Kids & Wasted Food

Children are expensive because you have to feed them.

My kids want food all day long.

But they don’t ever actually eat food. They just waste food.

It always starts the same way. Crappy Boy is hungry.


Really hungry. He whines. He says his belly hurts because he is so hungry.

He asks for an apple.

Okay. He can have an apple. I give him an apple. He takes the apple.

Then ten seconds later:


We call his apple eating technique “ring around the apple”. Does he even know that more of it is edible? I’m not certain.

And it is the same thing all day long.

Crappy Baby wants a banana? Fine.

But actually:


He doesn’t want a banana. He just wants the tip of a banana. The rest of it is yucky.

And cereal too.

Just one single bite and then:


I hate cereal. The cereal pieces get mushy and bloated so it can’t be saved. And our compost bin is vegan so we can’t feed it to him.

The only option with cereal is for me to eat it. Or dump it down the drain. I feel guilty dumping it down the drain and I feel guilty eating it. This is why I hate cereal.

And cheese!

Just yesterday they both grabbed Mini Babybel® cheese rounds from the fridge. We seem to always have these in our fridge because when we go to the market they squeal with glee at the mere sight of them. So we buy them.

Only I’m not convinced that they ever actually eat them. I find them under the couch with little nibbles taken from their sides. But perhaps mice did the nibbling. (Actually, we don’t have mice thanks to the Crappy Cats. Too bad, considering how much cheese we have lying around just waiting for them. This is like mouse paradise. They are really missing out.)  

So this time, I decide to watch…

They diligently remove the outer wrapper and get to work opening the wax shell.


Once their cheese is hatched, I watch as they slowly put them to their mouths.

And they each take a bite!


Maybe I was wrong! Maybe they do eat them.

Hold on:



I have to get to the bottom of this.


I ask Crappy Boy if he even likes the cheese.

He replies:



Sigh. Bonus points for honesty.


Don’t worry, I don’t actually throw away the rejected bananas or apples. I cut them up and put them in the freezer for smoothies. So the kids DO eat them eventually. Ha! Suckers.

Oh, and I eat the cheese. Except the ones under the couch. I save those for the mice. 

This entry was posted in crappy pictures, five, food, parenting, rant, terrible twos. Bookmark the permalink.

299 Responses to Kids & Wasted Food

  1. Erica W. says:

    OMFG, yes! Especially the tip of the banana thing. Why can’t my daughter ever eat an entire banana? She must always leave at least a few bites at the end but then again she is still hungry.

    • Meggin D says:

      My daughter, since about 8 months old has been able to eat an entire banana – and that’s after eating a pretty sizable meal. Not sure where she puts it, but both my kids are like that.

    • S says:

      My solution is to cut up the fruit into portions.

      “You want fruit? Okay have this bit.”
      “Do you want more? Well finish the one on your plate/hand/mouth.”

      It irritates me to have my husband half-peel a banana, have a tip bit by 18mo, and the rest go brown.

      • Ashley says:

        If only that worked. I try that with my 3 year old but she throws an epic fit over not getting the exact portion size she wants and then refuses to eat anything.

        1 hour later “I’m starving!!!!!”

    • Paula says:

      HA!!!! Finally someone exposed them!!!!


  2. Kristie M says:

    LMAO! I love unwrapping the cheese too! Mind you, I kinda like to eat them…

    • Kate @ says:

      Me, too! Love those babybels! And, my little one likes to give all her unbeaten food to the dogs, so no waste in our house, ha!

      • christina says:

        My daughter LOVES to feed the dogs. Meal times often look like this : a bite for me, throw one to the dog, a bite for me, drop one to the other dog.
        I swear the dogs are gaining weight faster than my daughter!
        Then after she’s done eating, I take her out of the highchair and the dogs jump up to lick the crumbs left on her seat!

        • Carolyn says:

          At our first vet appointment for the dog after my daughter started eating solids they noted that she was a couple of pounds overweight–the first time for her in 7 years. Hmmm…I wonder how THAT happened??

  3. Rach says:

    Oh I love you. Wasted food is the thing that makes me the most frustrated as a parent. I find myself saying the starving children in Africa line that my parents used to say. Oy.

    • Amber says:

      Haha, so do I!

    • Von says:

      Don’t use the “kids in africa” line, instead use the “kids in AMERICA” line and bring it home a little more for them. It has worked wonders on my kids when I tell them 1/5 kids don’t get eat dinner. Then we all sit around wondering which of their friends don’t eat dinner…

    • Googie Baba says:

      I was so frustrated with my children not eating, I googled pictures of starving African children and showed it to them at the dinner table. I then yelled, “These children would LOVE your pasta.”

      I’m not always so unhinged. But seriously, my two live on air.

      • Pamela says:

        It was China, not Africa, when I was little. But when my mom pulled that line on me, I’d say “Well, send it to them, then!” and still not eat it. Sigh.

      • Laura J says:

        Yeah, I’ve done that. And my daughter is extremely sensitive about the thought of anything suffering, much less children.
        Sigh. I suspect I am setting her up for a lifetime of food issues!

    • Lisa Y says:

      Are you kidding me? I say that to my husband… (-_-) (I mean really, he’s like the first child in the house.)

  4. Cortney says:

    OMG. This is my life. Exactly down to the Babybel cheese. I, too, find them opened with one bite next to wax balls under the couch. My kids live on air.

  5. Cheryl C says:

    OH my word I was just telling my husband this yesterday! I told him I feel like we are constantly buying snacks and food for our girls and they go through it so fast because I am constantly fixing something for them then they don’t want it…! And I think my diet consists entirely of what they don’t eat.

    • Jo says:

      I once asked my sis-in-law how she stayed so trim. She admitted that she never actually made food for herself, but simply ate what her three boys didn’t.

      • Jennifer Bee says:

        I’ve started doing that too. Saves so much money, because I never actually make myself a meal any more… just eat the kids’ leftovers.

      • Angela says:

        I would do that but my son still like to do the “chew and spit” number. And then there’s the food that he tried to wad up into a ball….seriously, do you have to wad up your quesadilla? So, I have a hard time figuring out which food us the least gross. 😉

    • Mama Thairish says:

      I might have to try that diet! My daughter eats much healthier food than I do. 🙂

    • Laura J says:

      If my daughter asks for something and then is “done” after a bite, she gets to eat the leftovers until I say they are done. heh heh heh

      • Tiffany says:

        That’s what I do, too. He may “eat” the same meal for lunch and dinner but he learned quickly to:
        – Only ask for food he wants to eat
        – Eat during meal times instead of play (because if he gets distracted, he’ll just be getting leftovers later)

        *I don’t make him eat ever bite.. I don’t want him to have food issues.. But I do make him eat enough to substantiate a meal.

    • Lauren says:

      that’s the trick! I keep making myself a plate, then feel too guilty to throw my son’t food away… so I eat it too… never thought of just skipping my own plate!

      • Cynthia says:

        Yeah, it’s not like I get a chance to sit down and eat until everyone else is done, anyway.

  6. Sommer says:

    Sounds like my 2 and half year old son, at least I know its normal behavior now lol.

  7. Jamie says:

    I can totally relate!!!! I’m convinced the only thing my kids actually ‘eat’ is fruit snacks!!

    • Devon says:

      Yes! I should have stock in the fruit snack business. My daughter goes thru them so fast, I must be the one keeping their profits up!!

      • Faith says:

        My daughter is now 13. I would find empty fruit snack packages under every cushion, every bed, in shoes, in toy chests, in laundry, EVERYWHERE! I actually weined (sp?) her from them! The problem is that her addiction for fruit snacks transferred to Little Debbies – which she is currently being weined (sp?) from now!

  8. Dan says:

    You mean that yellow round thing inside of those fun to open tiny Babybel packages is edible? Had no idea.

  9. Lisa says:

    Love the vegan compost bin!

  10. heather says:

    YES! You make me feel slightly more sane with every post!

  11. I’ve stopped buying meals for my 4YO at restaurants all together. I’ve learned that she’s usually full of crap when she tells me she has a hankerin’ for anything at all. Generally, if she hasn’t eaten over the course of 7 hours, she’ll finish an entire bowl of Cheerios, possibly with some banana. The concept of not eating is totally foreign to me. We may have to DNA test her.

    • Heather says:

      bwahahahahaha “we may have to DNA test her” I’ve felt that way!

    • Heather says:

      This story is why 1) I have dogs and 2) I’ve quit fixing lunch for myself many days, I just clean their plates.

    • Joyce says:

      Yes! I have realized that I can spare enough food from my plate to not feel completely stuffed, but to quite the child and waste a minimal amount of food while saving money as well… I don’t see spending upwards of $5 just for food my son is not going to eat.

    • Leonora says:

      This is why we’ve started planning our eating out around which restaurant has Kids Eat Free that day. Seems like they eat the free meals much better…and it’s the same thing they would have ordered if it weren’t free. But if we’d paid for it, it would have been left completely untouched. The mysteries of children…

  12. Kelly says:

    I can relate to this (well, and most of your posts) so much! My kids also love to unwrap stuff. We had frozen bananas for days last week, because the toddler peeled every banana in the house. I’ve been trying to crack down on all the hungry/not eating that goes on, but some days its so frustrating! Enjoy your little cheeses!!

