, if there are any, for several reasons.. you will already had your portion of whatever it was they ate, there isn't quite as much temptation to scarf down leftovers of healthy food than their is for candy-like foods like syrupy waffles, and you won't be giving them too-large portions to leave behind in the first place.

tkdtara84
08-25-2011, 11:10 PM
I'm sorry if these seems at all abrasive, since it really isn't my intention, but if you feel that syrupy waffles aren't something you are supposed to be eating.. why are the kids?

Why not try cooking something healthier, served in small portions so there aren't tons of leftovers, that you and the kids can eat the same things together? I'd imagine there would be less temptation to eat their leftovers, if there are any, for several reasons.. you will already had your portion of whatever it was they ate, there isn't quite as much temptation to scarf down leftovers of healthy food than their is for candy-like foods like syrupy waffles, and you won't be giving them too-large portions to leave behind in the first place.

Do you have kids? While I agree in theory that we should all be serving healthy food to kids, in reality, it will not always happen. Also, I wouldn't want to be the mom who never lets her kids have a treat or any junk food ever. In my opinion, junk food should be a part of life, but a very small part, in moderation. Furthermore, there are some perfectly healthy foods that I would munch and snack on if my child were eating it even if I weren't hungry. Also, (and you'd know this if you had kids) there comes a time when every parent chooses something convenient instead of healthy simply because we need to get the kid to eat, or we're frazzled and super busy-- that's life, and once you have kids, you let go of some of the rigid theories you held pre-parenthood. To the OP-- I completely understand.

Before I even had kids, I ran across someone talking about eating their kids leftovers, etc., and for some reason, it made a huge impression on me. My son is 16 months, so he's only been eating table food for about 6 months or so, but I haven't once touched his stuff after he's eaten what he wants. Now, that hasn't stopped me from snagging a bite or two on its way to his plate, lol. I also try to think of it as "gross" to eat someone's leftovers. If you keep thinking that, eventually it does gross you out, I promise.

In all seriousness, you should probably not make them your trigger foods. I'm on a low carb diet, and my favorite food is pizza. If I make it for my husband, I'm a goner. So, I don't make it. Same thing goes for chocolate chip cookies. He can live without some of those things for a few months. Your kids can live without waffles and eat something else for breakfast that doesn't tempt you so much. Also, if they're not eating any of it, I would be making something that can store for later just to avoid the waste.

Which brings me to the last point-- I, too, hate throwing away food. Luckily, my husband, who has a super high metabolism (or something!), eats our leftovers for lunch at work. If he didn't, though, it would be better to bite the bullet and toss it out. Yes, we're very fortunate to have plenty of food, but eating vs. tossing out syrupy waffles isn't going to help those who don't have enough. I hate wasting the money it represents, but again, make something you can store for later if they don't eat it, or make something they will eat. Either way, it needs to be something that doesn't tempt you to overeat. If you follow that one principle, your whole family will probably be eating more healthfully anyway.

rubidoux
08-26-2011, 12:38 AM
I agree with everything that Horo and tdktara said. Especially -- kids don't need waffles and you don't have to serve them your trigger foods. My poor children almost never have anything yummy at home anymore. :lol: I seriously don't know what to feed them partly because I am enjoying not having to think about food and I don't want to break my mojo by thinking about food for them... So, I buy them a few healthy things and I try to block it all out of my mind. And then, when we're all out of the house they get a few more junky yummy treats than they used to. They don't seem to have noticed much.

brillmama2
08-26-2011, 01:46 AM
When I was a kid my mom made cookies and waffles with syrup and fried chicken with potatoes and gravy to make me "happy" I want to teach my kids a different way to find fullfilment and make then happy by going to the park or snuggling with a good book. I think this is very hard to do and yes my kids get snacks on occasion. But anyday my kids would rather have a tub of blueberries over a cookie.
It is veryhard for me to make healthy choices because I am constantly expecting the next bag of chips or king sized candybar to bring me happiness. I refuse to do this to my kids. Even when I wasn't dieting.

SouthLake
08-26-2011, 01:56 AM
What about cutting up the waffles and letting them dip them in the syrup? That way, you can ziploc the leftovers for the kids instead of eating them. Plus, they are infinitely less tempting with the syrup not on them.

banananutmuffin
08-26-2011, 08:58 AM
Before I had kids, I thought we were all going to eat this uber healthy diet.

Now, my toddler lives mostly off of pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches. Sure, I use whole wheat bread/crust, homemade pizza sauce and organic cheese. But it sure isn't the pea-spinach-yam utopia I had imagined.

So yeah, feeding kids isn't always so easy.

