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How to Reduce Food Waste When Feeding Kids: TK’s 8 Tips

Written by Terra's Kitchen | Thu, Oct 15, '15

Food waste is a looming issue in our country. We quite often throw out unused parts of fruits and vegetables that are actually edible, and don’t save food that can be eaten as leftovers. Reducing food waste can positively impact the environment and could save you a significant amount of money over time.

Feeding children, especially the little ones, can lead to a large amount of wasted food. To keep your food waste in check—and make good use of some of that pushed aside food—try these smart tips.

How to Reduce Food Waste

  1. Serve food family-style.

Putting dinner on the table in platters or bowls and letting toddlers help themselves is an easy way to keep food waste in check. You’d be amazed at how good little ones are at self-portioning when given the chance.

  1. Offer smaller portions.

Did you know that half a medium apple or peach is the right amount for a child? Start with smaller amounts and give seconds upon request.

  1. Rinse and reuse fruit.

Just because your kid doesn’t eat their kiwi today doesn’t mean it needs to be trashed. Wash, dry, and package in quart-size zip top freezer bags and use in future smoothies. Check out our tips for keeping fruits and vegetables fresh to reduce waste even more!

  1. Turn veggies into stock.

Along with stems and skins from vegetables, you can add veggies that your child didn’t eat to a gallon-size zip top freezer bag. Freeze and when full, place into a la
rge pot, cover with water, and simmer into stock.

  1. Make muffins from grains.

Substitute up to 1/3-cup leftover grains (brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa) in your favorite pancake or muffin recipe. Your kids won’t eve
n notice!

  1. Turn leftovers into breakfast.

Slice leftover quick bread or muffins and prepare as deluxe French toast.

  1. Make pasta sauce.

Mix lingering mashed sweet potato, butternut squash, or carrot with noodles and Parmesan for quick veggie-packed mac and cheese.

  1. Turn a smoothie into dessert.

Freeze leftover smoothie into molds for super easy freezer pops.

What are some of your tips for reducing food waste when feeding your children? We'd love to hear them in the comments, and your tips might just help someone else!

Illustrations by: Jessica Duthu


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