  13. cwm says:

    I have this problem with drinks….one sip and done….and then spilled and forgotten about…and then my floor is wet or sticky or both. :\

    • Pami says:

      We’ve gone back to covered sippy cups with our 3 year old because she’ll invariably leave her milk on the table forgotten, only for our cat to come along and spill it so he can drink it.

      And if her drink has been sitting out for more than 15 or 20 minutes, she has to have new water, or orange juice, or whatever, even if the cup is still mostly full!

      • Stacy Hill says:

        So it’s not weird that at 2 1/2 years old we’re still totally dependant on a sippy cup? I’m just too lazy to move to a regular cup. I like the freedom that my monster can have it any where in the house…

        • Kiinu says:

          pft! the only one with a real cup in my house is 6! She started with it when she was 5.. but to this day she asks for sippy cups anyway cause she’s not allowed to take real cups from the table. The 4y.o hasn’t asked for a real cup and the 3y.o would be laughed at if he did XD.

          But maybe my kids are extra messy?

          • Betty says:

            We solved the “3-1/2 and still using a sippy?” issue by getting a cool Spiderman water bottle! Everyone has a water bottle, right?

          • MP says:

            Yeah, in our house or almost 5 year old still uses a sippy away from the table. I’m nowhere near a clean freak by any means, but keeping life just *that* much simpler in using a sippy cup makes me a happier mama, lol.

        • Pamela says:

          HECK no. I made mine drink from a sippy till he was nearly 10, for the same reasons. Plus I could just put them back in the fridge…they come with lids! Unspillable! Even I use them in the car sometimes, for me 😉

      • Geneva says:

        My nearly 3yr old now is demanding real cups, but sometimes I just get smart and only pour a couple gulp worths of drink in a cup. Usually it is just the amount he wants and he won’t complain. Sometimes he guzzles it down then wants more and I might do this 3 times before he is done. But it certainly has saved us from the mess of spilled drinks. I never pour him more than 1/2 of a small cup at a time.

        • Clare says:

          My rule on pouring drinks into non-sippy cups is never pour more than you want to clean up. I’d rather pour 4 tiny glasses than clean up the mess from one large one.

    • Robyn says:

      It’s the opposite for me. When he’s given a special drink (something that isn’t water; usually soda), he’ll drink it very slowly; almost not drinking it at all. Sometimes, the nearly full can of soda is still sitting on the table after being open all day when he goes to bed. At that point, I feel justified in pouring it out. However, the very next morning he’s going “Where’s my soda, mama?” I’ve gotten smart and just put it in the fridge at the end of the night. He’ll make that soda last 3 days!

  14. Krista says:

    We are going through a picky phase here where my son asks for everything and will even scoop it onto his spoon, but then he just looks at it. He will scream if you try to take it away but he won;t eat it. He will just sit and stare at it. Ugh.

    • Teresa says:

      Totally. Our conversations are often
      kid: “I’m done” pushes away something she’s taken one bite out of that I think is tasty
      me: “Great, I’ll eat it”
      kid: “Noooooooooo!”
      me: “Do you want to eat it?”
      kid: “No”
      me: “Can I have it?”
      kid: “No, it’s mine”

      at least it saves a few calories for me

      • Dils says:

        LOL, is the same way here with my 2 1/2 years old, she doesn’t want something, but doesn’t want me to eat it ether. She tells me is her ad she wants me to put it in the fridge, if I ask her if she will eat it later, the answer is not. lol

      • Amy says:

        I wish the conversations with my daughter went like that! Instead, my daughter says: “Momma, I’m done. You can finish it.”

        But, on the bright side, she stops eating dessert when she’s no longer hungry, too.

  15. Rebecca says:

    For us it’s bagels. My son will ONLY eat a whole bagel and will eat a fourth of it if I’m lucky. Thank god my daughter is now eating food because I give her the “recycled” bagels. I think that makes me a bad mom. I hear you on the apples too.

    • Chrystal says:

      I do this. I use to feel bad but it felt worse throwing the food out.

    • Laurel says:

      Oh I definitely do the same thing. I make food for my 2 yr old son, wait a few minutes for him to not eat it and then scrape it onto baby girls’ tray and put her in the high chair. My little girl is saving my sanity on food waste. She loves to eat almost anything. Occasionally, I’ll feed them the same thing simultaneously and he’ll get down from the table and eat the food off her tray instead. Dilemma: Scold him for taking her food? After all, she eats his food all the time! OY!

      • Rebecca says:

        Yeah, my son is 2.5 and my daughter is 9 months. She eats way more than he does and I naively think that she will be a better eater than he is. What is it with 2 year olds and no eating? That’s a better idea, to wait until my son doesn’t eat it and then give it to her.

      • Lacey S says:

        My son is 17 months and is ALWAYS hungry. But he also does have to leave a little of everything he’s eating. He’ll eat 3/4th of a banana… then he says “snack?”, so he’ll eat 3/4th of a cheese sandwich (which is really 1/4 of 1 slice of bread)… “snack?”, so he’ll eat 3/4ths of a cup of jello and fruit… “snack?”, so he’ll slurp out 3/4ths of a pouch of veggie puree… “snack?”, so he’ll eat 3/4ths of his pasta dinner… and on and on until I finally manage to get him to bed. I swear he calculates exactly how much of everything to leave. And I know if he REALLY likes it because he tries to feed the leftovers to the cat 😛

      • Phaedra says:

        Put both kids food on the high chair tray, pull the table chair up to the high chair, and let them “share” a table… That’s what I do sometimes. It’s worth the saved energy of fighting.

  16. Tia says:

    LOL @ the mice who are missing out. It is the same with that cheese at our house, where are you hiding the cameras? Sheesh!

    • FrancesVettergreenVisualArtist says:

      I’m amazed the cats aren’t eating the cheese. I may have odd pets — ok, no “may” about it — but my two are delighted by the treats small boy leaves for them. Cheese strings and Cheerios being particular favorites.

  17. Courtney says:

    Just don’t fall for the mini babybel in the car trick- rotten cheese under the seat and red wax permanently melted into your carpet! I have four children and I think the only they actually eat something is when they are at grandma’s house- further adding to her theory that they are skinny because we don’t feed them enough!

  18. Lauren says:

    YES YES YES! Thanks for mentioning in the foot note that you freeze the barely eaten fruit. I’m disappointed in myself for not thinking of this (I usually try to push it again at the next food request), but I will definitely do this going forward.

    And the cheese, I was starting to wonder if the only the kids love it, is the opening process because they rarely want to eat it.

  19. Toni says:

    That’s why I slice the food up. The kids think it’s fun and whatever they don’t eat is saved for later or used in baking:-).

  20. Christine says:

    You all need my daughter to come follow your kids around. She is always hungry and will finish anything her little brother leaves behind…..and then ask me for a snack.

    • elizabeth says:

      I was going to type this about my little girl! She is the one who, at daycare, has squeezed herself under the mini card table so that she can eat all the crumbs and fallen bits…Also, she is the snack food thief. She sees uneaten things from her friends and will grab it before they even realize! This is all after she has already had her meal/snack…She’s only 15 months too! Geez

  21. Christine Roeske says:

    *facepalm* Our children were clearly separated at birth. The kids only eat hummus (with spoon resulting in enough garlic breath to KILL the entire cast of Twilight and The Vampire Diaries), Wiscon Aged Cheddar Pirate Booty-ish cheese puffs, Cliff Kids Bars, GoGo Applesauce, Applegate hotdogs or chicken nuggets, white (not yellow for the love of god) american cheese and blueberries. Thank god for the blueberries.

    Literally, that is my shopping list.

    • Aron says:

      I am so sorry (b/c I can totally relate) but the White, not yellow cheese made my LOL

    • Laura D says:

      I wish I even had a consistent list of their edible foods! one will eat those horrible cheese strings, the other hates them but likes carrots (but not cooked), one will eat egg on toast, but only if you have asked her if she wants it, she has declined, and you have made just enough for yourself. Then she will eat yours. they will ask for strawberry weetabix, then never eat them. I ask if I should throw them away, they say they will eat them tomorrow. always tomorrow.

      • Erin says:

        “but only if you have asked her if she wants it, she has declined, and you have made just enough for yourself. Then she will eat yours.” That is EXACTLY what happens at our house! LOL!

  22. Tracy says:

    I must be lucky…my 2 yo boy eats everything. I mean everyting. Not only will he eat what we give him, but he’ll eat things he finds on the floor, under the couch, in the couch, in the mall (from the floor & cool “octagon” trash bins). It’s a miracle that he isn’t a whale (yet), or become a bio-hazard site!

    • Courtney says:

      My 2 year old is the same thing. I’ll add to that list things that are not edible like my clothes, books, and schoolwork. I was forced to resort to a Kindle for my reading because I guess he needs more fiber in his diet.

      He NEVER stops eating.

    • Betsy says:

      he will have a very robust immune system when he grows up!

  23. Ha! I wrote a post about this too, well mainly about my inability to not eat all the food they refuse to. No waste = more waist – it’s a vicious cycle …

  24. Story.Of.My.Life.

    What is it about kids & food that’s so damn frustrating?!? I will tell you this though, my kids have accepted that they have to agree on a kids-meal to split when we go out to eat… they still don’t eat it all, but at least I feel better about not spending twice as much.

