You may already know that we are about to get chickens. Apart from the fresh eggs, one of the reasons for getting the chickens is to use up some of our food scraps. Food waste is one thing I hate and I try to avoid it as much as I can.
That said, I have three children who go through phases of eating well then eating badly. Some days dinner gets devoured. On other days there seems to be more on the children’s plates after dinner than I put on there to begin with.
I can deal with leftovers alright, but scraping food into the bin, even it is the recyclable food waste bin, just seems wrong. I’ll be glad when some of the scraps can go to the hens, but in the meantime I’ll be using these tips I have come up with to reduce our food waste.
- Give the children small portions then seconds. No one wants to eat porridge toddler has had his hands in. If it is still in the pot, it can be reheated the following day.
- Find out what the children like to eat and use that as your basis for introducing new meals. If they like spaghetti bolognese, try them with lasagne. If they like lasagne, move on to moussaka. There is bound to be less waste on plates than if you spring moussaka on them one dinnertime.
- Let the kids help cook. This can go either way, but it is likely that when they know the effort that they put into cooking the meal, they will eat it and encourage their siblings to eat it too.
- Take a look at what you are throwing away. Ask yourself these questions:
– could I keep this for tomorrow instead if dumping it?
– why are there so many leftovers? Did I cook too much? Is it food the family doesn’t like?
– how much money am I wasting by dumping leftovers?
- Gather up recipes and ideas for using up fruit, vegetables or bread so that you can use them even if they are past their best. Soups, breadcrumbs, stewed fruit and crumbles – there are tons of possibilities.
- Freeze food for later, either cooked or raw. After dinner take whatever is left in the pan from dinner, pop it into a freezer bag or lunchbox and pop it into the freezer. Equally, if you’ve gone overboard on the reduced-to-clear section in the supermarket and know you have more food than you’ll eat before it goes off, freeze it for another day.
- Buy smaller quantities. If time allows, go grocery shopping a couple of times a week rather than just once.