Food on the floorOne of my good friends and mentors posted this article on Facebook the other day:
Article about access to healthier foods. Which got me thinking...
Last Sunday the Steelers were playing. Especially since moving to Minnesota, it has become a special part of Sunday to cook all day and watch them play...kind of makes us feel like we are still home.
It had been a long week and we were exhausted, but did we kick back and relax and watch the Black and Gold?....No.
Instead, Amir was on all fours scrubbing sticky pieces of dates and kale muffin off the kitchen floor that had accumulated all week.
Before having a kid, I always used to think the following things:
1. Kids are sticky and gross...and always have snot running down their face.
2. How do parents let their kids throw food off their plate and get away with it?
3. I would NEVER let my children waste their food.
4. My house will NEVER be covered in fingerprints on the window, food caked on the floor, and crumbs scattered across the kitchen.
Welllllll, imagine my surprise 16 months into having a child now. This is me everytime I walk into the kitchen and see the disaster that remains:
The other day I dropped off Luca at our amazing babysitter's house with some homemade vegan mac and cheese that I made him. I literally said to her "sorry if you see a piece of hair mixed in with it."
You know why there was hair in it? Because he had thrown it on the floor the night before, and I scooped it right back up, put it in a glass container, and saved it for the next day. And you know what happened the next day? He inhaled it at her house for lunch. Boom.
Quote from the above mentioned article:
"Whether the rejected food was eaten by another family member, stashed in the fridge, or thrown out entirely, parents mentally counted it as a loss."
Why is it counted as a loss if another family member eats the healthy food? Isn't it setting an example for the family that it is ok to eat the healthier option? If we always throw away those discarded foods, then it sends the message that it is ok to waste those, but eat all of the Hot Pockets.
So here are some suggestions to cut down on waste and save some money while introducing healthier foods to your family:
- Freeze leftovers
- Save what they don't eat as leftovers for the next day (even if it has a small piece of hair in it...)
- Understand that it takes at least 8 times for some kids to like certain foods, so don't serve them so much at a time! Maybe prepare a bite or two and see how it goes
- Purchase frozen fruits and veggies, so you don't have to feel the pressure to prepare it all at once
Overall, I stand by statement #1 about my preconceived notions of being a parent. But notions 2-4 were ignorant, and I get how challenging it is to feed a family.
Would love to hear your thoughts on the topic!