    Yet another brilliant post!!!!

  25. Mama Meerkat says:

    Haha, my three year old does that too! I used to get away with just sharing my meals with her but now I get the, “no! I want my OWN!” and she’s done 3 bites later.

  26. Am says:

    I dunno if it’s just b/c I’m on a mac or what, but all the ads on the side are little boxes with little blue question marks in them. 🙁 The links still work, but you know, the Marketing Pretty is missing.

  27. Nicole says:

    LOL – story of my LIFE! My kids’ food waste could sustain a small third world country.

  28. Shelley West says:

    YES!! And then, I find myself eating all day because I’m eating their leftovers and don’t want to waste food.

  29. I tried a new trick yesterday. Since neither of my kids ate the lunch I sent them to day camp with, I served it again for dinner. Not only did the food get eaten, but I’m also pretty sure I solved that problem for awhile.

    • Laura J says:

      I use this trick all the time!! Even when the little stinker doesn’t close up the containers before she puts them back in her lunch bag.
      I wasn’t always this way, but I got tired of jumping for her every whim and fancy and decided it probably wasn’t a good pattern for her or for me!

    • Stacey says:

      Ha! I just put my daughter’s dinner plate in the fridge. She thinks she got of easy…turkey and asparagus will be served for breakfast!

  30. robin says:

    It’s like you wrote this about my kids 🙂

  31. Tricia Maze says:

    My preschool students do this all the time. Take a huge heaping serving spoon overflowing with BBQ beef and never even touch it. The worst is when we get the kids that will sneakily put it on the floor if they don’t like it. UGH!

    And fyi, none of the sponsor images showed up for me. The links do work, but there are those naggin red x’s instead of images, even if I try to reload them. And this isn’t a problem that my computer has ever had before, so I don’t think it’s just me. Just want to let you know.

    Can’t wait for your book!!

  32. Sarah Faith says:

    My kids do the SAME thing with the cheese! So fun to unwrap. This includes my 9, 7, 6 and 5 year olds not just toddler and baby. LOL

  33. Sarah says:

    I try cut up the apples into slices and then less tends to get wasted and it isn’t so bad for me to finish it up. I still have them do that though b/c I leave fruit in the fruit bowl and they will take it from there and waste it. My most hated thing is when they take a bite out of an unripened fruit (like pear or peach) decide it is yucky (though I repeatedly told them it wasn’t ripe and wouldn’t taste good) and then the whole thing is wasted! I find myself wishing for a dog that I could feed all the scraps too, I hate all the waste.

    • S says:

      Yum, green peach! Chinese method:
      1) prepare a dipping sauce: light soya sauce, sweetener (sugar, etc), fresh sliced de-seeded chili optional. The idea is to get a sauce which tastes salty and sweet.
      2) slice fruit fairly thinly but not wafer-thin.
      3) dip fruit in sauce, enjoy crunchy salty sweet treat.

      There’s also another Chinese method of salty-sweet. Some sort of store-bought ground-up preserved plum mix, into which you dip the thin sliced fruit.

  34. Beth says:

    All so true!
    Although my two girls (1 & 3) will eat 3/4 of a watermelon in a day. Yesterday we had 1 nectarine left that Ihad been saving for myself and they both came and each took a bite and left it on the table. I guess I did get some:)

  35. Lisa says:

    Thanks to my 2 year old, I currently have a partially eaten pack of crackers, a half eaten box of raisins, and a bowl with goldfish crackers in it, sitting on my kitchen counter. And they will probably sit there for a few days, because it makes me feel better to think they MIGHT get eaten at some point, rather than just throw them out right away… *big sigh*

    • Andrea says:

      This sounds like my kitchen! Plate of yogurt in the fridge, baggie of teddy grahams in the cabinet, sad 1/2 banana on the countertop. Glad I’m not the only one who has this problem!

    • Pamela says:

      Dump it all together in a snack sized baggie and tell them it’s trail mix. But not today. Wait a couple of days so they’ve forgotten all about it.

    • Stephanie says:

      And the perpetual 1/4 glass of milk or juice in the fridge.

  36. Emily S. says:

    My kids waste food, too. Serving staff at restaurants think we’re crazy because of how we order food: for 6 people, we order one adult entree and two kids meals. And then the kids take 2 bites of their meals, we box up the adult entree for later and we finish the kids meals. And then as soon as we get home, the kids want a snack. 🙂 At least I tip based on 6 people.

    • Lacey S says:

      This is so smart, but 99% of kids meals are gluten-heavy, making them off limits to me 🙁 Wish they could come out with SOME staple for kids that was gluten-free! Instead the little guy and I share a meal, and my hubby takes home 1/2 of his for lunch the next day… 😛

      • Ange says:

        We had that problem yesterday! The waiter was appalled that we weren’t eating off the kids menu because it was 1.99 meal day. Sorry, everything on the menu has wheat or dairy or both. Our son did just fine with berries, chicken and nuts from my salad and at least a quarter of his dad’s steak.

  37. Mishka B says:

    I try to get my kids to share as many snacks as possible, which seems to eliminate most of the waste. My eldest never finishes anything and I hate wasting (or eating) so much, but thankfully my little one is like a vacuum cleaner and eats her own food and anyone else’s in her general vicinity, so I can usually rely on her to clean it up. When all else fails, there’s the dog – all homes with toddlers should have a dog 🙂

  38. Lisa says:

    This is why I’m glad to have a dog. Not especially happy abpout some of the food she is fed-you know, the stuff I wanted-but at least it’s not wasted.

  39. Ashley Palmer says:

    Okay, maybe I’m taking a risk at losing millions by sharing this idea, but since all kids LOVE to unwrap the Babybel cheeses, why can’t someone manufacture the little wrappings around a mini PB&J or a vitamin or something that will actually get eaten. Because honestly the cheese isn’t really the right taste for kids and I know I don’t need the thrill of unwrapping them when I cut them up for my salad…just one more step in my meal prep.

  40. Wendy says:

    I use my nearly 2 year old as my excuse to eat more fruit – sure you can have an apple/pear/peach/nectarine – a few bites later it’s mine and I “have” to eat it to not waste it. I try to avoid doing that with other “yummy/bad for you” things I offer them, sometimes with success, sometimes not.

  41. Heather says:

    My kids are generally really, really good eaters so I am fortunate to have very little experience with this. However, recently we really dialed back our budget and I rarely buy cereal anymore. This morning I found two totally wasted bowls of cereal on the table and was not pleased. As you stated, bloated cereal cannot be saved. I felt like my parents as “$2.99 a box” ran through my head! Haha. Oh, and our local market GIVES AWAY the babybel cheeses at the deli counter! Your kids are absolutely right, they are SO fun to open.

    • Stephanie says:

      The wasted cereal thing drives. me. nuts!!! If she’s going to leave 3/4 of it why can’t she eat it without milk?? I don’t get grossed out by much, but I will NOT eat wet, soggy cereal. Eww!!!

      • S says:

        So with you on the milk.
        I’m giving my 18mo ricies/puffed rice as a snack, so he can carefully pick ’em out and eat ’em dry. The box is from when he was 11mo. Still good.

  42. I often puzzle over how they even get enough nutrition based on the fact they take 1-2 bites out of everything! I have often resorted to ice cube tray snacks:

    • ErMad says:

      What an amazing idea! Definitely trying this, thanks for sharing. (although it would be a major mess for the baby who would love to just tip it over)

      • Emma says:

        You could very easily add suction cups to the bottom of the trays (some hot glue in the crevices and stick a suction cup in) That way they don’t get flipped, and little hands can reach the snacks without moving it all over their high chair.

        • S says:

          Suction cup-based ideas do not work around my kid. Neither does no-spill cups/bottles. He’s ingenious.

  43. Christy says:

    I’m so glad to know that I am not the only one dealing with this!! Maybe I can quit pounding my head on the table at every meal while my 16 month old tosses 90% of her food on the floor. The only difference for me is that the Mini Babybel cheese is the only thing she will eat entirely. So much so that I have to limit her intake of it otherwise that is all she would eat. She constantly walks back to the fridge saying “cheese cheese”

    • Joanna says:

      OMG this is my 19 mo daughter too! Any kind of cheese. If she even sees me taking shredded cheese out of the fridge for dinner, she starts saying “cheese cheese” over and over. My grocery store also has cut cheese in the deli section to try, and even before we get in the store she starts up with “cheese cheese” over and over!

  44. Christina Medei says:

    LOL! Our trouble is baby carrots! All three lil girls 5, 3, and 2…. “We want carrots!” …okay… everyone gets a tiny handful of baby carrots, about four or five…. But yet every night I’m collecting shriveled baby carrots from the dollhouse, train table, in the cats water bowl, between the sofa cushions, in pockets, everywhere! Oh and forget cheese sandwhiches!!! Always find the cheese missing and the bread just laying there… “how do they get the melted cheese off the bread?” ahhhhh!

  45. Alison says:

    YES! Ring-around-the-apple and wasted Babybel is the story of my life! Why don’t I ever learn?

  46. Melissa says:

    My kids do this except I have taught them to throw stuff in the trash. So My son will eat 2 bits of his apple and toss it! Thanks for the laugh.

