Usually for kids ordering at a restaurant is simply a matter of choosing what they want without much thought of the money it costs to order it. Therefore, if one doesn’t finish their meal as well then it’s no big deal because to them it’s free right? That’s what got me thinking when I saw a contrast between one child that seemed to have no sense of the value of a dollar when it came to food waste versus say when a child is a little conscience of the topic.
For this I thought I could use an example that I often told my nephew which made him more responsible with money. Even if it’s only a small amount. Essentially, when t came to ordering food at a restaurant the stipulation was he could order what he wanted. However, he would need to finish what he ordered. Usually in these cases a child could take one bite, say they don’t like it which could mean wasted money on your end. However, if there was actually nothing wrong with the food itself per se then having to finish the meal kind of adds a sense of caution in ordering it because the drawback can be if they don’t like it too much taste wise then they have to eat so much of it as they order a ton.
Therefore, experiencing that even once made him more conscience the next time he ordered. For example, wanting to order an amount he would actually finish or deciding on an item he knows he will enjoy versus potentially just throwing it away. If it’s something he is not sure of, then he would “negotiate” with say myself where I would agree if he doesn’t actually like what he ordered then I could instead take it where I would factor that in such as not ordering another meal as this may be it for me instead.
Again, he might not be spending money but these scenarios made him understood that there is a money factor to all this which made him more appreciative and wanting to be responsible in knowing other people are spending their money. This definitely translated into his teen years in terms of saving money and not wanting to be wasteful so far it seems. The little things add up in terms of teaching financial literacy.