How to Reduce Food Waste When Baby Led Weaning
We all know that Baby Led Weaning can be messy, which means food can be wasted as your little one tries out new foods and tastes. At a time when household budgets are being stretched harder than ever before, keeping food waste to a minimum is increasingly important. 70% of UK food waste happens in people homes, and this number is highest in households with very young children (lovefoodhatewaste.com). Our mission is to help you reduce food waste whilst weaning. To get you started we have pulled together our top tips in reducing waste and getting the most out of your food budget:
1. Adjust Portion sizes
Babies require different amounts of food at different stages of their weaning journey. When starting weaning, make sure portion sizes are small, not over-facing, and as you move to offering complete meals, try to offer a nutritionally balanced plate. As your baby starts finishing all the food on offer, you can then adjust your portion sizes as your baby grows and develops.
2. Avoid plating up too much at a time
Some days your baby will be hungrier than others. Holding back food and just placing a little on your baby’s plate at a time is a really simple way to reduce waste. You can save un-touched leftovers for the next meal, and your baby won’t have as much leftover food to throw - which generally happens at the end of the meal as they get full!. A massive 25% of food wasted in households is due to cooking, preparing, or serving too much food (WRAP 2021), so targeting this type of waste is a great way to help your food budget stretch that bit further.
3. Re-use Food
Serve any untouched food to your baby at their next meal or add it to your own. If you didn’t manage to get your portion sizes for your little one quite right, you can freeze the food you made and offer it another day.
4. Use Bibs that Catch Food
Throwing food is common (but we hear you, so annoying!). It’s your baby’s strongest signal to communicate they’re full, or to let you know they’re simply not interested in eating right now. Having a good bib, such as our Bib & Tray Kit that pretty much eliminates food wasted to the floor and highchair seat like this, is a great solution. Food that would have been thrown to the floor is caught on the large tray and can be hygienically re-introduced.
5. Offer Foods that are part of your own meals
One of the many advantages of Baby Led Weaning is being able to offer your baby most foods that you eat yourself. Or if you’re spoon feeding your little one, you could always mash or puree your food down (watch the salt and sugar content) and use this instead of making a different meal. By offering your baby family meals, you save on time spent in the kitchen, reduce the number of foods you’re buying, and any leftovers can be added to your own portion.
6. Home Composting
If you have a garden, you could try home composting by disposing of fruit and veg in your garden. Creating a section in your garden where you can create a compost heap will help keep waste out of landfill.
The equivalent of eight meals per week is thrown away by UK households (WRAP 2021), by following these simple steps in your baby led weaning journey, you could help reduce food waste and save money.