This is Why I Don’t Make My Kids Eat the Crust

One day a long, long time ago, in like 1997 B.C. (that’s Before Children, of course) I had a teacher friend tell me during our lunch break at school that she had been watching me eat (mmm’kay, why do I feel sightly violated?) and she had determined that I was a “skinny eater”.

I was all, “Whaaaah?  Huhhh?” as I continued to devour a piece of pizza.

“Yes,” she explained.  “You only eat the good part and leave the rest on your plate.”

Okay, so yeah, that would be skinny eating if I didn’t make up for the discarded portions by going back for seconds and thirds.  But whatever.

Fast-forward 10 years.  Yesterday morning I made cinnamon toast for my family for breakfast.  Because we’re all about having a sampling of the 5 major food groups with every meal — and those would be sugar, carbs, dairy (that’s the butter, of course), and…  Okay so 3 out of 5 ain’t half bad.

When I set my 6-year-old’s toast in front of her, she immediately asked me to cut off her crust.  Usually I have no problem cutting off the crust.  I gave up the whole crust battle long ago.  I actually discovered that they waste less when I give in and cut it off than when they try to eat around it.

And besides, I’ve never been a member of the Clean Your Plate Club. My mother taught me that.  When we were growing up, my brother struggled with his weight, and she felt like forcing him to eat everything on his plate was counter-intuitive.  I adopted that philosophy when I became a parent — not because my kids struggle with their weight, but because I generally subscribe to the lazy parenting philosophy, and it’s easier to throw unwanted food away than to fight over every bite.

But yesterday I was in a hurry.  And besides, it was potato bread — not the usual whole wheat.  And everyone knows that the crust on potato bread is much less offensive than the crust on whole wheat.  So I impatiently told her to deal with the crust.

Of course, she ended up taking about 2 bites of each piece and left the rest on her plate to be trashed. It’s not the waste that bothers me as much as it is the fact that she consumed all of 30 calories that would need to carry her over until lunchtime.  But as I said, lazy parenting is my motto, and I didn’t make a fuss.

After I got the kids on the bus, I made myself some cinnamon toast and a cup of coffee and sat down at the computer.  As I munched on the toast, I absentmindedly ate the good stuff out of the middle and tossed the crusts back on the plate.  When I looked over at my plate, I had to laugh.


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18 Responses

  1. I never make my kids eat the crust. I think it is a very good thing to leave a little something on your plate.

    Hubby does that at every single meal – even if it is just a bite. He also almost never goes back for seconds.

    I clean my plate a lot and often feel stuffed and uncomfortable.

    Skinny eater – good idea.

  2. I love the skinny eater name for it. I always eat that way…I hope it continues to work for me! My littlest won’t eat more than a bite or two of breakfast ever…we don’t fight it, she doesn’t eat much dinner either…lunch seems to be her meal…so we let it go. Lazy, not wanting to create food issues in girls, knowing we do the best we can and ultimately it is up to them to know if they are hungry or not….all in a days work.

  3. I agree w/ this philosophy. We were not forced to eat every bite except with our veggies.. I therefore hated them and didnt eat then when I didn’t have to. I am hoping to have my kids try atleast a bite of them. So far Sammy is a big veggie lover so I am counting my blessings 🙂

  4. We share a parenting philosophy. But the lazy way actually worked for me. I have never cut off the crusts and eventually my kids started eating them. I do not make my kids eat everything and I rarely eat everything on my plate. My husband came from a clean your plate family and that is definitely an issue now.

  5. I never make the kids finish their plates, unless they want dessert. Then if they’re hungry for dessert, they’re hungry for their meal. Most of the time, though, I do insist that they try everything. At least TRY it. I know we all have different tastes, likes and dislikes, so I wouldn’t expect them to finish something that repulses them. But they need to TRY it.

    As for you, young lady…omg! That plate of crusts cracked me up. I never cut the crust off. That’s because I’M lazy…don’t want to take the time, and don’t want the waste. And I actually LIKE the crusts the best. So there ya go.

  6. Bahaha.. I love that picture and the story that goes along with it… I am not a pushy food mom either.. there are some battles I will always lose and food is one of them.. 🙂

  7. Having grown up the the era where it was a SIN not to clean your plate it’s hard getting past that but I am trying. I always heard about the starving children in some third world country if I didn’t clean every bite off that plate. Guilt usually works so I was very good at cleaning the plate! lol!

  8. I don’t like to eat the crust, either, but when I do I’ll eat it first. My grandmother and aunts always told me that the crust was better for you (as in healthier), but that makes no sense since it’s all made from the same dough. Maybe just a little child psychology trick…?

  9. Boo hates crust too. She will everything but that, even taking apart the crust to make sure she gets it all. We don’t do the clean plate club either, so I don’t mind as much as my mom would have.

  10. I love your post! I’ve had a few moms give me sideways glances when I’ve told my girls that they don’t have to eat the crust. Too bad you live far away because we’d be play date friends for sure. 🙂

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