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Melinda S in TX

Teen boys eating everything

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I'm not sure how to phrase my question.  The problem is the guys are eating food that is planned for something else.  This morning there were scrambled eggs, either oatmeal or cereal with milk, and apples for breakfast.  One of the boys ate his scrambled eggs and apple, skipped the oatmeal, and is eating the leftover chicken drumsticks that were planned for lunch.  This happens all the time, and I am left scrambling to find something for us to eat.  There was plenty of food.  Six eggs apiece cooked in butter.  Full fat milk.  Whole grain cereal.  What do I do?

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Spell out VERY clearly which foods are to be saved for another meal. Put them in a separate container and label them.

If the food has been eaten, serve the oat meal for dinner.

Teens are very hungry, but can be trained.

 

I have a very hungry male teen athlete. I have to make clear which foods are to be saved. Over the past year, he has gotten much better aboutt assuming something is to be saved (even if sometimes it isn't, LOL) But before, he'd eat everything that was not clearly labeled.

Edited by regentrude
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Personally I'd make that kid eat oatmeal for lunch. 

 

Time to make them ask you before eating anything. If you don't want to have that conversation every day, you can post a menu board with which foods are planned for when, and add a snack drawer & PBJ sandwiches that they can eat any time.

 

Add a potato & a cabbage dish to every meal, and think about adding soup and dessert to every meal.  Baked potatoes are the most filling food.  Make them eat the skins too for extra fiber. Baked, fried, boiled, whatever.  You can even bake a whole bag of them & put them in the fridge to reheat.  I make Spanish Omelettes with baked & cooled potatoes. Reheating a baked potato in a skillet saves breakfast time, because reheating sliced baked potato in a skillet before adding eggs takes about 2 minutes, whereas frying them first takes 20 & isn't as healthy.

 

Coleslaw is super quick to make with a food processor, cheap, and boys love it.

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Agree with PPs. Teach them to ask you what is for a meal. A funny aside: after asking if something was for a meal one day, my oldest DS said, "Who is this Emil guy and why is he eating our food?" He's punny, that one.

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Did he know it was planned for another meal? Here, leftovers are open to anyone, anytime unless I've specifically told them that it is being saved for a specific meal. No one needs to ask, as they already know what is being saved. This works for us as I don't want to be constantly asked by teens and college kids what they can eat. They are old enough to self manage their eating and know not to eat what is being saved (again, they know because I've told them).

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Well if he ate the chicken and was told it was for lunch, I'd tell him at lunch time that sorry you ate the lunch.  Then he'd have to figure out his own food.

 

Another way to deal is to make more food.  If you had made double the chicken drums there would have been enough for both. 

 

But I hear you. 

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I have garage sale stickers I stick on everything that's not to be eaten including canned goods and frozen food. I don't have to write anything, I just stick the small sticker on it.

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I would just go out to lunch. I think I'm just lazy about this stuff.

 

You are my kind of person...

 

:laugh:

 

Oh..you ate the lunch...see you..I'm going out. 

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I vote oatmeal for lunch today, too. But truly, these guys can't help it, they are just darn hungry.

 

Have a frank talk with them and establish a place where they can find food that is free for them to eat between meals and not involved in your other meal plans. You also need to be sure you stock that place with high-protein, satisfying good-fat food (think peanut butter, nuts, granola bars, yogurt, olives, boiled eggs, bananas, etc).

Edited by Seasider
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Yeah I don't know if you saw my taco meat complaint.  2.5 pounds of taco meat scarfed down.  Next time I'll know better to set some aside if I hope to have any!

 

 

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This used to be an issue at our house. I'd have a menu in my mind for dinner and then I'd reach for the ingredients and they were all gone. 

 

I understand that teens are hungry all the time but what was happening here bordered on gluttony and piggishness. I have zero tolerance for that sort of thing.

 

But what was funny was they were eating EACH OTHERS' food too! So they started their own system of labeling individual items to keep everyone else's hands off. At that point they were able to understand why I'd get upset and were more compliant when I pointed out which items were available for now and which were for recipes because they knew how it felt.

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My kids (husband, too) ask before taking anything unless they are sure it is available for random eating.

 

It is not some great training success on my part. I don't remember telling them to do it.  In fact sometimes I catch myself getting annoyed to be asked.  Like "sheesh can't they do anything on their own?"   But that's just a quick reaction on my part because I do appreciate it. 

 

Anyway, I would start working on that with them if it doesn't come naturally. 

