Help! I Can’t Stop Eating Off My Kids’ Plate

Mom Moment 18

kid eatingBefore I had my son, I was a healthy eater. A seriously healthy eater. I had been a vegetarian for over a year, stayed away from fried foods, and ate heaping portions of roasted vegetables every day. Of course that diet went out the window once my cravings kicked in. I wanted bacon every single day. Though I didn't worry about it. I figured I would get back to my old way of eating -- eventually. Who was I kidding?! It's only gotten worse because I constantly find myself picking at the nuggets, fries, and mac 'n' cheese my son doesn't finish eating. And I know I'm not alone.

We know it's bad for us. We know it's not healthy. We know it does little to help us fit back into our pre-kid wardrobe, but we just can't help it. The other day, as I noshed on abandoned cold pizza that I had cut up into little bites for him, I knew I should just toss it, but I couldn't. I swear I could hear some Star Trek Borg saying, "Resistance is futile." It was. I finished every morsel on the plate. It wasn't even that good.

But it's not just the times we treat him to fast food that I indulge. I noticed that I will also pick over his baked chicken, rice, and broccoli too. In my mind, somehow I justify it by telling myself that I don't want the food to go to waste. But I think a part of me just eats it because it's there, which isn't exactly the healthiest eating plan.

Some moms, however, are turned off from touching anything on their kids' plates. "Frankly, I think about his ability to wash hands after using the potty ... And I don't wanna share with him!" said one mother. I have one friend who is so repulsed by her kids' eating habits, the thought of sharing food with them turns her stomach. I don't have that issue. My son actually asks to wash his hands before he eats and he's pretty neat. I'm not bragging. If he weren't so germ-conscious, I wouldn't be eating so many darn extra calories.

Do you eat off your kids' plate?


Image via gemsling/Flickr

dinner, family meals, lunch


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tuffy... tuffymama


I have my own plate. Why would I eat off my kid's? I'm supposed to be modeling good behavior and good health choices, right? So that is what I do.

nonmember avatar Rachel

This along with the fact that I need a drink or two to take the edge off after my twins go to bed is the reason I've been in sweats for 2 yrs! Ugh I refuse to buy fat jeans. I can't do it!! I gotta stop is there a toddler plate pickers annonomous

rayeo... rayeofmoonlight

Maybe try feeding your kid the same healthy food you want to be eating. If you're health-conscious, whyare you givingyour kid so many nuggets and fries anyway?

nonmember avatar Rachel

Oops damn phone! But you know what I mean lol

jhslove jhslove

My daughter is only 15 months old, but she pretty much eats what my husband and I eat. So it's not really such a problem. However, yes, I agree that it would be gross to eat her leftover, picked-over food off of her plate, so I don't think I would do that anyway, even if she were eating different things than we do.

Angie... AngieHayes

Well, if you want to be healthy and want your children to be healthy. It would probably be best to get back on your vegetarian diet and eat more whole foods. Children usually want what parents are eating, and if your always eatings fruits and veggies, so will they! Mine are vegetarians along with my husband and I, and they are very healthy people. So are my husband and I though too..

Anony... AnonyMOUSE715

I was just sayin no reason to beat yourself up about something. Obviously not huge portions but it is a kids plate so it probably isn't much by then, right?

Rhodin Rhodin

Did you read the article about toddler portions?  A serving for a toddler's a tablespoon per year of age.  That's essentially the half a chicken tender and 3 pieces of broccoli that most toddlers eat.  I guess what I'm saying is that if he habitually leaves half his dinner, then only serve half of what you normally serve.  If he wants more, he'll let you know.

Shrew2u Shrew2u

I admit, it never occurred to me to eat off of my child's plate.  However, if it was a problem, I'd start with giving the child smaller portions (maybe half as much as you currently give, or less).  The child can always ask for more after finishing the first portion, which should be just as small - or smaller - than the first portion.  If there is consistently food left on the plate, you may not be giving appropriate portions to your child and are by practice encouraging overeating.  Number two is to train your child to excuse himself from the table and dump his leftovers in the trash and place his dishes in the sink.  A 2-3 year old should be able to do that (don't use the good China, obviously).  Number three is to keep a spray bottle with a vinegar, hot sauce and soy sauce mix in it.  Make sure the mixture is unappetizing.  If you are cleaning up plates with food on them, take the spray bottle and spray down the food; I guarantee you won't eat food that tastes terrible.

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