I have a girlfriend who DOES always feed her kids super healthy food. Stir fry veggies/tofu on brown rice is a standard meal for them. She really goes all out to make sure they eat healthy. I've seen these same kids at birthday parties. If treats/snacks are made available for grazing, they gorge themselves on candy and sugar and potato chips until their eyes are glazed over. Strict limitation of treats isn't always the best way to go.

To OP, my hubby hates wasting food. He chastises me every time I throw it in the trash. I try to explain that it's better to throw it away than to eat something I don't want or need, but it doesn't get through. So one day we had a bunch of stuff left in the fridge, and I ate it so he wouldn't get upset. Like... white rice and gravy! UGH! I felt HORRIBLE afterwards... totally bloated and gross. That day I made a promise to myself that I would never eat something just so it didn't go to waste.

I suggest serving your kids smaller portions. They can always ask for seconds if they want more. Otherwise, if it can't be saved for them for later, straight in the trash is the only way to go.

Munchy
08-26-2011, 11:00 AM
I'm sorry if these seems at all abrasive, since it really isn't my intention, but if you feel that syrupy waffles aren't something you are supposed to be eating.. why are the kids?

Why not try cooking something healthier, served in small portions so there aren't tons of leftovers, that you and the kids can eat the same things together? I'd imagine there would be less temptation to eat their leftovers, if there are any, for several reasons.. you will already had your portion of whatever it was they ate, there isn't quite as much temptation to scarf down leftovers of healthy food than their is for candy-like foods like syrupy waffles, and you won't be giving them too-large portions to leave behind in the first place.

I agree with this. My child eats a lot of healthy foods because I think it's important. I think about her healthy eating as a 90/10 rule. If I feed her healthy 90% of the time, then she can have McDonalds once in a while, or some candy or we can make cookies. I try to teach her the importance of healthy eating while not making it too big of a deal so that she obsesses over it (like I did as a child).
What I do, is dish out the amount that I think she'll actually eat. Some of her foods, while healthy, don't work in my plan - whole wheat pasta, waffles, ketchup, etc. Some days, I do have a hard time resisting her foods, so I'll eat at the same time. When I'm done with my meal and feel temptation kicking in, I'll pop a mint and/or chew gum.
Nobody likes minty waffles! :)

JayEll
08-26-2011, 11:06 AM
banananutmuffin, it's crazy that you used to eat all the old food just because your husband didn't like throwing it away. :eek: I'm glad that you realized that and stopped doing it.

Folks, watch a few episodes of "Hoarders" or "Hoarding: Buried Alive" when they do the refrigerator cleanouts. You will never try to save old food again.

Jay

sacha
08-26-2011, 11:26 AM
Sometimes what is good for them is not good for mommy's butt :) My son LOVES full-fat cheddar, full-fat greek yogurt, my homemade banana muffins, etc. all great for him as a growing toddler. Me, I just have no portion control for myself!! Even if you give them uber healthy food (which "healthy" does not also equate to low calorie), you still might be tempted to take a bite or there.

So I toss it in the garberatuer (spelling?) or work it into my plan...

April Snow
08-26-2011, 11:56 AM
I agree with this. My child eats a lot of healthy foods because I think it's important. I think about her healthy eating as a 90/10 rule. If I feed her healthy 90% of the time, then she can have McDonalds once in a while, or some candy or we can make cookies. I try to teach her the importance of healthy eating while not making it too big of a deal so that she obsesses over it (like I did as a child).

What I do, is dish out the amount that I think she'll actually eat. Some of her foods, while healthy, don't work in my plan - whole wheat pasta, waffles, ketchup, etc. Some days, I do have a hard time resisting her foods, so I'll eat at the same time. When I'm done with my meal and feel temptation kicking in, I'll pop a mint and/or chew gum.
Nobody likes minty waffles! :)


This is my approach as well - I find that I work harder at eating good food too, because I want to model that for my son and really mean it when I say "we eat mostly healthy foods with some treats as extras."

My son is 7 now, and because he knows that wasting food is a hot button for me, he has gotten much better at asking for an amount he truly wants. Last night, he asked for chicken nuggets (whole grain, baked and not fried!) and asked for 4. Then when he finished those, he asked for another 4, and ate all of those too. He does the same thing with the waffles and french toast he gets for breakfast. For a while, he was eating two full pieces and then for a few days, he wasn't finishing, so he made a point of telling me to only give him one piece. But today, he said he was hungry and wanted 2 pieces, and then finished both of them.

