So, I have two kids. One is almost five and the other will be two next Monday. So, food is a pretty constant thought for me during the day. Trying to get them to eat. Trying to figure out what they want to eat. Making them a second meal because they didn’t like the first (yes, I do this occasionally… don’t judge… my eldest boy was at the 4th percentile for weight one year… a mom never really recovers from that). Tracking what they ate the day before and the day before and the day before. Planning what they will eat for the next meal. And… cleaning up after they are “finished”.
Well, I may be “that mom” who makes my kids their own meal cause they don’t like ratatouille, and well, I am also “that mom” who doesn’t make them finish what is on their plate. Partially because my oldest has had this, like, extra awareness of his “full” button. When he was younger we would try to get him to eat more after he said he was finished and if we did, he always threw up. So, I gave up on that and he’s been fine ever since. And then when I read WeighDown I understood a bit more about the hunger mechanism that God has built into us and I decided that I would allow my kids to choose as much as possible what they wanted to eat (so that I could help them respond to God-given cravings) and I would allow them to stop eating when they were finished. Sure, a little bit of that had to do with the nutritionists saying “don’t eat everything on your plate”, but it was more because I wanted them to get a lot of practice at feeling when they are full and stopping.
And surprisingly this is not a post on “how to help your kids eat the way God intended”. Quite the opposite. I have yet to figure out how to teach them the importance of an orange or raisins or whatever. Keepin it real… my kids eat pop tarts. donuts. toaster strudels. jelly beans. etc. I mean, that’s not all they eat, but they are by no means on this covenant with me. Which is what leads to my REAL topic for this post.
Honestly, I don’t think that I’m the only mother out there that would often glean their lunch meal off of what their kids left on their plates. Mere exhaustion along with disdain for the food going to waste was often the motivator that plopped me down at their plates once they were down for naps to dine upon 1/4 of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (with the bread already a bit stale), a few raisins, a couple scoops of applesauce, maybe the remains of a graham cracker.
But I have had to change that habit simply because some of the things that they “leave behind” are things that are not cool on my covenant, plus I’m often “attracted” to them when I’m not hungry. But they are forever leaving a smattering of chips… a few animal crackers… half an Oreo… an entire Little Debbie donut.
And I have to just throw the stuff away.
Ugh, sometimes it kills me to not just shove it in my mouth. I’m still not entirely sure why… but it’s a temptation nonetheless. (Although I will admit that the only thing I will eat leftovers of is avocado chunks… my two year old lovvvvves avocado but sometimes will leave two or three chunks on the plate… yeah, I’m not letting perfectly good avocado go to waste!)
I know that I’m not supposed to eat their leftovers when I’m not hungry and when it’s not on my covenant. And I think that there was a consequence when I tried to take more than what I needed… I was eating some of their leftover chips which were “technically” on my covenant (well, before I modified the covenant the other day to put them on the “no no” list). And that was during that time that I felt wrong. icky. sad. depressed. off.
And I think that this ties in with what some of the Israelites did with the manna…
Then Moses told them, “Do not keep any of it until morning.” But some of them didn’t listen and kept some of it until morning. But by then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell. Exodus 16:19-20
Only instead of the food bearing the grossness… I had the feel of maggots inside me. So, honestly, I think that it’s worth not eating some leftovers, no matter how much I might love them, to avoid feeling like their are maggots in my soul.
Yeah, no contest on that one!
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