 

In the immediate case, I would probably take us all out to lunch. 

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My kids (husband, too) ask before taking anything unless they are sure it is available for random eating.

 

It is not some great training success on my part. I don't remember telling them to do it.  In fact sometimes I catch myself getting annoyed to be asked.  Like "sheesh can't they do anything on their own?"   But that's just a quick reaction on my part because I do appreciate it. 

 

Anyway, I would start working on that with them if it doesn't come naturally. 

 

In the immediate case, I would probably take us all out to lunch. 

 

Same here.  They always ask and I do not recall telling them to.

 

It's comical that they all ask (including my husband) if I mind that they watch TV.  I have never required that nor commented on it.

 

But one thing that is not as apparent to them is to not eat ALL of the dinner made on nights I am not home at dinner time.  Of course after this past time I don't think they will do that again because I told them I was upset. 

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When my three teenage sons (thankfully the 19 year old has, I think, finally outgrown this) hit a growth spurt, they descend on food in this house like vultures on road kill. It is tragic, practically frightening, LOL.

 

So, I have to label things. If I truly do not want them to get into it, then the box, the carton, the bag, the bowl, the pan, whatever has a post it note that says "This is for lunch, this is for supper, this if for next week" whatever, and an additional admonition, "Violators will be forced to get a job and pay for their own groceries" or "If you don't want to have to roast the family dog in order to eat today, STAY OUT!"

 

I then make sure that there are enough alternatives that they can find something else to eat, and often that needs to be protein and fat in order to stick to their bones. Otherwise, if it is just carbs, they'll be back in an hour to see what they can cannibalize. So lots of bricks of cheddar cheese because they will eat on those, boiled eggs for snacking, rice and beans with cheese on top, peanut butter, milk....

 

People say that raising girls - due to clothing, make-up, hair products - is more expensive, but pound for pound, any money we ever spent on such things for dd has gone down the boys gullets in food. I may as well just give them twenty dollar bills to eat, but sigh, those are too carby despite the paper fiber, so they'll just want more in a short time.

 

Potatoes are your friends. I have trained the boys that when hungry between meals, a baked potato with some butter, a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, and a shake from the bacon bits container, works. They like them, and decimate a five - ten lb. bag every two weeks. It is cheap though, and healthy for them. I am a firm believer in salads too, just fill those empty legs up!

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I'd be a bit annoyed about this because he skipped part of what was prepared for the meal.  So it isn't like he ate it all and was still hungry.

 

But - I'd say you need a system to identify what is ok to snack on and what isn't.  If your leftovers are usually designated for something specific, I would have some specific area or items as snack items.  If it is more of a mix, maybe different sections of the fridge, lables, whatever.

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I'd be happy they are eating leftovers without being forced; leftovers which are then not spoiling in your fridge.

 

ETA: Reworded so I don't sound like I am telling you what to do. Oops.

Edited by ikslo
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In my house if I want to eat I just have to make waaaaaayyyyy more than I normally would. I wouldn't care if DS ate lunch for breakfast; I'd just have him find something else for lunch or, assuming he ate that too, I'd make breakfast for lunch. Lunch waffles--no one in this house would complain! :)

 

Seriously, it's ridiculous how much they can pack away. It's a running joke that I literally have to go to the grocery store every day to restock something or another. I'm just thankful it's healthy food and not junk. Chicken for breakfast sounds like an awesome way to start the day. ;)

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Not dealing with this could be a benefit of living in a small house. Unless I'm not home I can't help but notice when someone grabs something to eat.

 

Then again, I also have a family that asks about food and TV without even being asked.

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Thanks for the help.  There are snacks available, but I do need to get more protein and fat in there.  We also have some unusual circumstances in our family that cause difficulties with our eating.  Due to 18dd's allergies, all cooking has to be planned.  She reacts to all food smells, and there is no suddenly deciding to have a grilled cheese sandwich.  All things not planned have to be cold.  We can also not have nuts or beans.

 

The problem with them mixing up the order of meals is they eat everyone's lunch when they eat the wrong thing.  It's not just a simple matter of you already ate your lunch, eat  breakfast for lunch.  Last night we had a whole tray of chicken legs and everyone got plenty.  The extra tray was for today.  They ate the entire tray, and even if they eat breakfast for lunch, I still have to figure out what the rest of us are going to eat.

