Around here we are always trying to find ways to cut back. One of the things I am trying trying trying to cut back on is waste.
And I mean waste of anything. We waste so many things. My kids are famous for wasting food.
And that drives me nuts. I would portion there food out and they would eat some and pick at the rest. They would pick and play so much I couldn't even bother to save it for later. And then I learned about portion control.
This does not mean I don't give my kids food when they are hungry. It simply means I put less on their plates at a time. What a novel idea! It took me awhile to figure this one out and I still don't know why. I was throwing away food on a daily basis, and while my dog was very happy with this arrangement I was not.
Instead of giving them full portions of each food, I give them half portions. When they have finished everything on their plate they can ask for more. At that point I give them half of what I originally served. This may seem strange, and it means I often get up a couple of times during dinner, but it has really cut back on how much food we waste. They are allowed to ask for seconds, and even thirds, but each time I give them smaller portions because my kids often think they want more when they are really quite full. At dinner Jon and I take turns getting them seconds and thirds.
The other rule is that they must eat everything before getting seconds of anything. Example- one night we had spaghetti, a vegetable and a fruit for dinner. My kids love fruit. They ate that first and then asked for more. However, our rule is that you must eat all food on your plate before asking for seconds of anything. This keeps them from filling up on one food group and leaving the rest out.
Another rule is that if you ask for more but don't eat it (breakfast time is famous for this) then your snack later is your leftover food. I have been better about getting to the food before they make it unrecognizable (at breakfast cereal usually survives well) and they know that at snack time that food must be finished before they get a different snack.
These are some simple rules that we have established in our house. It has cut down amazingly on the amount of food I throw away. And that makes me (and my grocery bill) very happy! The dog is not as thrilled, but she eats more of her dog food these days.