Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Getting Rid of Leftovers

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Do you ever have a refrigerator full of leftovers, but not enough of any one thing to make a meal? Sometimes we may have a cup or two of mashed potatoes, half a bowl of mac and cheese, a couple servings of meatloaf, one pork chop, a few portions of green bean casserole, and two grilled hot dogs in a baggie.

Whenever I find my fridge like this, I pull all the leftovers out at lunch time and set them on the table. I announce, in an excited voice, "We're going to have BUFFET for lunch today!"

We use these trays that I picked up at The Dollar Store (Here is a pricier version.) and each child is allowed to pick whatever looks good to fill in the sections.

We have a few ground rules, like only take one serving of each item, and leave one space for the drink. Other than that, it's pretty much anything goes. Each child serves his own tray and I put out carrot sticks or apple wedges if we need more choices.

The kids love it because they get to choose, and I love it because I don't have to throw out good food.

That's what Works For Me.

Check out Rocks In My Dryer for more great tips.


LifeatTheCircus said...

GREAT idea! I remember once when my grandma babysat us for a week she told us we were having a Buffet Night and I was so excited about it all day. That night when she got it all out I said, "Mema this is leftovers!" I had been thinking she would make a whole assortment of new food. (could I have been more clueless?) Anyway, thanks for reminding me of this super great idea. I will try it with my kids!

Angie said...

How fun! I have heard about other families doing this, and I always think it sounds so fun. Unfortunately, we have very picky kids. But, on the plus side, my husband normally always takes leftovers to work with him the next day, so they don't really build up at our house.

Mommy, the Human Napkin said...

My husband takes leftovers from the night before for his lunch, but sometimes I end up with random bowls of small portions, too. I should use your buffet idea! Unfortunately, since no one ever wants the leftovers, they get pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten until I need to clean out the fridge before I go grocery shopping. That's when I dump it all in a big bowl and give it to the dogs. This is one of the reasons we own dogs. I like the buffet idea better, though.

Pat's Place said...

I often do that for just the two of us. I put all the leftovers on the table and then I tell my husband it is called Smorgasbord!

Tara said...

What a cute idea!!! I love it. I have seen those trays at the dollar store recently.. I think I will get some.. My little guy would love it.. :) Thanks for the tips

marigold said...

Those trays are what gets 'em every time!

Worlds Greatest Mommy said...

Super cute! Anything on a tray is cool to my kids.

sign me .... Mrs. Bick said...

I don't, personally, like the sound of "leftovers" and will avoid those. So I am aware of using that word with my kids. BUT the kids do like a choice, and when our fridge has all these little bits of this and that, we have "Crazy Mixed Up" for lunch or dinner. And depending on what there is, we add a fruit or vegetable to supplement.

The rules for "Crazy Mixed Up" is different than regular meals. Regular meals rules are "if it is on the table it goes on your plate" and they must eat a certain amount of bites. We have to see the bites for it to count. But not so with "Crazy Mixed Up". The choice is all theirs!

Donna(mom24boyz) said...

Great tip--I may have to implement this one!

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