  47. Nicole says:

    Ugh, my son is exactly like this!!! He begs for bananas in the store and then I buy the expensive organic bananas thinking, “This is awesome, my kid is asking for fruit!”. But really he just enjoys peeling the banana.

  48. Rachel S. says:

    I find that my son will only eat if my daughter gives it to him (most of the time, occasional I can serve it to him if he’s in a good mood). I constantly throw away tons of food and that doesn’t include the endless amounts my kids feed my dogs or that my dogs steal off the table when I’m not looking. My mom jokes and tells me to save myself the time of cooking it, just throw the food in the trash first you know they aren’t going to eat it. Sadly I know it’s true but I cook it anyway just to clean up and throw 99% away.

  49. Wendy says:

    my son squeals with delight at these too, LOL. He’s pretty good at eating them though. However, bananas, apples, yogurt… just one bite and he’s done!!!

  50. Amy Cappelli says:

    Oh, how I love this! I am still looking for a whole tray of lunch food that magically disappeared in the house during lunch time a few months ago.

  51. wendy says:

    I tell my husband all the time I can’t believe we don’t have mice, roaches and ants. There is so much here for them.

  52. Heidi says:

    Awesome!! It’s like you are IN my house!! And I agree with the cereal thing, it looks gross.

  53. Connie Marshall says:

    My friend has a child who will eat anything on someone else’s plate. On his plate, no. On mine, broccoli, salad, General Tso’s chicken, Greek yoghurt, fresh fruit, anything. He will eat my whole plate of food, but if the food is transferred to his plate it becomes yucky again.

    • Melinda says:

      My first son was just like this. It was actually pretty awesome because I could trick him into eating anything.

      • S says:

        The other night my son kept taking single strands of spaghetti from my plate. He walked away from the table (we use kid-height furniture as our dining table) and whirled the spaghetti around gleefully, before stuffing it into his mouth.

  54. Lyz says:

    Story of my life. I swear I think you have moved into my house sometimes.

    My oldest is a picky eater and eats sloowwwwly. Very very slow. As such he often fills up before he eats much, so a lot of his food is wasted.

    My youngest is a vacuum cleaner – he sometimes eats more than I do. However he has discovered that he can scoot across the room in his chair by rocking back and forth. This allows him to get himself more food if I’m not in the room – which usually results in half the box of Cheerios being dumped on the floor as those are his favorites. When will I ever learn to put that darned box away?!

    • Amber says:

      I started keeping the cereal in snack sized bags so that it didn’t end up on the floor and wasted. My son loves to get the food out, but once he does, he doesn’t want it and leaves it out, which makes it easy for the 2yr old to make a mess.

  55. Melanie says:

    I remember this well! My daughter is now 17 but when she was a toddler, the only way I could get her to eat a full meal was to wrap her food in McDonald’s burger wrappers that I kept and cleaned for just that purpose. It worked for a while but sad was the day she clued in to the fact that McDonald’s doesn’t actually serve McBroccoli.

  56. Erika says:

    Seriously, we are living parallel lives- except my kids like the cheese because of the wax coating.

  57. Amanda Hernandez says:

    “Mommy, I’m STAAAARVING!”
    “Okay, Sweeite, have an apple.”
    “But I’m not staving for an apple, I’m starving for a cookie. Please, mommy. I’m STAAARVING!” [sobs real tears]
    Nice try.

    • Ashley says:

      ROTFLOL. This is too adorable for words.

    • Claire H says:

      We do ‘The Banana Test’ in our house. So you’re crying with hunger? Do you want a banana? No? Then you aren’t really hungry are you? (They both love bananas, we’re not being mean). We’ve found they just won’t eat their meals if they are allowed to snack too much – and the snack tolerance threshold is actually a lot lower than you’d think. The ‘2 bites’ thing when we’re out drives me bonkers.

  58. Tatyana says:

    Ok – that Babybel part is just creepy. Did you just enter into my house and watched my daughter cry for a Babybel everytime I open the fridge, just to find the cheese on the floor with a single bite? The only reason she wants them is because she likes to open them. HAHHAHAH, your post totally made my day.

  59. Kiza says:

    You have written about my children. I finally stopped buying the Babybel cheeses because it was just so maddening.

  60. Amber says:

    Well, same thing here! My 2 year old eats a lot more than her older brother, but when it comes to eating out at a restaurant, 3 bites and they are done. Speaking of restaurants, your post on going out to eat at a restaurant is exactly my experience too, lol! I now get something I know they will eat (because it is off my plate), and then get something that I will eat off the kids menu, so we switch 😐

  61. Melinda says:

    We have a cat that does this! He tries to steal fruits & veggies, esp. bananas & zucchini or anything stringy (corn on the cob, spring onions). He doesn’t want to eat them. He just wants to nibble on them a bit. I don’t think he has even discovered what a banana has inside, but he’ll gnaw the end if I ever leave one out (so we have a banana box that we occasional keep bread in).

  62. Kristen says:

    My son will eat the whole banana or two, a whole apple, and loooves the heck outta some cheese. I’ll send him right over to eat what yours won’t. lol

  63. Francesca B says:

    My 2-year-old unwraps bananas just like the cheese. She unwraps the whole thing, then takes a couple nibbles off the sides. If I can get either child to eat two bites of shrimp and a piece of vegetable for dinner, I think they’ve eaten well. But then they’ll eat an entire can of olives or a pint of raspberries or half a watermelon at one sitting.

  64. Grace says:

    This is, honestly, a big portion of the reason I have backyard chickens. I could not deal with how much food we were wasting. Now – feed it to the chickens! Problem solved, plus the four-year-old loves watching them peck around their little yard.

  65. Lisa M. says:

    Once again, the story of my life.

  66. Amanda says:

    For us, bananas = stickers. The toddler loves stickers. She usually eats most of the banana–thank goodness. But we’ve learned–can’t buy bananas at Costco anymore–those don’t have stickers = tears.

  67. Jenny says:

    I’m reading a book right now called “French Kids Eat Everything” which deals with this kind of stuff. The author moved to France with two young kids and was shocked to discover that the kids there ate neatly, and ate everything offered to them – not just hot dogs and mac-n-cheese. She uses the book to share her observations, common sense yet un-American things like only eating at the table. And not offering snacks so that the child is actually hungry at mealtimes. It’s a pretty good book. It’s been helpful for me to get new ideas (and encouragement) on the whole helping kids eat healthy thing.

  68. Ellen says:

    OMG you’ve got it to a “T”! And god forbid we try to slice the apple or give them part of a banana – oh nooooooo – they have to have a *single bite* from the WHOLE piece of fruit. Makes me crazy… I used to think a good diet for me would be to eat Only what they don’t – but that would be waaaay to much. ;-D

  69. Ashley says:

    When I was a kid, mama used to save what I didn’t eat for the next time I was ‘hungry’. Now I know that doesn’t necessarily work for apples and bananas because they brown, but it helped me to finish what I asked for so I wouldn’t have to eat it later!

  70. Masha says:

    I stopped giving our munchkin snacks. Just meals. And he has to sit at the table to get any food. Cos before this, there were pieces of crackers, etc everywhere, and he wouldn’t eat meals. So any food he eats has to be at the table. Works about 95% of the time.

  71. Emily says:

    Just so you’re all prepared, this does not get better when they enter their teens. They do start eating, but only the really expensive secret chocolate that you’ve hidden (obviously not well enough) and cheese that you’d planned to use for a meal later in the week. And Triscuits. My 14-year-old has decided that now she drinks coffee in the morning. And what that means is she pours the last of the coffee and about a gallon of vanilla creamer into a giant mug, stirs it, then leaves it in the living room untouched so that a) I am out of coffee, b) I spend $47 on creamer weekly, and c) I have one more mug to wash.

    • Lacey S says:

      This makes me laugh because I think this was me as a teen 🙁 I’m so sorry Mom and Dad!!!

    • Brenda L.W. says:

      Aaah, the teen years. Thank goodness mine didn’t drink coffee, but they sure went through the boxes of cereal! We also ended up feeding the friends. As for your chocolate stash, have you tried the garage? 🙂

  72. Julie says:

    This is why my dog is in love with my 19 month old. Said dog was never allowed any table scraps EVER … until she came around. Dog’s favorite spot is under the high chair. Granted it is dangerous, she’s nearly gotten a concussion from the full sippy cups that have come crashing down on her head, but in her mind, it is a risk that is totally worth taking.

    • Lacey S says:

      All dogs need a toddler 😀 😀 My parent’s pugs follow my son around non-stop every time we visit them 🙂

  73. British American says:

    Too funny! My 4 year old is EXACTLY like this – especially with the apples and being hungry!

    Love the cheese thing too.

  74. Kate says:

    Actually, I love that cheese so much, I’d probably consider eating the cheese under the couch if I knew it wasn’t that old and didn’t have any hair on it….:)


  75. Claire says:

    hey, my 3 year old did the “ring of apple” thing until I discovered these little gadgets,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1280&bih=655&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=11563505273209998247&sa=X&ei=Bm_8T_LeD4uwhAeviP3BDw&ved=0CH0Q8wIwAA
    they take the core out making the apple into a tube – we call them “magic apples” because you can see through them and he eats the whole thing now.

