Are You the Mom Who Eats Your Kids’ Table Scraps?

ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Mar 2017
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Embarrassed by all the times you’ve scraped mac and cheese remnants off your kids’ dirty dishes and considered it dinner? Don’t be! That’s the major takeaway from an interview between Dan Pashman of WNYC’s The Sporkful and NPR’s Rachel Martin.

Why do you do this? When did your standards allow this to happen? Pashman authoritatively explains.

“Well, there’s something about the cumulative effects of parenting, the lack of sleep, the way that your kids — as lovely as they can be — can sort of wear you down,” says Pashman. “I think you get to this place where you’re kind of feeling a little sorry for yourself. And there’s some food in front of you, and you’re vaguely hungry and you’re just like, ‘Maybe if I put this in my mouth, everything will be better.’”

But it’s not all about eating your feelings. It’s an opportunity to get creative. “There are also opportunities,” says Pashman. “For instance, I don’t give my kids chicken skin because it’s a little hard for them to chew. I  love  chicken skin. So, take that piece of chicken skin, wrap something up in it. Get your hands in there. Don’t be shy. Nobody’s watching, nobody’s judging you.”

Ultimately, you need a plan of attack. Luckily, Pashman also has a definitive hierarchy for kids’ scraps.

“So the first thing is the food that’s lying around the table or the plate that your kid didn’t touch. To me, that’s fair game. That’s like being at a buffet,” he says. “Then there’s the food that your child touched but then put right back down on the plate … Then there’s the food that your kid touched and dropped on the floor.”

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The ultimate test? Food that fell out of your kid’s mouth. “I think it’s not pleasant,” Pashman concludes. “And I think you’ve just got to remind yourself of that and back away.”

Glad we’ve cleared that up. But if you’ve eaten it anyway, we’re not here to judge. We’ve heard it all; moms shared some of their best parenting confessions with us. Take a look:

“I love bacon and my three-year-old does too. So I made a bunch today and gave her a couple of pieces. I ate the rest with the lights off while hiding in the bathtub because I didn’t want to share anymore.”

“We once slept on sheets for two days after our daughter’s diaper leaked in our bed. We were exhausted.”

“While I’m changing my son, he has peed on his own face and in his own mouth more than I’d like to admit. I just get lazy and keep thinking he won’t do it again.”

Read more confessions here!

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