 

Around here, leftovers are almost always for another meal.  If we have brisket today, tomorrow we are having brisket and gravy on spaetzle.  If we have whole chickens today, tomorrow we are having chicken soup.  Leftover steak is vietnamese rice.  Leftover ground meat is dirty rice.  Leftover sausage is on pizza or in muffins.  Usually I cook extra specifically for another meal.

 

I just can't keep them eating what they should.  When they don't eat what they should it is more than just a little inconvenience.  It takes a rescheduling of our whole day.

 

Thanks for all the help.

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Thanks for the help.  There are snacks available, but I do need to get more protein and fat in there.  We also have some unusual circumstances in our family that cause difficulties with our eating.  Due to 18dd's allergies, all cooking has to be planned.  She reacts to all food smells, and there is no suddenly deciding to have a grilled cheese sandwich.  All things not planned have to be cold.  We can also not have nuts or beans.

 

The problem with them mixing up the order of meals is they eat everyone's lunch when they eat the wrong thing.  It's not just a simple matter of you already ate your lunch, eat  breakfast for lunch.  Last night we had a whole tray of chicken legs and everyone got plenty.  The extra tray was for today.  They ate the entire tray, and even if they eat breakfast for lunch, I still have to figure out what the rest of us are going to eat.

 

Around here, leftovers are almost always for another meal.  If we have brisket today, tomorrow we are having brisket and gravy on spaetzle.  If we have whole chickens today, tomorrow we are having chicken soup.  Leftover steak is vietnamese rice.  Leftover ground meat is dirty rice.  Leftover sausage is on pizza or in muffins.  Usually I cook extra specifically for another meal.

 

I just can't keep them eating what they should.  When they don't eat what they should it is more than just a little inconvenience.  It takes a rescheduling of our whole day.

 

Thanks for all the help.

 

I'm certain that if you make them all eat oatmeal for breakfast because one person got greedy and ate the chicken he knew was for a different meal, they'll police each other and stop that business. 

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I have a dedicated snack drawer.

I keep it well stocked, and they can eat anything out of that drawer at anytime with out asking.

Anything else in the fridge they need to ask for.

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Time for a family council.  I'd ask for their input and see what they come up with.  Personally, I'd get a snack drawer or shelf going in the fridge. What other flexible thinking options do you have? Do you have an outlet in the garage where they could run a griddle or a rice maker? Part of the problem with my boys is that the whole executive functioning/plan ahead part of their brain isn't fully operational.  You have enough on your plate with your life circumstances that your kids need to do some problem solving conversations with you so that they 1. fully understand the problem 2. fully understand the implications of their choices and 3. can solve their own screw ups.  With my oldest, I laid out the grocery budget money and walked them through some of issues we were facing.

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But one thing that is not as apparent to them is to not eat ALL of the dinner made on nights I am not home at dinner time.  Of course after this past time I don't think they will do that again because I told them I was upset. 

Yeah, I would have lost my head over that. It would have left an impression they would not forget. I do not tolerate selfishness, and not saving dinner for mom is being selfish and thoughtless. I'm sure they will think of you next time. 

 

I'm certain that if you make them all eat oatmeal for breakfast because one person got greedy and ate the chicken he knew was for a different meal, they'll police each other and stop that business. 

I do this. If someone eats something that was planned for a meal I make sure everyone knows who ate it. I make sure the person who ate it knows they ruined the meal that was planned. 

 

This is a sore spot for me. My brother used to eat everything in the house, and then there would be none for me or my sister. He would get up in the morning and eat an entire box of cereal. The whole thing. My sister and I would end up having toast and carrots. Speaking of toast/bread he would eat all the peanut butter, all the nutella, all the jam. He would eat eat all the snacks that my mom bought. In my view it was greed. There is zero excuse to eat an entire box of cereal, leaving none for siblings, when one could also eat oatmeal, fruit, eggs, etc as part of breakfast. No. He just ate everything of the food items he liked. He didn't want to share. That is greed. I can't stand it. 

 

My kids know they not allowed to eat all of something nor eat something they are not sure if it's reserved for a meal or not. I have little tolerance for food gorging if I feel that my kid is being inconsiderate. 

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Anything that anyone was saving (dd often puts stuff aside to take to work) gets labelled with sticky tape. Anything else that's in the fridge or cupboards is fair game for anyone. The rules are offer it to other people, make it yourself and make enough to share. Other than that, go for it.  I don't really cook for the family. We all just kind of make semi communal meals. 

 

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Spell out VERY clearly which foods are to be saved for another meal. Put them in a separate container and label them.

If the food has been eaten, serve the oat meal for dinner.