    • There are even better ones than this, that have helped with the apple ring with my 2 y.o.. They core & slice into 8 pieces all in one move. Helps with my lazy-when-it-comes-to-fruit-prep husband as well.

  76. Diana says:

    It’s so true. I find half eaten hot dogs, toast, bags of chips, and all sorts of other stuff under the couch. *Sigh*

    • Laura J says:

      I only let my daughter eat at the table. That way, she is probably actually hungry if she is wanting to sit down and eat. Also, I am not a good enough housekeeper to find all those lovely tidbits under the couch in a timely manner! 🙂

  77. Frieda Peeple says:

    I love that your compost bin is not only vegan, but that its a “he”. Bonus points for anthropomorphizing kitchen waste!!

    • Frieda Peeple says:

      “…but that (IT’S or IT IS)” Oops. Exhaustion=poor grammar. Sorry.

      • Alli says:

        I was starting to think I was the only person who saw that the compost bin was male.

        My question is, is the compost bin an actual person (eg my stepdad is also called Hoover bc he will clean off anyone’s plate if they don’t) or are you just the most awesome person ever, that you have created a full personality for your compost (it is alive, after all…)? Well, either way I still think you are pretty awesome!

        • Rene says:

          Calling compost a “he” makes me think of the Flinstones… the animals being the the pig under the sink 😉

  78. Thank you for this post! I was starting to worry about my kid! He always the pulls the stunt with the mini cheeses!

  79. Peta says:

    Can I just say how wonderfully expressive your crappy drawings are 🙂

  80. Sonia K says:

    My 22 month old does the banana thing. One bite off each end. Then she’s done. My 4 year old is hungry ALL the time. She doesn’t eat everything I give her. But she is alwasy saying “My tummy is about to growl” Which apparently signals the start of the death throes. Sigh. I draw the line at fixing her a snack WHILE I am making dinner.

  81. Desiree says:

    This is why my dog is obese.

  82. Claire H says:

    Really, guys – don’t let them wonder round the house with food! We only eat at the table, or sitting nicely on the sofa. There would be food everywhere otherwise – they’re bad enough as it is!

    Also, am I the only one with cheese-mad cats? All my cats have always loved cheese! An abandoned Babybel would make my cat very happy!

  83. Lisa says:

    Every. Single. Time.

    Another favourite is begging to make cakes with me. We make cakes. We ice the cakes. The entire time that we’re making them he is DESPERATE for cake. I give him a cake. he eats the icing off the top then leaves the sponge part under the sofa/in the DVD player or shoves it in my unsuspecting mouth. WHY??

    Come and play with me here by the way: something tells me that we are two of a kind 😉

  84. Anyone else in this situation also find themselves RACING to make a requested food item? It’s as if, should I manage to arrange a requested hummus sammie in under 30 seconds, I believe my daughter will eat it. I feel like those superstitious pigeons sometimes…

  85. Leia says:

    I have an effective way to deal with my 2 year old’s leftovers. I have three options besides me eating up what ever can. My solution is…dogs, chickens, compost pile. Ususally it can be disposed of well between those three options.

  86. M says:

    I have four children. Three of them are good eaters. The other one hasn’t really eaten in years. I’m not sure how he subsists on air and wishes, but apparently it’s possible to grow and thrive that way.

  87. Hannah says:

    My 2 year old son is the opposite with bananas. The whole thing is good, except for the last bite. That needs to be hidden among the toys until I find it a week later by following the swarm of fruit flies.

  88. Fuchsia says:

    I have started just beginning meals without my daughter (who is 3). She will refuse dinner at first but once she seem mummy eating she gets all offended and demands food – sometimes even her own although it is often off my plate. I then go eat her portion for my seconds. 🙂

  89. My daughter does the opposite of this. She asks for an apple, and I give it to her, but then I have to watch her, because she’ll eat the whole thing: stem, seeds, and all. It’s kind of like having a small goat in the house.

    • Laura J says:

      . . . a small goat . . . That made me laugh!
      I used to have to remember to always watch my daughter with sliced melon, b/c left to her own devices she would eat the rind.

  90. Megan says:

    We are just starting to go out to non-pizza serving restaurants. While on vacation, hubby was all excited to go to this special brewery. We dutifully ordered my 1 month old some fancy mac n cheese. She wouldn’t eat it, of course. In fact over the five days, I think she subsisted soley on cheesy bunnies, blueberries and Cheerios. We brought it home because, well, we paid for it. Wouldn’t you know the minute that we got home and unpacked, my daughter was SCREAMING for that damn mac’ n’ cheese. By this time, it had been on a 6 hour flight and it had been in a cooler, but she finished the whole thing!

  91. LeahM says:

    My kids like opening the Baby Bel cheese too. And not eating it. As for cereal, I think I may stop buying it so that I can stop throwing it out.

  92. Sandra says:

    My kids are bun wasters I make hotdogs the want it in the bun then the eat the hot dog and lick the condiments of and ask for another I just put a hot in their bun again the do the same with sandwiches on bun the eat everything in it but no the bun

  93. I guess we’re in the minority. Our son eats EVERYTHING! Even broccoli! (Well, full disclosure, broccoli is the only veggie he will truly eat.) I’m constantly told how lucky I am. But this too comes with a price. Open tables of food at birthday parties means Jake gorges on pizza and chips and cookies and screams when we pull him away. And eating at restaurants is no easier. We’re always flagging down the server to remove the bread basket and extra food from our plates before the human garbage disposal gets to it. I cringe when the server unloads that giant American sized “kids meal” cheeseburger onto Jake’s plate. Ugh!

    • Amy says:

      My Jake is exactly the same! Human garbage disposal! Steak and chips is his fav though (he’s only 16mo!)

  94. Lisa says:

    Lol, yes a dog is a must! However I have a little hoover at my house who eats mountains of food. He has an innie belly button but he eats so much sometimes that it pops out, no joke!

    As for the baby bel, not sure if you can find these where you are, but I’ve actually seen and even tasted some new flavors of baby bel… the white cheddar is AWESOME… might work for a little while to switch it up?

  95. Juan Castro says:

    I am convinced they don’t actually gain sustenance from food or drink. They get it from the reduction of our account balance.

    You do know what happens when there’s FREE food available, of course. They make an herculean effort to ignore the very existence of the abstract concept of Food until one femtosecond after food stops being available, and then… “I’M HUNGRY!!!”

    Come on, tell me it isn’t that way with yours.

  96. cathy says:

    My daughter LOVED peeling oranges, but HATED to eat them. My nephew, OTOH, HATED peeling oranges, but LOVED eating them. When I learned this, I knew we had a matched pair of cousins. 🙂

  97. Sue says:

    In order not to waste cereal in our house, my kids eat it dry with a sippy cup of milk. That way, when they’re done, I cover it with celephane for them to return to later in the day. Works wonders on the cereal bill. 🙂

    • Jo says:

      Exactly! Actually, this was my son’s idea. He told me he was creeped out by the milk on the cereal, but would happily eat them separately. He never finishes, regardless of how much I serve, but at least it’s fine for later.

  98. Jennifer Spencer says:

    You described my daughter to the T! She’s super horrible about cereal and I hate cereal. I also find I end up eating a lot of the things she doesn’t that will go to waste. So much chubby because of it, I really should stop lol.

  99. Leah Cusick says:

    I became quite frusterated with this also…until I put my foot down. I make my kids sit at the table when they eat ANYTHING. Cut apples into wedges, you’ll be AMAZED how much more of the apple they eat, likewise peel the banana and break it into 3 or 4 pieces, again you’ll find they eat majority of it.

    While we still do have more waste than I’d like (my kids LOVE to squash crackers when they’re allowed them for a snack…I may have to start giving just one at a time I think), we’ve eliminated a lot of the food wasting just by controlling these small things.

  100. Elizabeth says:

    It’s relatively simple, if they ask for something and you make it for them then they don’t get anything else until it’s eaten (or at least most of it). Ok we don’t enforce this all the time and dinner that we choose and serve to them doesn’t have to be eaten. We also frequently have to cut the brown ends off bananas where they’ve been sat on the table for a while. Also doesn’t work with soggy cereal (we’re not that mean) but we do only give a small bowl if we don’t think they’ll eat it all (if they complain at the size then they’re told they can have more when they’ve eaten it all).

  101. Megan says:

    I love you. I love you all. Unfortunately, I am sorry to report to you that in some cases, this does not end with 2-4 year olds. I have a 21 year old who eats anything (but only if it has ketchup on it). I have a 15 year old who is just NOW getting to the point where she will try something new, and *sometimes* say she likes it. I have a 9 year old who started out being the best and least picky of all of them–and then a few years ago evidently her sister finally rubbed off on her. Now, the 15 year old will eat it and the 9 year old will take three bites. Or, the 9 year old will say “YUM” and the 15 year old will make herself ramen.

    I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Keep your chins up, maybe your kids will be the exception.

