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Reducing our kids food waste

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Reducing our kids food waste

In Australia, for every five bags of groceries we purchase, one will end up in the bin. Food waste often heads to landfill, and can be detrimental for the environment as well as our wallets!

When it comes to feeding our children, one of the biggest frustrations is when food that has been so thoughtfully prepared doesn’t make it into their mouths, but ends up in the bin. There can be numerous reasons for this – they aren’t hungry, they have a tendency to picky eating, or they just don’t like the food that week.

It is essential that we never force children to eat food, as they need to learn to listen to when their tummies are telling them they are ‘full’. We also don’t want to stop exposing them to a variety of foods for fear that the food will only be wasted when they do not eat it.

So what can we do? Here are some handy tips to reduce food waste with your kids.

  1. Save leftovers
    Put leftovers in a container and refrigerate or freeze for another meal. Even if it is a half eaten meal, put it in the fridge in case your child is hungry later.
  2. Freeze and reuse
    Do you have a piece of fruit that has only been half eaten? Chop up the rest to add to a smoothie or to muffins. Leftover vegetables from a meal? Save them and use in a frittata. They can easily be frozen to use later.
  3. Get your kids involved
    When planning meals for the week, get your children involved in deciding which meals to have. Get them involved in the cooking process as well, and when it comes to serving a meal, encourage your children to serve themselves whenever practical. This will increase their confidence, make them more comfortable with a variety of foods and increase the likelihood of them eating the food.
  4. Avoid pre-dinner snacking
    Excess snacks or high-energy drinks just before dinner will reduce your childs appetite and the amount of nourishing food they will be able to eat at dinnertime. If they are hungry and need to snack before dinner, make sure it is from a food group that would be served at the main meal.
  5. Audit your fridge
    Do an audit of your fridge at the end of each week to make sure you use up any leftovers that may be hiding at the back.
  6. Compost, start a worm farm, or get some chickens!
    At times you won’t be able to avoid food waste. Why not look into starting a compost bin, worm farm or get some chickens? These can be handy solutions to avoid food waste going to landfill, and a fun activity for your children to be involved in.

For more ideas on avoiding food waste visit the Love Food Hate Waste website