Are you Sick Of Throwing Out Food?

Birdseye view of food waste in a bin.

10 things you can do to reduce food waste when starting solids!

No matter how you’re approaching solids…there is one inescapable truth about what lies ahead….mess. Oh the mess! If this is your first journey into solids, I promise you that you will get use to the mess (at least a little) and know that it is actually an important part of learning about food for your little one.

Did you know that eating is actually a learnt skill? This is why sensory exploration (aka lots of mess!) is so important when it comes to helping our babies learn about food. Touching, licking, biting, even throwing and spreading food everywhere helps your baby learn how to use their bodies to eat. All that exploration before it actually reaches their mouth helps them to learn that unfamiliar foods are safe.

However, one thing that many parents are concerned about when it comes to the amount of mess is the significant food waste that can be a natural consequence of starting solids. Whether it is trying to tackle the rising weekly grocery bill, making it easy to keep the roof/walls/floor clean or doing your bit for the environment, know that there are lots of things we can do to reduce food waste!

Our top 10 tips to reduce food waste and mess:

  1. If you don’t want to mop 3 times a day, use a clean drop sheet on the ground. This means that you can bundle up the food that missed their little mouth at the end of the meal or even pick up food and reoffer it.
  2. Use good quality suction plates and bowls to prevent whole meals ending up on that clean drop sheet you just put down.
  3. Start by offering small portions, think the size of your thumb, especially for a new food that they might not accept straight away. Babies can be overwhelmed by a big plate with lots of food and it might end up on that drop sheet….Tune into your little ones cues and be led by them. If they eat what you offer, you can always add seconds to the plate.
  4. Shop locally and in season where you can!
  5. Yet another reason to love family mealtimes- same food at the same time reduces the amount of food waste, as you’re not serving up an entirely different meal.
  6. If you don’t have a dog (less hygienic but more effective than a robovac) then try composting. It is a great way to turn the scraps from the drop sheet, or uneaten half chewed food left on the plate, into liquid gold for your garden.
  7. Cook a little extra of your dinner and offer it for their lunch the next day or bulk roast a tray of veggies that you can use for a few days.
  8. Use up all the edible parts of the food. Often, we get rid of perfectly edible food parts because we don’t know how to use them, or out of habit. Broccoli or cauliflower stalks are sweet and soft when the rough skin is removed and a perfect finger food or add in to stir-fry or soups. The skin of sweet potato is very soft for little gums if roasted in foil.
  9. Level up your food storage knowledge to help food last a little longer. Did you know wrapping the stems of bananas in glad wrap makes them last longer and so does keeping onions away from potatoes!
  10. Leftovers are the gift that keeps on giving! If eating the same meal twice isn’t going to fly in your house, then you can get a little creative by transforming them into something new. Add some milk and cheese to that left over pasta and turn it into a pasta bake….or mix left over veg with eggs and milk before baking to make a frittata.