    • Jo says:

      Yep – my kid is 8. He eats better than he did at 3 or 4, but it’s still a frustrating puzzle each day of what will be eaten and what won’t. It’s not that he won’t eat veggies (yay, we’re past that!) but he’ll only eat certain parts…just the tops of asparagus/broccoli, only plain dry lettuce/spinach, only raw carrots/celery…and maddeningly only enough to take the edge off his hunger. He says he gets bored eating…

  102. Kim says:

    Now I KNOW my kid was weird…. She LOVED her veggies, and fruit and string cheese and yogurt. She always finished it all and asked for more. When she was 3, My dad gave us a huge bag of grape tomatoes in a gallon zippy bag and gave them to her to hold. While we were standing there talking, we didn’t notice – she ate the WHOLE Bag! All of them! I thought for sure she was going to make herself sick.

    Now as a teen, she’s incredibly active, thin and athletic, rides her horse and others’ horses every day, and I am absolutely going broke trying to feed her…

    • Lisa says:

      wow, thats a lot of tomatoes!!! I am apparently notorious for eating an entire box of Nilla wafers at about the same age when nobody was paying attention, lol. Needless to say I’m not the most athletic now 😉

  103. Heather says:

    So very true. I think this is why I’ve gained some weight since having kids – I feel guilty throwing anything out so I eat what I can.

  104. Kylie says:

    The purchasing of pretty colourful packaging has been banned from our house…pink, yellow & orange baby yoghurts were bought on the promise they would be eaten, yet time & time again…fits of tears & cries of “I dont like it….” Mini Babybel really hit the spot for marketing with those waxy shells. Too many uneaten cheeses have made those things banned from the shopping list too… I love the idea of freezing the uneaten fruity bits, fabulous idea!!

  105. libdurk says:

    My husband feels this way about… me! When I’m pregnant, my cravings come and go, quite quickly. Luckily my 1 year old will eat anything. He’s eating a lot of Mama rejects right now.

    • Melly mama says:

      Oh i’m the same way. My husband will keep buying some of my cravings for a few weeks after I have already gone off them. My 13 month old eats everything but my cravings are usually junk food related so my husband just eats them instead. But he is one of those people who can have just a piece of a chocolate bar and be satisfied where as I need to eat all of them, at once.

  106. Ceri says:

    I have been learning about about Love and Logic parenting… I just read a chapter about food. When the kids didn’t want to eat what she made she said Fine, and dumped it down the disposal. BUT when they were hungry, she let them eat something else and said now that will be $5.25 because you did not eat what I had budgeted for and we wasted that food. How did you want to pay for that? My son is saving his money for a toy (the Lego batman cave) if I made him pay for wasted food, I think that would pain him more than anything in the world. I think I need to start giving him an allowance so he can learn this lesson about waste. Perhaps if we made them PAY for what they waist from their piggy bank they might think twice? (Its working for us with toys at yard sales and the good will, he turned down a trampoline for a $1.00 to save his money!) A TRAMPOLINE! (Of course the lady was SO impressed with his choice, she then gave it to him for free there for he won that sweet deal…)

  107. Jocelyn Stover says:

    it wasnt even 6 months after I married my husband that i went on strike and refused to cook dinner for his three kids EVER AGAIN (and I still dont). They say they will eat something and then once i make it, they cry and whine and act like theyre throwing up and always wind up either not eating anything or eating peanut butter sandwiches–SMH. so now my husband is in control of dinner, for the rest of their lives. i work 80+ hours/week. the last thing i want to do is come home and deal with that garbage. the worst part is that theyre not little–THEYRE TEENAGERS!!

  108. Fenny says:

    My goddaughter’s mother gave her kids *a* small plain biscuit with their morning drink and *a* small sweet biscuit with their afternoon drink. Apart from that, they had lunch at lunchtime and tea at tea time. As did everyone else in the house. When I visited them, I’d end up starving and always took snacks with me!

    My Mum says her parents were exactly the same. When Mum went to babysit, she got a cup of tea and *a* biscuit all evening. (Mum babysat goddaughter’s mother when she was small. She babysat us when we were small. I babysat her kids when they were small, which is how come I ended up as godmother to the youngest.)

  109. Jennifer Scogin says:

    My 2 year old does the same thing with cuties/clementines. He eats them at Whole Foods (they give these free to the children while we shop), he loves to open them up himself. So we buy him a whole bag (thinking what a great snack for him to take to school). So now he asks for oranges diligently peels them (takes him forever so we end up doing other things because he is entertained) and then the orange is gone (I think he has eaten it)…nope I watched him one time and after it was all opened he put it on the floor and walked away and then the dog ate it.

  110. Linda says:

    I used to say, I’ve never eaten so well myself, as when the first kid was in the high chair – serve up amazing, healthy lunches… inevitably eat 3/4 of it instead of throwing it away. Never had to make food for me, always had it covered… now, with 2 – I gotta quit eating like this! Gonna have to start cutting back! HAHA!

  111. Angela B. says:

    All those things happen the EXACT same way in our house!!!!!!!!!!! Sigh.

  112. Heather says:

    My 1yo daughter is like this! She lives on practically no food. The only things she actually eats a lot of are yogurt melts. She’s even started opening the drawers I keep her snacks in and bringing me containers. So I think “hey, she’s actually hungry!” Then I give her one and she feeds it to the dogs, laughing the whole time. I really think she just likes the big slobbery kisses those two give her for “sharing” her snacks.

  113. Hkz says:

    When I was little, eating my food was not optional. If I refused, Mom would serve it for the next meal. Eventually she always won. I think most of these problems are due to lazy parenting. If you let the kids win even once, they will win again, and again, and again.

    • Kiinu says:

      I served the same plate of cold food for 4 meals once with my oldest. She didn’t want it Friday night, or at all on Satuday. I gave up at bedtime Saturday night, dragged her out of bed and gave her some toast.

      Laziness is not the problem, stubborn little monsters are lol.

      This trick worked quite well on my second though. Only took one repeat, now the threat of a repeat will make her eat.

      • K says:

        Why did you bother giving her toast? Kids will eat when they’re hungry, and you undermined yourself by helping her win that battle.

    • S says:

      Surely it depends on the age of the kid? Or possibly the health of the kid?

  114. Sarah Gill says:

    I wish I could salvage some food! My 2&4 yo boy eat EVERYTHING! $$$ and 1 yo boy isn’t far behind…. We are going to have to start a BIG garden next year!

  115. Laura says:

    If all goes well, you will look back on these days fondly. When they are 16 years old, you will go to sleep before them, and then wake up in the morning to an empty refrigerator and pantry, with all the dirty dishes waiting for you in the sink and all the wrappers dropped creatively on the floor or under the couch.

  116. Sara E. James says:

    I think you’ve just revealed why I’m fat… as a kid, I NEVER left food uneaten. I had to clean my plate, but I also don’t remember ever asking for a snack that I then failed to finish.

  117. Kiinu says:

    My son is willing to eat ANYTHING, anything at all! So of course he was always sick, come to find out he is allergic to almost anything nature made and he now subsists on processed everything. I make tons of homemade food, because the grocers use too much real stuff. Cookies made with Equal, pediasure, and gluten free flour. No juice, no milk, no veggies, no fruit.. ugh.

  118. Elspeth says:

    If I cut up the apple, I get “but I need it whole!….I didn’t want it cut up!” So I suffer the ring around the apple. Good thing I a) like apple, b) need the apple fibre c) am not too grossed about by consuming my kid’s saliva.

  119. Karen says:

    props for the awesome banana and cheese slices. Those are creepily accurate. Love your blog!

  120. Stephanie says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes! I share your blog with my husband. He is still in denial/disbelief that other parents face the same woes that we do and that in fact our children are “typical” and “normal.” I have seen that apple and banana eating patterns so many times!
    Thank you!

  121. Kim says:

    This could be my household! Even down to the babybel’s with a small bite taken out of the side…. It’s a wonder they put on any weight at all! (oh wait, there’s always the mac n cheese and danimals to keep them from wasting away…)

  122. Gay Lynn says:

    My son drives us nuts. He’s 5 1/2 going on old man. One day he loves something, the next day he won’t eat it again. Ever. I stopped buying the stuff that he loved as a sample from Costco…because once I fixed it at home, he wouldn’t eat it. He loves yogurt and smoothies and would eat $15 worth of fruit a day if I let him. He also loves frozen waffles. But that’s about it. He won’t eat anything else. He could literally live off of milk and waffles all day, everyday. I have given up on making him balanced meals until he starts liking food again. DRIVES. ME. NUTS. (Thanks for letting me vent).

    • S says:

      Get him to make his own meals. Seriously. Porridge, or dhal, or congee.

      My 18mo is learning to make congee – rice boiled in a lot of water. It goes especially well with leftovers. Congee is a plain base, and your son can then add the seasonings he likes – small chunks of meat (roast beef/lamb, seafood, etc), or bite-sized veg, or eggs, or herbs. So he’s in control of what he’s eating.

      Though he may enjoy the cooking process more than eating.

  123. Mary says:

    That was hilarious! I hate it when you can’t persuade kids to share a giant juice drink. You’re in a deli or something and they both want their own can. And then they proceed to each only drink half. Drives me bananas!

  124. Lucy says:

    This. Totally and utterly. And it drives me bananas. But obviously only the tip.

    Mine don’t even take a bite of the Babybels. They just hide them and leave the wax on the wood floors so it can get smooshed into the fringe on the edge of the rug *and* leave nice red blotches.

    This is my mantra: their stomachs are the size of their fist. (Why I can’t eat portions that actually fit my stomach is another mystery, for another time.)


