Stop Eating Your Kids' Leftovers!

Pizza crusts, a cold bowl of tomato soup with soggy goldfish, dried sandwich crusts, brownie corners… Are you guilty of eating your kids’ leftovers and counting it as your meal, or maybe you eat them in addition to your meal? I do.

This absolutely must stop. We focus on what we feed the children. Do you carefully make menus so they enjoy a variety of nutrients? What is happening!?

The other day, I made tuna salad for the children’s lunch and gave them each a handful of crackers and a peeled banana. I went back into the kitchen feeling hungry for a crunchy romaine salad (yes, I’m one of those people-ha!) and thought that opening a can of tuna and soft-boiling two eggs would be the perfect addition. Topped with some olives- yum! So I’m chopping away my lettuce, and hear the baby waking up. Give him a little lunch, and now everyone is done eating their lunch. The kids run back upstairs to finish their schoolwork – My hunch was right, they hadn’t finished their lunches.

So I eat the leftovers on their plates and the quarters and thirds of bananas. Then I thought about what had just happened and about how often I do this. The romaine was in a bowl, the water in a pot boiling waiting for the eggs, and I ate soggy crackers with tuna salad- I don’t even like mayonnaise! Don’t count the bananas – thirds of bananas x 7 kids… This happens fairly regularly: I don’t serve myself breakfast because the kids aren’t going to finish their pancakes. Seriously!? Today, I’m gobbling up the kids’ waffle pieces and finishing their yogurts. This must stop. Here are my rules:

  1. Give them smaller portions

  2. Bag (or cover the plates) the leftovers

  3. Save the leftovers for Holly (our Yorkshire pig)

I can’t help but wonder how different if would be if I sat down to enjoy a meal together even if it’s just the children. It would be enjoyable and taste good. Mindlessly eating their leftovers while I cleaned up was not in the least satisfying! We shouldn’t just feel satiated – meaning reaching capacity, but satisfied – enjoying the meal experience.

Do you struggle with this?

with love. Damaris

…And Bowl Full Of Mush

It is a busy place – this kitchen of ours! Recipes are always doubled or tripled, and leftovers find a new thoroughfare to our table.

With the temperatures rising, our love affair with steaming bowls of oatmeal porridge begins to fade. Now, I find we have more oatmeal leftovers than ever, and that means more need to be creative! I usually just store any leftover oatmeal in a covered glass bowl, which typically isn’t enough for serving to everyone warmed up again. It’s difficult to find a good use for this stuff – even if I resort to guerilla tactics (i.e. hiding and camouflaging)!

This recipe below came to my rescue!

First, when we make our oatmeal “bowl full of mush”, we use two parts water and one part rolled oats. It’s everyone’s favorite when we add maple syrup or brown sugar to the pot as it finishes thickening. If your normal oatmeal recipe is not sweetened, then perhaps the recipe below may need a little more sugar.

photo credit: Alexander

Oatmeal Muffins

These oatmeal muffins are wholesome and satisfying! The crumb is light and smooth, and the oat’s texture is unidentifiable. These golden muffins will be fluffy in less than 15 minutes! I like to make them in the afternoon so we snack on them while they’re warm. If I can successfully fend of the insatiable boys, I save some to pair with dinner. Any extra ones freeze well too!


  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 cup milk (any kind)

  • 1/8 cup oil or melted butter

  • 1 cup leftover oatmeal

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup raisins (or dried cranberries, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, etc)

Preheat the oven at 375 degrees or 350 on convection setting. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl just until incorporated. Line or grease a muffin pan and spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until toothpick in the center comes out clean. Makes 18 muffins.

We can’t wait until they cool to eat them, and I’m sure you and your family won’t either! If you enjoy oatmeal porridge like we do, I would love to hear your oatmeal leftover creations!

with love. Damaris