When you’re running after the kids, whose list of approved foods seems to change hourly, it’s very easy to end up eating off of the kid plate.
We know, you don’t relish it. It’s often more of a sigh and mindless grazing paired with a well-intentioned desire not to waste food.
It can be hard to resist! That mac and cheese is pretty tasty! The problem is often that all those little bites of slobbery mashed up nuggets or slices of pizza with only one bite taken out of it add up to a lot of unintentional food (and calories!) instead of real meals.
Parents need healthy and nutritious meals in order keep up with kids, so making full meals a priority is important.
It seems like catch-22, so we decided to try out the two-bin option. We keep an empty food storage container in the fridge, and when the kids have food on their plate, and we are moving on to the next activity, we decide – compost or fridge. The older kids have to put their own uneaten food in compost or fridge as well, which helps them see what they’re wasting and teaches them to perhaps choose smaller portions next time. Half-eaten string cheese? Fridge. Couple of chicken sausage pieces? Fridge. Bread crusts? Compost.
This helps us avoid mindless eating as parents, and our rule for leftover kid food is “put it a veggie on it.” That’s it, pull out the container at the end of the day and you can turn that kid food into adult versions. The cheese stick goes into a grilled cheese with kale pesto on thick crusty bread. We have a big salad for dinner with some leftover nuggets and Caesar dressing, or eat the rest of the mac and cheese atop a big plate of roasted broccoli and mushrooms with some real Parmesan. Now we don’t feel guilty about throwing food away, and we can ensure that as grownups we are eating balanced meals.
The compost either get’s picked up by your garbage man or you put it into soil in your garden!