FAMILY FUN – Spring into action on food waste

Food waste group WRAP estimates 63% of all food waste is avoidable. Encourage your children to explore the issue, and help prevent food waste at home, with these simple activities and great leftovers recipes.

Planning helps us to cook and eat food before the use by date. This would prevent food waste and could help save over £600 a year! Planning does not have to be boring. It simply means making a list of what meals you want to cook, checking what you have already in the fridge and only buying what you need. Get young chefs involved by asking them to design one recipe, or select one new fruit/ vegetable each week. Remind them to make sure that they can use everything in time!

Use-By Challenge!

When you get home after shopping, how are you going to make sure that the food is eaten and not wasted? After storing all the items correctly, make a menu or a reminder list to go on the fridge or cupboard door to show what needs to be eaten each day. Make it as colourful and eye catching as possible, especially for items that need to be consumed soon.

Plan to Cook Challenge!

Take a selection of foods from your fridge or freezer and cupboards (or you can use photos), and ask the children to place foods in rank order – from those that need to be cooked and eaten soon (or go off quickly), to those that last the longest (have a longer shelf life). Ask the children why some foods last longer than others.

With older, more experienced, young cooks, together pick out three items that need to be cooked and eaten shortly. What is the most exciting recipe that you can make with them?  You are allowed to add two to three extra fresh ingredients. Get researching and experimenting!

Jazz up your leftovers

Don’t forget to minimise food waste by using up tasty leftovers in another dish.

Roast Lamb or chicken can be chilled and stored for the next day ready to make:

Leftover vegetables can be used to make

When you are preparing vegetables, challenge children to investigate their habits by exploring Potato Peel Waste.

Top tips on using leftovers safely

  • It’s best to get your leftovers into the fridge within 90 minutes, so transfer hot food out of the pan, cool quickly away from the oven and then place in the fridge as soon as possible.
  • Keep your leftovers well sealed and separate to prevent cross-contamination. Raw meat and poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy products, pre-packaged food and soft cheeses are higher risk foods.
  • Eat leftovers within 24 hours.
  • Reheat food until piping hot throughout. Foods should be heated until they reach and maintain 70C or above for two minutes.
  • Don’t reheat leftovers more than once.