  125. Amanda Reed says:

    Kids are sooooo annoying! LOL! My 5 yo is constantly hungry but rarely eats anything. I get so sick of finding apples in the garbage, or worse.. hidden somewhere to grow mold… with only a few bites out of them. Ugh!

  126. My daughter does this all the time, it frustrates me to no end.

    Is it bad that I am tempted to get a dog just to eat the wasted food?!?!

  127. J-Girl says:

    My girls are so similar when it comes to the apple!! DD1 will eat around the apple until all the colour (peel) is gone and then reject the rest. Where as DD2 will eat her way through half the appl until she finds the core then reject the other perfectly untouched half. I’ve tried to switch after they have each accomplished their initial eating technique – but no luck.
    Kids – they are weird. 🙂

  128. Shari says:

    My teenage son read this. He asked, “Don’t they play with the babybel wax? I always wanted those cheeses so I could play with the wax.” (He did eat the cheese as well.)

  129. Sarah says:

    You are hilarious! We actually have the opposite – my 3yo eats more than I do. Like, 5x more. Seriously. And she weighs 12kgs. Kids are crazy.

  130. Beth says:

    And that’s why we have a dog. And why she is getting fat.

  131. Laurel says:

    Exactly….I could feed a small village in China with what I sweep up everyday….bread crusts, cheerios, discarded vegetables, etc. My 3-year old especially. He always asks for stuff and then seriously, takes a few bites and asks for something else!

  132. Daniel says:

    This rings true for us! You inspired this short blog post:

  133. Cassandra says:

    Soooo true! My kids do the exact same thing, especially with the apples. I’ve gotten to where if they ask for apple, I slice them up and they share and I save the rest in a baggie after I sprinkle them with lemon juice so they’ll keep longer. Grapes is my favorite snack because my kids love them, and nothing is wasted, if they’re done, the rest of the grapes just get put back.

  134. Amanda says:

    Your blog is my life. I have a four year old and an almost two year old. Both boys. As I read this entry, I checked on my oldest. He had asked for a snack 30 minutes earlier. Cereal, with milk. Sure enough, about half the bowl of cereal was uneaten and soggy. Yum. He does that partial banana eating thing too. And even says it’s “yucky” like yours. I guess I’m lucky that mine don’t eat cheese or I’d have BabyBel treasures around my house, too.

  135. Chelsea W says:

    I could take a picture of “ring around the apple” right now, I mean at the very second. It’s sitting on my kitchen counter, and its not your normal apple either, its organic.. an organic “ring around the apple”. Meaning it 100% can not be wasted (hence why it is sitting on my counter). Smoothies is a great idea I must say.. I hadn’t thought of that one!

  136. JaneC says:

    Toddlers? My husband does this! “How hungry are you?” “REALLY hungry!!” So I fill his plate. Half of it comes back to the kitchen. “Sorry, honey, I had kind of a big lunch.” Also, foods that were awesome the last time I fixed them suddenly become inedible, the breakfast that he ate every day for two years was suddenly uninteresting, packed lunches that were specially requested reappear uneaten and still packed a week later (yuck)…and then he’s confused about why our grocery bill is so high and why I sometimes refuse to pack lunches. He’ll spend $12 on fast food if I don’t pack him a lunch, but if I do, it’s 50/50 that he’ll still spend $12 on fast food and also waste $4 worth of homemade food and the $9, BPA-free container I put it in because by the time he brought it home, opening the container to clean it would require a full biohazard suit.

    • S says:

      Get him to plan his own lunches, and work out the cost of it? That way the cost of his rejects may be more real.

  137. Jessica says:

    I’ve had a very similar Babybel experience. My 4 year old always wants them at the store and then says she wants one, opens it, and takes one bite. Now you’ve explained it- it’s all about how great they look and how fun they are to open!

  138. Kirsten says:

    My daughter is almost 5 and this sort of stuff drives me insane. For daycare I pack her a lunch, including a sandwich, a juice pouch, and 3 or 4 different snacks/sides, including applesauce, yogurt, fruit, carrot sticks. We pick her up at the end of the day, and she is “starving” and whining about how hungry she is, and when we open up her lunch box, hardly anything is touched – maybe a couple bites of sandwich, the applesauce, the juice box, and the rest of it is still all in there. Then we get her home, and she can’t wait until dinner, because she is “so hungry!” Get dinner done, and she picks at it – barely eats 3 bites and then says she’s full, and she wants dessert now. ARGH!

  139. Katie says:

    Uh huh! I used to let my kids eat those cheeses and play with the wax. They made all sorts of cool things and even managed to use the wax to attach Playmobil to the ceiling of the playroom because they were on a mission in the moon. Turns out they were just eating it so the could have more wax, not because they actually like it. I buy it for my husband and he has to take it to work before the kids see it. It is super yummy though…

  140. This is hilarious. Story of my life. My kids are two and five. Fortunately, I’m in the process of reviewing a DVD that makes kids want to eat. It actually peeked their interest. By request, we’re headed to buy carrots, blueberries, and avocado. I hope it really works. If not, (like with yours) the smoothies always do!

  141. Christine says:

    Ok, so I just read most of the 295 comments, and if you’re still here, you will either be relieved or horrified to know that my teenagers are still terribly picky eaters! The 17 yo does not like ANY fruit or vegetable, except smooth tomato sauce. Or sometimes I can blend pinto beans, onions and garlic and cook it with ground beef for tacos and he’ll eat that. But really, by now, I shouldn’t have to resort to Jessica Seinfeld’s deceptions! The 13 yo will not eat ANY leftovers. Everything has to be made fresh. Half a box of mac & cheese. A third of frozen pizza. Etc. Also, I have a 15 yo who doesn’t like ground beef. She’ll eat apples, caesar salads, chicken and alfredo sauce or soy sauce on anything. Basically, I can’t cook any dinner that makes everyone happy. Thank goodness my husband will eat just about anything, including leftovers!

  142. Jen says:

    Our son started on healthy muesli and yogurt for breakfast at 1 year when he got into his Dad’s half-finished breakfast bowl.

    Fortunately he turned out not to have any nut allergies.

    Unfortunately, his Dad eats muesli with a mountain of yogurt and a lake of honey.

    So now, before the kettle has even boiled, it’s “Honey!” “More honey!” “More honey!” “Pleeeaase!!”
    He gets through three serves of honey before we’ve finally got coffee into us and are sentient enough to draw the line.

    Rule 1 in our house – parenting skills begin with the coffee. (I know I will rue this come the dentist…)

  143. Cy says:

    Oh I can so relate to this! My fridge is full of half eaten apples and carrots, and whatnot. My daughter can’t seem to eat something entirely, the only way she will eat a full banana is if I fry it in putter in the pan.
    I feel guilty of throwing all that food away so…yup I eat it, and that is no wonder my scale is making me unhappy 🙂

  144. Mindy says:

    If I try the “starving kids all over the world” line on my kids they tell me to freeze dry it and ship it to them. Tip of the banana is a classic around here. This is why I give my kids the world’s tiniest portions ever. First helping of dinner is like, a bite of chicken, one bite of veggie, 5 grains of rice. If they eat that, they get another “helping.” I can’t stand to waste food and my waistline can’t stand eating their leftovers. Oh, and your kids eat smoothies?! That must be awesome.

  145. Arrgh! I thought only my kids were actually as awful and ridiculous as this. Apparently not!

  146. Amy says:

    I’ve decided that there is no way we can get a dog until my 18 mo. old has stopped throwing food. You know what I mean, don’t you?

    I put some cheerios, or raisins or peas on the tray of his high chair, while I start putting together the family’s dinner. He eats some, sure. Might even get to a second pile I put over his way, but soon he starts flinging or dropping them on the floor.

    So I scoop the rest of the offending peas off his tray, say sternly “No throwing food!”, unhook the tray and his straps and lower him to the floor.

    I swear I can hear his little brain exclaim, “Cool! Hey look! Floor Peas!” and he starts scooping them off the floor and popping them in his little mouth before I can grab them.

    Gross? Perhaps to you or me, but that child loves his recently-rejected Floor Peas.


    • Amy says:

      Floor peas, floor crackers, floor 2-day-old biscuits…. yep, i’m glad i’m no the only one!

    • S says:

      If it ain’t killin’ ’em, let ’em eat it.

      Standard Operating Procedure for kids, I think, this Gravity game. It’s still new enough to fascinate these little scientists – test, and re-test their hypothesis. After all, why else would helium balloons be sooo much fun? ‘Cos they break the gravity rule!

      • Claire H says:

        When my youngest was a toddler I was tempted to actually sterilise the floor and put food down there for her to find. She probably would have eaten more if I had just put her peas straight on the floor!

  147. RedinNC says:

    Wow, my experience is quite different. My 6 yo boy asks for food constantly, and if it’s something he likes (and he likes a lot of stuff) will eat it. ALL of it. And ask for more. He will eat until I swear he’s going to pop. I don’t know where he puts it; he’s skinny as a rail. I’ve actually taken food out of his hands and told him to stop because if I ate as much as he did I’d be sick. I fear for the teenage years.

  148. Rachel says:

    Oh my word, this is just what my kids do! Argh! But everytime they ask for something I *have* to get it for them in hopes that this might be the time when they actually eat it. They never do.

