Would you like some tips, as a parent, to reduce your food waste when shopping and eating out with your kids? Stop Food Waste.ie brings you some practical tips for parents to help reduce food waste.
The term ‘family shop’ can lead to a series of violent expletives from even the most placid of parents! The very suggestion of bringing kids shopping can bring up visions of children nagging for sweets, temper tantrums with nosey onlookers peering from other aisles and the trolley filling up with all sorts of food that will end up in the bin within a few days.
Food waste and kids often go hand in hand, so here are some of the main tips for food shopping, and eating out with kids, that have been sent into us by concerned (and often demented) parents!
#1. Feed ‘em up – never shop hungry:
When it comes to food our eyes are definitely bigger than our stomachs. Hitting the supermarket with a rumbling tummy is a sure way to end up buying too and buying sugary snacks that we don’t need. And this is on your own! Kids have short attention spans and these get shorter when hungry so if you are going shopping with them, feed them up first.
#2. Make a list – check it twice:
Following a list is a sure way to stay on track when it comes to shopping. Have the children make their own list and let them pick the items from the shelves. Choosing items and explaining how they fit in to the family meals will keep children interested and aware of the importance of a balanced diet in family cooking – and stop them from going mad in the supermarket as well.
#3. Small but mighty:
Kids get turned off food if they feel overwhelmed by the amount in front of them. Smaller portions on a plate or correctly sized lunches with smaller fruit mean they do not feel daunted by having to work through the mountain on their plate. Let them ask for more if they are hungry.
You’ll soon see the kitchen shelves emptying instead of scooping the remains of left-over dinners into the bin.
#4. Master the Menu:
Eating out is a treat and it is important that this is communicated to children. However, children’s meals are often way too big and can be very off putting.
Communicating with waiting staff is an important thing to do when ordering for children so your child won’t get a kids meal like the one here!
Also, many kids meals are very chips orientated so keep an eye out for the following symbol which identifies restaurants that are participating in a national initiative run by the Nutrition and Health Foundation to produce properly sized kids portions of adult meals.
For more on Stop Food Waste, go to www.stopfoodwaste.ie
If you have any other tips for meal planning, let us know in the comments below.