Teens are very hungry, but can be trained.

 

I have a very hungry male teen athlete. I have to make clear which foods are to be saved. Over the past year, he has gotten much better aboutt assuming something is to be saved (even if sometimes it isn't, LOL) But before, he'd eat everything that was not clearly labeled.

This, exactly.  It's not really fair to expect them to read your mind, and at least here it'd be impractical to have them ask every time -- too often we're not all in the same place at the same time.  Just label.  DO NOT EAT - PART OF A PLAN.  -MGT.

 

 

and...

I have a dedicated snack drawer.

I keep it well stocked, and they can eat anything out of that drawer at anytime with out asking.

Anything else in the fridge they need to ask for.

 

... I mean, they hoover up food because they're hungry.  Figure out simple easy things that DO work as snacks, and provide them.  (I have Greek yogurt, hard boiled eggs, cut up slices of hard cheese, carrots/celery/raw string beans/cut up bell peppers and hummus.  Whenever you want, kid, rock on.)

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Hmm. I agree with the family meeting and the food labelling. They need to be in the know so they can consume responsibly.

Hungry teens can't really be held responsible for reading Moms mind, after all. Although... I'm not sure why all the cooking and planning is up to you when you have teenagers. It sounds like it's a good time for them to learn some kitchen skills. Meal prep and grocery budgets are really important, after all. It shouldn't fall all on you.

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I dont have boys but have this issue from time to time. For us its not that there wasnt enough food its that one person wanted to gorge on the fsvorite snacks. Like it isnt fair for one person to get all the yogurt and leave the siblings with carrot sticks becaue the one kid got there first. I understand being hungry but theres also value in being considerate. I say its time for a family meeting. And no i wouldnt mind feeding everyone oatmeal because one person was inconsiderate. And yes with many teen you do have to spell this out. They can be that oblivious. I like the idea of a griddle or hot plate in the garage.

 

Sent from my SCH-S738C using Tapatalk

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I have a menu on the frig.

 

Anyone who deviates from it better make the rounds first to be sure it's okay or they will catch heck from siblings more than me. The hidden blessing of having 4 teens and 2 20ish in the house - self appointed enforcers.

Edited by Murphy101
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I usually cooked a giant pot of legume-vegetable soup/stew at the beginning of the week, and my ds knew he could have it anytime he wanted it.  If he wanted to supplement his breakfast with it, fine.  If he wanted to have it for lunch, fine.  Or, he could create his own meals from scratch.  If I had something special set aside for dinner or for others' lunches, I'd just let him know.  I would specifically tell him, "Don't eat this."  He actually got to be a pretty good cook because he was always hungry!

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Your family members need to be trained to ASK before they eat any non-designated items.  

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This is a sore spot for me. My brother used to eat everything in the house, and then there would be none for me or my sister. He would get up in the morning and eat an entire box of cereal. The whole thing. My sister and I would end up having toast and carrots. Speaking of toast/bread he would eat all the peanut butter, all the nutella, all the jam. He would eat eat all the snacks that my mom bought. In my view it was greed. There is zero excuse to eat an entire box of cereal, leaving none for siblings, when one could also eat oatmeal, fruit, eggs, etc as part of breakfast. No. He just ate everything of the food items he liked. He didn't want to share. That is greed. I can't stand it. 

Agree - I had two older brothers who decimated any meat that was on the table -- and it made me  paranoid around the ages of 8-14 because I thought there was literally, not enough food... I would have the tiniest bit of meat (2-3 small bites) because I saw there wasn't enough, but now I know even if I had not existed there would STILL not have been enough. I got amazingly neurotic because I knew meat was expensive and there was never enough.

 

I hope my parents do not even suspect I thought this, because it's a crazy thing to think. And when stuff like that goes on in the house without it being corrected, kids can start to think crazy things.

 

Edit: I should note I've never stopped being neurotic about food and there not being enough. Ah, the legacy of having older brothers who were athletes.

Edited by tm919

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We have a shelf in the fridge that can be used any time.  So, if my son needs food because he's starving to death, he can eat anything on that shelf.  I keep it stocked with leftovers, 1-2 cheese sticks, fruit and some sort of protein.  There were days I felt like I was stocking it every 5 mins, but honestly if the kid will eat cold Brussel sprouts from the day before, then he is hungry! LOL   We developed the shelf idea after a family meeting and 2 pounds of cooked ground beef disappeared while I was gone one afternoon.