  149. Jessica says:

    YES! So true. My 4-year-old now says things like “I’m saving it for you Mommy!” When I ask her why she picked the blueberries out of the muffin and left a pile of mushy mess on her plate. Thanks kid. I’d love to eat your picked over muffin for breakfast. How thoughtful. And my 1-year-old INSISTS on holding the banana when he eats (2 bites) – I try to cut it into interesting shapes, give him a big-boy fork to use… No. There’s something about holding a banana and taking 1 bite that is extremely satisfying! After that, it’s mommy’s. And I don’t even like bananas.

  150. My food doesn’t get wasted. I can tell by the ever increasing waist size of the dog. I’d PREFER not to let pudgy puppy eat the discards, but well, I think that’s the whole reason my lil man is constantly asking for food- to feed the dog…

  151. Jenny says:

    i finally figured the cheese thing out too. i could never figure out why my oldest son always wanted them but never ate the cheese. then he finally told me…he like’s the red wax wrapper because it looks like pacman.

  152. C Smith says:

    My kids make me feel like the food nazi. Our grocery bill was getting seriously out of hand, it was more than our mortgage. The problem was that the older kids were helping themselves to snacks all the time. Often they wasted them, they weren’t eating the meals I made, and I was always missing something that I had bought to make a meal. I put a lock on the pantry, and the fridge is off limits except for pre-approved snacks, only 1 or 2 a day, usually fruit or yogurt and they are only allowed to drink water between meals. I only wish I had started when they were much younger.

  153. Chrissy says:

    I love this blog, it never fails to make me laugh, and feel like I am not the only one with children who do strange things.

    LOVE this blog 🙂


  154. Leslie says:

    So it isn’t just my kids that don’t eat…EVERYONE I have ever told that my kids don’t eat, doesn’t believe me! I get one of two comments, “Well they must eat something, they LOOK healthy. ” Or, “Well I don’t have any advice…MY kids were good eaters.” Um, thanks.

  155. Melli says:

    Thank you for keeping me sane!
    My nearly 3 year old is going through an I won’t eat anything but bread and cheese stage…..I just feed his left untouched meals to my 9 month old….she eats EVERYTHING!!!

  156. You’ve hit the nail on the head. I’ve started doing what we call “Tapas platter” for my three kids. Crackers, bits of cheese, all kinds of little cut up things. They eat all of it off one big platter so I don’t have to wash dishes/fetch dishes from under the couch. If I put all the food my children leave around the house uneaten on a plate, the results would feed a whole orphanage of kids. I feel like I spend the whole day preparing food, and having it refused, only to hear my children yodel “I’m Huuuuuuungggrrrrry!” five minutes later.
    Maybe strapping on a feedbag at the beginning of the day might do the trick? They could just graze all day…

  157. Colleen says:

    All day long! Normally I don’t mind being the human disposal since we eat fairly healthy things. Except for milk…and cheese…and I’ve cream. Not that these things are unhealthy. I just can’t eat them anymore after gestating my two darlings. And I unfortunately still love them, so when my girls leave it lying around the house half eaten and I am unable to avoid the waste by consuming it myself, it drives me CRAZY!!!

  158. Julia says:

    LMAO… my kids are all pretty much grown up now (23, 20 and 11) but I remember this type of crap from them 🙂

    And OMG… what a LOT of comments.

    Oh, tip with the cheese… try giving it to the crappy cats (cats just love cheese).

  159. Amy says:

    Your comic timing is always brilliant, but there’s something about the stairstepping of text & pictures in this one that is unbelievably funny. I think it’s when you say, “Hold on:” while watching them take the one bite of cheese. (The humility of the field biologist — not wanting to jump to conclusions about the behavior she’s observing.)

  160. Cassandra says:

    I remember begging my mom to buy me those cheeses and I didn’t like to eat them either! It was so much fun to unwrap them!

  161. Cara says:

    The answer to food wastage is to get both a dog and chickens. The only advice I ever took prior to kids was that if you had children, you had to have chickens. It’s true, they’re such good value – not only does your food wastage turn into eggs and compost, but they are the funniest creatures to watch and provide a lot of entertainment to toddlers, as well as important life lessons – our chooks are far more aggressive than our dog when it comes to toddler curiosity!

  162. Jean says:

    So true! My breakfast this morning was a smoothy with delicious fresh raspberries, blueberries, yogurt and the banana that my son ate a few bites of last night.

  163. Nicole says:

    I’m a mean mommy. My 2-year-old son gets 3 meals a day and he has to sit at the table to eat them. Period. The exception is his 1 afternoon snack after nap. That’s the only time he’s allowed to eat while walking around. It really helps with the whole wasted food thing! By the time a meal rolls around he actually IS hungry because he hasn’t been snacking all day and will happily sit there eating until he’s done.

    That’s the way I was raised so I figured it’s fine for little man 🙂 So many advantages . . less wasted food and a cleaner carpets! lol

  164. Liza says:

    damn babybel.

  165. Veronica Miron says:

    I can’t believe it took this post to make me realize I can freeze bananas! Duh. So today when I saw the bananas were starting to get too ripe, instead of throwing them out as I usually do, I peeled them and froze them. Now I can just throw them in my smoothies with the frozen berries. Brilliant! Seriously, how did I not realize this before?

    • Jo says:

      Also, purée them frozen by themselves and the texture is like soft-serve! Delicious

    • Beverley M says:

      Also freeze them then use them whenever you get around to it to make banana muffins. (Banana chocolate chip is pretty much the ONLY muffins I ever make.) I don’t bother peeling them before I freeze them, then I just thaw them on a plate (they get watery as they thaw) and then squeeze them out of the skins later. They’re slimy thawed, but you can’t tell once they’re cooked in muffins 🙂

  166. Deb says:

    Very funny, I remember those days. I had one picky eater and one that made yummy noises and ate everything we gave him. Then they switched and the yummy one started gagging on everything and the picky one started eating us out of house and home. Then they switched…(eye’s roll) every time I thought we were good to go they changed it up on me. It was like good cop / bad cop. Now they’re teenagers…(sigh) Back then and even now having a dog does help with some leftovers & food scraps but now we also use Bokashi Composting for all the rest of our food waste, it’s fast & easy, compact & has no bad smells. It feeds your garden instead of feeding the landfill.

  167. Jo says:

    My daughter hides food in her pockets ‘for later’. This is a good idea in theory because it means that she has access to food when she gets hungry 5 minutes later. The problem comes when I forget to check the pockets. Did you know that if you wash and tumble dry Babybell it bounces? Like a toy bouncy ball! Maybe that’s how they’re made. Next time she’s hungry I’ll tell her to eat a bouncy ball…

  168. T Rohl says:

    Oh my gosh, yes. MiniBaybels: kids see them in the market, asks for them. I buy them, they unwrap them, take a bite, then say “I’m not hungry” and leaves the rest! My 3yo is a total grazer….i think she is waiting for the next snack, that just might be better than her current meal! My 7yo does apretty good job of eating, like when he knows there is going to vw desert that night

  169. SO TRUE. My kids have done the same thing with the Babybell cheese. They always want the red, kid-sized treasures. But then they are disappointed every single time when they open them to find plain old boring cheese. But you are better than me when it comes to saving fruit. I spend too long trying to force them to eat it throughout the day, and then it goes bad. Saving it for smoothies is WAY better. Sorry you have to justify all of your cartoons with “don’t worry” disclaimers at the bottom of every post. It makes me sad to think that someone might actually try to give you a hard time for wasting a cheese round in the act of letting your kids try something new! Sometimes it’s a win, sometimes it’s a fail. No biggie. Your cartoons are always so right on. It’s like seeing my own life! 🙂

  170. Trisha says:

    My kid (age 3) can eat!! However, he came from a Russian orphanage so he thinks food is pretty much the best thing ever and not a crumb should be lost.

  171. YES. Both my kids (ages 6 and 3) seem to be in this phase and it sucks. I think it’s really just the 6 year old and the 3 year old is just copying for fun. But that doesn’t make it any better really.

  172. Beverley M says:

    I must say, for “crappy” pictures those are some awesome drawings of mini babybels 🙂

  173. Saskia says:

    Since my children are in this phase (two boys, now 4 and 2), I gain back almost half my ‘precnancypounds’. I also eat all their leftovers, but I eat my own food as well….I must try that diet some of you are talking about!

    Anyway: I cried (of laughing…or because the deep connection I thought I felt for you) reading your blog…it’s hilarious and also a bit scary, that a mom with 2 sons in a different country, appearently has the same life as I do…it’s also reassuring! I’m not alone!
    Hope my english is ok. Keep up the crappy pictures and hang in…you know…

    Love Saskia

  174. Christina says:

    Ah! I’ll have to remember this for when I get there.. eatting issues are a problem in my family & I know my mom & I would have died if not for my little brother needing to be fed.. we’d have just gone days without eating.. that “hungry” feeling people are supposed to get, we don’t.. but a good thing for the -1 bite bananas.. BANANA BREAD!! Even if my kid takes one bite then is done.. I’ll inhale the whole loaf! Thats how it went with my brother & I’m sure that’s how it’ll go when my kids get there..

  175. Sky says:

    This is very weird and a little bit pathetic

  176. Mark88 says:

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