Now for some food for thought:
The Mizrachi, a commentary on Rashi, elaborates and says that Yosef gave out loaves of bread even according to the needs of the child, and that is normal of them to crumble and throw around their bread; which means he gave them more than what they actually needed in order to survive. Yosef therefore, must definitely have given exactly what the adults needed to sustain themselves. (Click here and here for Hebrew text.)
Assuming this was true, how could more bread be stipend for the children then what was needed just to eat? Either teach the children to not waste food or the parents should be extra careful to be sure no food was wasted. Why should Yosef have had to take into account the fact that children waste food at the possible expense of a future food shortage?
Everyone can picture how a baby or infant eats his or her food. I clean up my baby’s high chair and floor around it daily. The floor is full of crumbs and globs of goop from food he spreads around. Even my older children wreak a certain degree of chaos when they eat, and many times can’t finish what is on their plates.
We see from here that even in extreme situations, like severe famine, we must take into account the nature of children to waste food. One should not overreact but plan accordingly and act with patience, because that is just the way children are. Granted, as they get older, they will learn to use their manners and to have more self-control, but in the meantime we, as parents, should strive to not overreact, even when food is being wasted. If Yosef, took into account the nature of how children eat even during a time of severe famine, giving them extra food to offset their wastefulness, certainly we must have this in mind with our children.
Enjoy your next meal!