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Same here. They always ask and I do not recall telling them to.

 

It's comical that they all ask (including my husband) if I mind that they watch TV. I have never required that nor commented on it.

 

But one thing that is not as apparent to them is to not eat ALL of the dinner made on nights I am not home at dinner time. Of course after this past time I don't think they will do that again because I told them I was upset.

Lol, this.

 

They know I don't eat that much, but sometimes I think that they think I can survive on the air around me... Grrr.

 

Mine ask, not in a, "Please, mutha, may I have some food?" manner, but more in a, "Will eating this incur the wrath of Mom tonight when she goes to make dinner?" manner.

 

(Wrath isn't really my thing, but you get the point, right?) :lol:

 

And, yes, we would go out. Going out is my solution for many of the tribulations of homeschooling. Preferably someplace with a decent wine list;-)

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I walked into stepmotherhood of a teenage boy and learned quickly that unless I specifically said something was planned for a meal, it might get eaten. If I knew I wouldn't see dss due to his school and my work schedules, I'd leave notes on ingredients that weren't fair game. I carried that knowledge with me when ds reached that age. Both eventually learned to ask if I was planning to do something with certain foods, but I also make a point to state what's off limits.

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Marking food that can't be eaten seems like the easiest solution to me. You don't even have to write anything, just tell them that masking tape or washi tape means "keep out." 

 

 

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But one thing that is not as apparent to them is to not eat ALL of the dinner made on nights I am not home at dinner time.  Of course after this past time I don't think they will do that again because I told them I was upset. 

 

Yeah, that's something I usually have to point out to both ds and dh. If one of them is not home, I have to remind the other that dad/ds will need to eat when he gets home, so if you take seconds keep that in mind. Usually if I'm not home I'm probably eating out with girlfriends and the guys are on their own. I don't have to worry about them saving some of dinner for me - just for each other.

Edited by Lady Florida.

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Thanks for the help. There are snacks available, but I do need to get more protein and fat in there. We also have some unusual circumstances in our family that cause difficulties with our eating. Due to 18dd's allergies, all cooking has to be planned. She reacts to all food smells, and there is no suddenly deciding to have a grilled cheese sandwich. All things not planned have to be cold. We can also not have nuts or beans.

 

The problem with them mixing up the order of meals is they eat everyone's lunch when they eat the wrong thing. It's not just a simple matter of you already ate your lunch, eat breakfast for lunch. Last night we had a whole tray of chicken legs and everyone got plenty. The extra tray was for today. They ate the entire tray, and even if they eat breakfast for lunch, I still have to figure out what the rest of us are going to eat.

 

Around here, leftovers are almost always for another meal. If we have brisket today, tomorrow we are having brisket and gravy on spaetzle. If we have whole chickens today, tomorrow we are having chicken soup. Leftover steak is vietnamese rice. Leftover ground meat is dirty rice. Leftover sausage is on pizza or in muffins. Usually I cook extra specifically for another meal.

 

I just can't keep them eating what they should. When they don't eat what they should it is more than just a little inconvenience. It takes a rescheduling of our whole day.

 

Thanks for all the help.

This sounds like it is going beyond funny teen boy shenanigans into a family member not respecting the household. I can understand your frustration. I agree with PrairieWindMomma. A family meeting might be in order. And maybe a reimbursement policy:-) If you eat the family dinner, you can pay for the replacements and the extra work I had to do to shuffle things. They are old enough to know better at that age. A hit in the wallet may have some impact.

 

Good luck to you and thanks for starting the thread. The suggestions for making the best of the scavenging years are golden:-)

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I don't have teens, but I saw an organizing tip on Pinterest that might be helpful. The pin showed dollar store plastic bins in the cabinets with everything for a particular meal inside- all the ingredients for each recipe. Maybe if you did that and kept a couple shelves in the fridge as "meal" shelves and a couple as "snack" shelves, that would help?

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In our house, my oldest has a rectangular, shelf-sized basket in the fridge that holds 'his' food, i.e., food that is for his work lunches, food he asked for specifically that I don't wan't eaten by anyone else, food that he buys for himself, and his leftovers from his outings with friends. When the little boys get bigger, we will add baskets for them as well, and the top shelf is usually for leftovers that will be used for the next meal. (Treats are occasionally hidden at the back of the vegetable crisper. Don't tell!)

 

Can you set up a 'Do Not Eat' shelf? A place specifically for things that you have planned for meals, that they know not to touch. Everything else in the fridge is fair game?

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