Food waste is an essential issue that demands our immediate attention. As parents, we are responsible for raising our children with values prioritizing sustainability and mindful consumption.
Did you know that food waste is a significant issue in Canada? The numbers are astonishing. Recent research estimates that 20% (or 11 million tonnes) of all the food produced in Canada annually becomes avoidable food loss or waste – food that could have been eaten but was instead landfilled, incinerated or managed as organic waste (Canada.ca). These numbers clearly show the urgent need for action to address this problem.
As parents, we can educate our children and positively impact their future when it comes to stopping food waste. By understanding the extent of the problem and implementing simple changes at home, we can contribute to reducing food waste in Canada and creating a sustainable lifestyle for our families.
Involving the whole family can create a positive impact and instill responsible habits for the future.
Here are some easy tips to get started together as a family:
- Plan meals and create shopping lists: Planning meals and making a shopping list can help us buy only what we need, reducing the chances of food going unused and eventually being wasted. Engage your children in the planning process and let them suggest their favourite meals. My kids love helping pick meals from the internet or cookbooks, shopping for ingredients, and cooking them together.
- Practice portion control: Encourage your family to serve themselves smaller portions, allowing them to take more if needed. Remind children that they can always have seconds if they’re still hungry. This simple habit can significantly reduce plate waste. We try to do this at home and get seconds only if we are still hungry after the first serving.
- Store food properly: Teach your children about proper food storage. Storing food correctly, whether in the refrigerator or freezer, can extend its shelf life and prevent spoilage. Get your children involved in organizing your pantry and fridge, making it a fun and educational activity. We have days when we clean our fridge and use all the bruised and leftover veggies and produce for our dinner.
- Get creative with leftovers: Leftovers are an excellent opportunity for creativity. You can encourage your family to transform them into delicious new meals or incorporate them into packed lunches. It’s a fantastic way to minimize waste while saving time and money. We love rescuing those leftover fruits and veggies in our fridge before our next grocery shop. Instead of letting them go to waste, we turn them into delicious and nutritious green juices and smoothies.
To further empower families in their fight against food waste, the Food Matters Action Kit offers a comprehensive resource for families. This kit, designed by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), provides valuable information, activities, and tools to promote food waste reduction.
This action kit is an excellent way to involve your children and make a lasting impact.
The Food Matters Action Kit includes tips on preventing food waste, recipes for using leftovers, guidance on composting, information to inspire you to take action, and more. By downloading the kit and signing up for the platform, you can join this movement dedicated to making a difference.
Wasting valuable food squanders valuable resources such as water, energy, and land and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbating the current climate crisis. Let’s educate our children to reduce food waste, change our habits, and inspire others to impact the environment positively!
Download the Food Matters Action Kit and sign up on the platform by visiting http://www.cec.org/flwy/join-the-youth-movement/.
Let’s stop food waste together!