(Closed) How to deal with wasteful children?

posted 6 years ago in Parenting
Post # 3
6839 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Take them to a homeless shelter that serves food, or do a “Feed My Starving Children” food pack… let them see that there others out there who don’t have food.

Post # 4
1576 posts
Bumble bee

Wow, I’d be pretty mad!

I’d suggest taking them to help out at a food bank/homeless shelter to help them see the value of food and the things they take for granted. Or is that sounds too extreme, maybe take them to a farm that allows tours, etc to see where their food comes from and the work that goes into it – make a pizza with them from scratch, start a little garden with them, etc. I think those might help 🙂

Post # 6
2055 posts
Buzzing bee

@ForeverBirds:  In addition to taking them to the shelter (very eye-opning experience), you can try other ideas.

1) Only feed them the parts they eat. For example, they wasted the pizza and only ate the pepperonis? Feed them only pepperonis next time you have pizza for dinner. They only eat the chicken and toss the veggies/rice? Feed them only a serving-size worth of chicken. Try this for a while.

Once they complain about being hungry/not enough food, sit down with them and explain to them how wasteful they have been and why their attitude needs an adjustment. Let them know that until they are ready to eat everything on their plate, they will not get more of what they like or move on to the next course (i.e. dessert).

2) Give them a full kid-sized plate of food for dinner. Tell them they cannot leave the table until they have finished their entire meal. If they refuse, send them to bed. In the morning, give them the food they failed to eat the night before. That is their breakfast. Repeat until they learn their lesson.

Both of these tactics worked beautifully on picky, bratty eaters (myself and my friend when we were younger). 

Post # 7
462 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Tell them what they did was wrong. Tell them that wasn’t their food to pick at and throw out. Tell them that from now on when they eat in your house they are to wait to be served by an adult. If they are still hungry and want more they need to ask permission. 


I honestly think they are too young to understand “Some person somewhere is hungry/doesn’t have food so you shouldn’t throw yours out”. They will understand, “That wasn’t yours, that was mine. Next time you want something, ask.”

Post # 8
7658 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@ForeverBirds:  Maybe they thought they were doing the right thing, and were cleaning up? Personally I’d be happy they knew where the bin was! At that age my kids would have left the mess on the table.

By all means explain to them that leftover food should normally be kept, not thrown out. And that it was your dinner. But I wouldn’t give any punishment because it sounds to me like a mistake, not actual naughtiness.

Post # 9
67 posts
Worker bee

@ForeverBirds:  You should ask their parents if you can have a couple of their toys to sell to repay their uncle. Maybe that would teach them a lesson that food costs money, just like toys do, and they shouldn’t waste food, especially someone else’s food. 

Post # 11
4656 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@ForeverBirds:  I think that the taking back the toys thing (with a lecture on the connection – food costs money, toys cost money, you wasted our food so now you have to repay us by getting the toy money) is probably the best if you want to make a big impression. It won’t truly hurt them, but having them stand there with you while you return the toys should give them the feeling you’re looking for.

Taking them to a soup kitchen or somesuch may seem like a good deal, but A. They are likely too young to make a connection to their actions and B. This might seem like a weird thing to pick up on but it kind of feels like using homeless people as an object to teach a child a lesson, which seems wrong.

Post # 13
357 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2005

Do they have any favorite snacks or treasts at your house?  Tell them that, since someone wasted your dinner and uncle’s lunch, you had to eat the snacks up instead, so there won’t be any for the next week.

Post # 16
9952 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

I agree with @paula1248:  … I’d want to know first by talking TO ALL THE PLAYERS what actually went down

And at 7 & 8 I’d be guessing they don’t actually KNOW what they did wrong (or perceived to be in your POV thru your “adult eyes”)

They may not even have a concept for what being wasteful means

(Something that is a much easier concept to understand as an Adult because we are used to paying for things or going without… something that children don’t normally experience… in that all their needs are met)

It is fine to educate them about the world…

BUT I am disappointed by all the Bees here who have brought forward examples to PUNISH them.

You don’t punish a child, if they haven’t a clue what it is that you perceived to be wrong.  As an Adult it is your job to educate them first.

Hope this helps,


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