I find it a fine line between not wanting to have a "clean your plate" attitude where I pressure him to eat more than he wants to eat and mess with the great natural relationship he has with food and hunger, and not wanting to waste food, but I think we are both getting better at it.

tricon7
08-26-2011, 03:46 PM
Do you have kids? While I agree in theory that we should all be serving healthy food to kids, in reality, it will not always happen. Also, I wouldn't want to be the mom who never lets her kids have a treat or any junk food ever. In my opinion, junk food should be a part of life, but a very small part, in moderation. Furthermore, there are some perfectly healthy foods that I would munch and snack on if my child were eating it even if I weren't hungry. Also, (and you'd know this if you had kids) there comes a time when every parent chooses something convenient instead of healthy simply because we need to get the kid to eat, or we're frazzled and super busy-- that's life, and once you have kids, you let go of some of the rigid theories you held pre-parenthood. To the OP-- I completely understand.

Well said.

There's a lot of talk about either only giving the kids healthy choices, or letting them snack some on less-than-healthy foods. I've found that it's generally more time-consuming to prepare healthy foods - and more expensive. It's why my cousins are obese; they're poor and the fatty foods are cheap and quick to prepare. I have made an effort to cut back on the fatty junk foods, but I see eliminating them altogether as unrealistic. And I don't care how healthy my eating habits get - the day I prefer an apple over a Turtle's candy bar is the day my wife calls the doctor on me! :mag:

Horo
08-26-2011, 10:58 PM
Do you have kids? While I agree in theory that we should all be serving healthy food to kids, in reality, it will not always happen. Also, I wouldn't want to be the mom who never lets her kids have a treat or any junk food ever. In my opinion, junk food should be a part of life, but a very small part, in moderation. Furthermore, there are some perfectly healthy foods that I would munch and snack on if my child were eating it even if I weren't hungry. Also, (and you'd know this if you had kids) there comes a time when every parent chooses something convenient instead of healthy simply because we need to get the kid to eat, or we're frazzled and super busy-- that's life, and once you have kids, you let go of some of the rigid theories you held pre-parenthood. To the OP-- I completely understand.
No, I do not have kids- my view point on this comes from a very different place, as someone who was only a few years ago an obese kid and to this day dealing with the aftermath of it. My parents fell into the convenient junk trap when feeding me, especially since it mirrored their own eating habits, and in result I was fat and unhealthy from a very young age(my brother, on the other hand, was fed the same way and thin as a rail as a child.. it was later on that it caught up to him). I do agree that junk food does have its place, occasionally and in moderation, but considering the nature of the OP's issue described in the first post.. it seems as though their kids are regularly eating that way. Especially since it's to the extent that it is hindering the OP's progress towards a healthier lifestyle.

This is at no one in particular, just parents in general that might be reading this:
As someone who has only some short years ago experienced the other end of this issue, I can truly say I wish my parents had exercised some control and put forth more effort into what they fed me. It would have been so much better for the health of me, my brother, and I suspect even my parents themselves(their eating habits are still as awful as ever, by the way). In the last few years whenever I've asked them why they didn't try to do better for me in what they fed me, they usually do answer with time, money, and convenience. Sometimes, though, they say that it was because I didn't want to eat the healthy stuff. Well, of course! Let a little kid have the taste of sugary junk and then give them the option of that or health food and they will choose the sugary junk, 100% of the time. That's why you don't give a little kid the option. Junk food does have its place, in moderation, but as a parent you have all the power in the world to keep it in moderation rather than succumbing to the convenience trap. And if you harness that power, you and your kids will certainly be better off for it. In my case, if my parents did that, I likely never would have been a 210 lb 13 year old creating an account on 3fatchicks back in August 2007. Perhaps my parents might have even improved their own eating habits, who knows. I'm not saying the situation for anyone here is the same as mine was, but if you're a parent and you see even an inkling of my story in how you feed your kids, it's probably something to think about. :soap:

Wannabehealthy
08-27-2011, 12:43 AM
I have three children ages six and under, and I must admit that I find myself eating their leftovers fairly regularly. Especially hard is breakfastime - they love waffles with Mrs. Buttersworth syrup! Aggh! My favorite. Sometimes they don't eat any of their waffle, and they leave the table, while the plate of yummy waffle sits there, taunting me. I only planned on eating a bite or two - then the fork took on a life of its own and it shoved the entire waffle into my mouth. :?:

I hate to see food go to waste, but there's really no saving a syrup-soggy waffle. I suppose my only option is to hurry and scrape it off the plate into the trash can. Does anyone else with children have hints on how to avoid this pitfall?

Better to have it go to waste than have it go to waist!

