I’ve been very blessed in my life to never really know hunger. Now, I know that a lot of that is due to sacrifices made by my parents to ensure my needs were met. I know my Mom has mentioned that when we were really little that she had to sell things to make ends meet. I would never say that my childhood was privileged from a financial point of view, but I’d argue that the poor in America are substantially better off than in the rest of the world.
I remember visiting my Grandparents when I was really young and Grandma would fill our plates with spaghetti. It didn’t matter that my sister and I were 4 and 2 years old. We got a full plate just like all the adults….and we were expected to finish it too. My Grandma insisted that our plates be cleaned before we could get up. So we finished. And my 2 year old sister promptly vomited the spaghetti up onto the floor. Her tiny stomach could just not handle that much food.
Too often, we teach our children that they must clean their plates before they can leave the table or have dessert. Now I get the point. I have a
devious persistent 3 year old who would like nothing more than to eat dessert and no ‘real’ food. And I find myself falling into the same trap alot by insisting that he finish his main course before moving onto eat a fruit snack or ice cream or something like that.
One thing I’ve learned along the way is that it’s ok to throw something away. I mean, would you rather the junk be in the garbage or in your body? Don’t get me wrong, as a stay-at-home Mom finances are much tighter than they were when I was working and I’m not wasteful with food at all. But, if I pull something out to eat and a partial serving satisfies, it is ok for me to toss the rest (assuming I can’t salvage it to keep for later).
Tonight I started teaching that lesson to ‘C’. I took the boys to our local county fair tonight and after C went on a lot of fun rides he was wanting ice cream (and why not). So being the
indulging loving Mom that I am, I bought a single scoop of vanilla with rainbow sprinkles (the most important part). I stood there with the baby on my back for over 20 minutes as he slowly ate this scoop of ice cream. Then I told him he had 10 minutes left and he would have to throw out whatever he didn’t finish. To my surprise, 5 minutes later (and only half the cup eaten) he declared that he was all done, got up, and put the bowl in the trash. I was so proud of my little guy. I’m hoping that he can remember this so that he won’t face the same weight issues in his life that I have faced so far.