How do you start a conversation with our children about food waste and its importance? Well, this was exactly my question and part of the reason why I wanted to write this blog post.
The other reason was simply for the purpose of my blog: to encourage cooking with kids and to teach them about food!
I began my search by brainstorming some ideas with my boyfriend. This is what we came up with:
Take the chance at family meal times to bring up food waste. One simple way to do this is by creating topic cards. Place them in a jar where you can take them out during meals and have one of your children take a card (or slip of paper) and read the prompt. Remember: keep question complexity to the grade level of your child. Check out this link to a previous blog for more ideas on family meals.
If you grow a garden in the backyard and your kids love helping you, take advantage of that moment to teach about ways to stop food waste such as composting. Show your kids that scraps of food that would normally be thrown away can be re-purposed.
Kids in the kitchen offers another opportunity to approach food waste, composting, or even re-purposing of leftovers. Have your kids come up with creative ways to transform leftovers or show them that the stems, leaves, and roots of some veggies/fruit can be eaten as well.
As an example here is one idea to try next time you cook.
Sauteed Radish or Beet Greens
1 pound of radish or beet greens
1 tablespoon of peanut or canola oil
1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder or 1/2 garlic clove
Pepper and salt to taste
1.) Rinse the greens first. Set aside.
2.) In a skillet combine garlic , pepper, peanut or canola oil, and radish/beet greens.
3.) Set on low to medium heat.
4.) Cook until leaves a slightly wilted, but still have a bright color. Serve.
For more ideas go to: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/teaching-kids-waste-less-food