Perhaps your child’s school has initiated a Nude Food Day each week or month – an initiative which helps reduce unnecessary waste in your child’s lunch box. Usually, this means lunch box food that is not overly processed, often making it a healthier and more environmentally friendly option.
According to research
by Enviro Week, the average packed lunch amounts to approximately 30KG of waste per child each year. That’s a lot of landfill!
Following these rules can be tricky, but it’s not impossible.
Here are FOUR simple steps you can take to create a waste-free lunchbox:
1. Give up the plastic wrap/foil.
Opt for a bento style lunch box with separate compartments for different foods, or pack snacks in different sized reusable containers or reusable sandwich bags, such as sandwiches, sushi, chopped fruit, veggies, yoghurt and dips, which you can then pack into an insulated lunch box. Another option is to use a vacuum-insulated food jar
to keep food warm – ideal for the cooler months.
2. Reduce overly-processed foods.
Swap packets of biscuits or individually wrapped muesli bars/cookies
, fruit straps, cakes
, savoury slices
, muffins for healthier home-made versions packed straight into reusuable containers. Make your own snack mix with dried fruit (apples, sultanas, apricots), pepitas, sunflower seeds and Fava beans.
3. Buy in bulk. Instead of plastic-wrapped processed cheese sticks, buy a large block of cheese and cut into desired shapes. Swap squeezie yoghurts for a large tub of plain or Greek yoghurt (drizzle with honey or cinnamon) that can portioned into small containers or reusable pouches through the week. This also prevents unwanted additives and flavourings and also saves money.
4. Use reusable drink bottles. Invest in a good quality drink bottle to avoid excess use of plastic and cartons of juice or milk. If not, encourage your child to use the recycling bin (yellow lid) for these items where ever possible.