Teaching Kids to Be Less Wasteful

Kids probably don’t mean to be, but oftentimes they can be quite wasteful. Whether it’s food, paper, water, time, or something else, we can teach our kids to be more mindful when it comes to the conservation and care of everyday things they use and do. Here are some tips to help instill these important values in our children.


Kids can be picky and refuse to eat what we give them. They also may have eyes bigger than their stomachs and order or take more than they’ll be able to consume. Although we never want to force our kids to eat too much, we can teach them to have more consideration when it comes to food and how much they leave behind. You can teach your children to take just a bit and ask for more if they finish what they’ve taken. You can also let your children have a say in what they want to eat to ensure they’ll finish most or all of what they are served. We can teach our kids to save uneaten portions rather than tossing them in the trash. Most foods can be packed away or refrigerated for a later time. Another option is to consider sharing with a friend or sibling rather than each child getting their own meal or snack. If they are still hungry after that, you can offer them more food.


Leaving water running while brushing teeth or washing can be quite wasteful. Teach your children to shower within a certain time limit. You can give them a routine for showering to keep the time in check. While your kids brush their teeth, insist they only run the water when absolutely needed – not throughout the entire brushing process. The wasted water adds up when you think about all the times we leave water running unnecessarily. This will give your kids an important lesson in conservation and care for the environment.


Sometimes, kids dawdle while getting dressed, making decisions, eating, or cleaning up. There are many reasons why, but whatever the circumstance, we must teach our kids to be respectful of others’ time and improve their own time management. We can teach our kids to do things with purpose and focus so they get the task done as efficiently as possible. Every kid is different, so some may need more direction and assistance than others. You can even set a cooking timer for a predetermined amount of time for your kids to clean up, dress, etc. so they turn it into a fun challenge to beat the clock. Once they practice enough, the kids will eventually become more aware of how much time they take to complete tasks.


In order to help our planet protected and our bills down, using as little electricity as possible is an important lesson for our kids to learn. Be sure to teach kids to turn off and unplug electronic games after every use. Switch off lights before exiting a room. Turn off TVs and radios when not in use. Teach your kids that even the smallest efforts add up and the habit will stay with them as they grow.

How do you teach your children to be less wasteful? Please share your tips with the community. Thanks! Please read more info like this at All My Children.

By: Melissa A. Kay


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