Stop stuffing your kids. Learn how you can teach your children good eating habits and save money at the same time
Would you like to know the ‘key’ to teaching your children good eating habits? It’s not as difficult as you think. By learning this one concept, you’ll be on your way to teaching your children how to eat right, have healthy eating habits, and the bonus of saving money.
The key to saving money and healthy eating habits
The ‘key’ to saving money feeding your babies, toddlers, and preschoolers? Portion control. No, I’m not talking about the latest diet. I’m talking about feeding your children the correct portions. By learning to feed your children the correct amount, you not only save money, you teach your children good eating habits.
Let’s face it. Americans have become accustomed to eating large portions. In 1971, McDonalds introduced the first quarter pounder hamburger to the public. People were astonished. People were amazed. People thought it was huge. No kidding…
Now, the public scoffs at the quarter pounder. It’s no longer huge, it’s a snack. Fast-food burger joints now offer triple deckers and customers pack away one to two of them for a typical lunch. Is it any wonder that 67% of Americans are considered clinically overweight or obese? I don’t think so.
The problem with this line of thinking, besides the fact that Americans are becoming an increasing obese society, is that we’re feeding our children the same way. Whether you eat at home or dine out, Americans throw away an estimated 30% to 50% of the food on their plate. If you don’t throw the food away at the time of the meal, it’s put in the refrigerator and promptly forgotten.
If you spend $1,000 per month on food, this means you’re wasting approximately $305 to $500 each month…too much.
How does this apply to feeding your children?
You have to remember that children under the age of four are only one-fourth the weight of an adult. This means, they need about one-fourth what an adult needs.
When you feed your child mashed potatoes, you probably give yourself two scoops and your child one. In other words, you give your child twice the amount he or she needs. After giving children twice the amount they need, parents fuss because their children didn’t clean their plates. With this guideline in mind, let’s look at some ways to give your children healthy portions of food and save money by doing so.
1. Start small
When re-learning how much to feed your children, start small and work your way up. If your child cleans his plate, you can always give him more. When your child consistently asks for more, increase his portion size.
2. Serve drinks in sippy cups — half-full
How many times do you find forgotten sippy cups lying around the house full of juice? Too often, I bet. Start with half-full cups and use lids to decrease spills.
3. Give your child water
The USDA recommends that children under four drink 12-ounces of milk per day. This is two sippy cups. Try giving water the rest of the time and cut extra calories from sugar found in juice. A much better alternative to juice is a piece of fruit.
4. Make food kid-friendly
Go ahead; cut the crust of your children’s sandwiches. It will save a fuss and you won’t end up with a sandwich that only has a hole eaten out of the middle. It will save the amount of what you put on the sandwich too.
After you cut the crust off, cut the sandwich into quarters. It’s easier for them to eat and they handle them much better.
5. Control the amount of snacks
Keep snacks under lock and key or teach your children they must ask permission before eating any snacks. If your kids graze all day, they won’t eat healthy meals. In between meals, give fruit or popcorn for a healthy snack — cut out the chips and candy that come in adult sizes.
6. Let them eat leftovers
This may sound cruel at first, but it really isn’t. That little bit of food you had left over from last night’s meal is the perfect size for your small children. They won’t mind. It’s the right portion size, and you save money by not wasting the leftovers.
By applying these tips, save your children from learning unhealthy eating habits. You’ll be happy because you’re saving money, but the best part is teaching your children good eating habits that lasts a lifetime.