Carol

banananutmuffin
08-27-2011, 09:51 AM
My parents fell into the convenient junk trap when feeding me, especially since it mirrored their own eating habits,

I think this is probably a key point, which you may not realize is something most of the parents here are doing. I assume the parents here are trying to improve their own eating habits, which is the first step in changing a FAMILY's diet. Children learn by watching their mommies and daddies, so when parents eat in a healthy manner, kids are more likely to do the same.

That said, I don't force healthy foods on my kids for one reason: I don't want to turn the dinner table into a battleground. In addition, I tend to think power struggles over food can lead to kids using food as a way of manipulating parents, or an unhealthy attitude toward food, and I'd prefer they see "food as fuel."

On the other hand, I am not a short-order cook, either. I prepare a meal for the family, and my kid can eat it or not--but I don't make special things. (The only time my toddler gets a meal of her choosing is lunch, which is a catch-it-when-you-can affair around my house.)

I tend to think the healthiest way to get your child to eat a variety of foods is to simply introduce them. I try to always keep on hand the healthy things my kid will eat (mostly fruits like strawberries and blueberries), but I also put things on her plate that she doesn't really like (green beans, peas, asparagus, etc.). If she eats it, great. If she doesn't, ok. But I don't force the issue. I just make sure to keep putting it on her plate at every meal.

Unfortunately, (and this brings me back to the OP), this leads to a LOT of food waste. But for me it's a small price to pay for modeling healthy eating without constant battles.

My husband has a different idea, though. He plays "down the hatch" games with my toddler, or he'll say "Just eat another bite of peas for me, please." She has learned that she can manipulate him by eating or not eating the peas, and I don't think this is a healthy approach to food.

But what do I know? I suspect when my kid is a teen/young adult, she will come to me with a list of all the things I did wrong as a mother. God knows I did the same thing to my own mom.

My point: parenting isn't easy. All parents try to make the best decisions for their kids. We want the best for them. And every parent makes mistakes. If you came from a family that loved and fed and cherished you, you're 100 times better off than a lot of kids, regardless of what foods were actually on your plate.

Munchy
08-31-2011, 12:29 PM
Well said.

I've found that it's generally more time-consuming to prepare healthy foods - and more expensive. It's why my cousins are obese; they're poor and the fatty foods are cheap and quick to prepare.

I understand this logic with some things (ie, white bread is much cheaper than whole grain, organic is more expensive than non), but not with most of the things that I buy. At one point in my life, I was poor. Not a little poor, but this-eight-dollars-has-to-buy-three-weeks-worth-of-food-for-my-family poor.

The cheapest things were moderately healthy - beans, rice, pasta, potatoes, and cans of tomatoes were our staples. Fast food is PRICEY! $1 for a "cheap sandwich?" This may be a cliched example, but a bag of apples is a lot cheaper than buying other packaged and processed snack foods. If you know where to look (Asian markets, Aldi, PriceRite, ShopRite, other discount markets), you can easily end up with a very inexpensive cart full of fresh produce.

It bothers me so much to hear how time dictates many of our meals. I am an incredibly busy person, but I have a few hours here and there, usually on the weekends. That is the perfect time for me to cook a bunch of meals, portion them, and freeze them. It's the only way that I'm able to provide healthy meals for my daughter and myself everyday. That and I'm a master of the quick cook meal :dizzy:

H82Sweat
08-31-2011, 12:50 PM
Throw all leftovers away.

And if they're not eating it maybe there is a reason? That fakey pancake syrup is so freaking gross! Have you tried real maple syrup? My kids liked it mixed with natural peanut butter and spread on their waffles (I made our waffles using oat and whole wheat flour, but there are several brands of healthy whole grain waffles available now) and topped with fresh strawberry and banana slices. I would make faces on the waffles for them :)

I am living evidence that a person can get fat on a whole foods diet, even on a vegetarian one. So I don't believe that healthy eating is 100% of the solution to weight loss. A calorie is still a calorie. But not a single one of my children has a weight problem. So I do think that starting little humans off with healthy habits makes a huge difference.

Some days I miss when they were small :) I used to think that with 5 of them I was never going to get a minute to myself and would wish them "big." And now? LOL

So enjoy!

ChickieChicks
09-01-2011, 08:50 PM
The secret to not eating leftovers is to get.....


CHICKENS!


LOL I'm serious, though. We have chickens and all of our scraps go into the "chicken bucket". When I commited myself to eating healthier and avoiding temptation, I just dumped everything off the kids' plates into the bucket. You would NEVER risk taking it back out! Ha, ha. NOt why we have chickens, but I sure do love them more for it!

Kid leftovers are SO hard, b/c you cooked, they wasted and it looks tasty. ;-) Start a compost bucket and FORCE yourself to scrape it all into there....every time.