How to Stop Snacking Off Your Child’s Plate

how to stop snacking off you child's plate

What if I told you ONE thought change could help you stop snacking off your child’s plate?

It worked for me – and I have to share it with you.

But first, let’s start by looking at why we snack off the plates of our little ones…

Why Do You Snack off Your Child’s Plate?

As an Obesity Medicine physician and certified weight loss coach, I help Moms lose weight. And snacking off their kids’ plates is at the top of their list of weight loss setbacks.

Here’s why they say they eat off their kids plates:

  • It’s easy
  • The food is there
  • I don’t want to waste the food
  • I don’t want to have to make more for myself
  • Less dirty dishes

Totally reasonable reasons, right? And true – when you are thinking like your toddler. Let’s be honest, you are eating like a toddler, you must be thinking like a toddler to begin with. Sorry, Moms, but true.

When we eat like this, we are actually using the part of our brains that people refer to as our “toddler” brain. Our primitive brains, or limbic system, control eating when we eat in the moment, mindlessly, and out of habit.

Ask Yourself These 3 Questions to Change That Snacking Habit

Here’s a little life coaching 101 lesson: to change your actions, you must first change the thoughts that lead to those actions. And the above thoughts are not going to get you there.

Ask yourself these 3 questions to begin changing those thoughts:

  1. Are these thoughts (or excuses) REALLY leading to me feeding my body in the way that I want to?
  2. Is eating this way creating the health and weight that I want in life?
  3. Am I setting the example of health for my kids that I want to?

If you are reading this, I’m guessing that the answer to at least 2 of the 3 questions is an emphatic no. Why not change that starting today? I can help you. Let’s get started…

How to Change Your Thoughts about Snacking Off Your Child’s Plate

There are a few trends in these thoughts above that you should be aware of:

  • It’s easy – CONVENIENCE eating
  • The food is there – CONVENIENCE and SCARCITY eating
  • I don’t want to waste food – SCARCITY eating
  • I don’t want to have to make more for myself – CONVENIENCE eating
  • Less dirty dishes – CONVENIENCE eating

Yep, convenience is a BIG thing for Moms in general. We live busy lives and somedays we feel like we are just trying to survive. But, where do we draw the line between convenience and priorities? Food needs to be one of those areas. After all, we are choosing the fuel for our bodies. Do you really want it to be your child’s garbage?

For most Moms, I find that motivation is greatest when we bring in our kids. We may want things for ourselves but we are willing to change just about anything for our kids. And what is this convenience and scarcity around food showing your kids?

You can bet that they will be doing the exact same thing some day. You probably saw your own Mom doing it, too. Isn’t that the Mom way? We rush around cooking dinner, call our kids to sit down for a warm meal, get them everything they need, and by the time we actually join they are done and moving on to the next thing.

Think about that for a minute. Would you want that for your daughter? Picking up everyone else’s cold scraps. Of course not. Why accept it for yourself?

How to Stop Snacking Off Your Child’s Plate

Is a sit down meal with the family really a sit down meal with the family if Mom never sits down? If Mom eats after everyone else? Or if Mom just becomes the human garbage disposal?

Just about every healthy eating organization out there recommendations sit down meals as a family. Check out my post on for more info. And they don’t say meals in which Moms are excluded.

You are a valuable asset for your children – probably the most valuable. They watch your eating, your habits, and model after you. Let’s model behaviors we actually want to see in them.

Use those thoughts to your advantage. For me, simply changing my thought to

“Eating out of convenience and scarcity while my kids watch is not the example I want to set. I can do better.”

changed everything. Being a good example is everything for me and I’m sure it is for you, too. Is snacking in the corner after your kids really the example of being a Mom that you want your kids to model?

If not, it has to change. Show your value and your worth to your littles. Sit down at the table for their good and your own. And afterward, clear the table together and do the dishes.

It’s good for you.

It’s good for your kids.

And it’s definitely good for your waistline.

For more tips on losing that Mama weight, join my Weight Loss for Modern Moms e-mail list and lose 5 lbs this week for FREE. Sign up below.