Teaching Children to Minimise Food Waste
It’s not an unknown fact that poverty is indirectly linked to food wastage. Food wastage as the term implies is nothing but the wasting of additional food which is not required for consumption. A lot of time, effort and money goes into preparing a meal and making more than necessary or not consuming it adds to the waste of the entire country. The world saw a huge crisis in the form of COVID-19 which claimed many lives, and jobs and left people starving. If there’s anything we have learnt from that experience is that we should value food and resources rather than wasting them. While this concept of minimising food wastage is understandable to adults, how can we make children understand it?
Well, we can do so by simply making them more aware of the current scenario and engaging them in World Food Day activities. If you’re wondering what World Food Day is, you’re in the right place. World Food Day is celebrated annually on 16th October in memory of the foundation of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In honour of this, various food activities are organised for children which help them get acquainted with the idea of minimising food wastage. Children can learn a great deal through World Food Day activities. This is important as it helps turn young kids into responsible adults in the future. To be a responsible citizen, one has to uphold certain civic responsibilities. As a parent, if you’re wondering how your son or daughter can help minimise the wastage of food, you’re in luck as we will be delving deep into some of the activities that can help in doing so.
What Can You Do As A Parent?
If you’re under the impression that you as an individual cannot be great enough to make a difference in the grand scheme of things then you couldn’t be further from the truth. Believe it or not, change starts with a free and at your own home. As an individual, you have the choice to influence various food habits and patterns that in turn lead to sustainable food systems. For starters, you can start reducing food wastage in your own homes. One of the most important lessons you could ever teach your kids concerning food is to respect food. If kids start respecting food, they will take on their plate only what they will eat and no more than that. You could also go a step further and teach your kids how to pack leftover food into smaller portions and keep it in the refrigerator for later consumption.
You must ensure that your children are aware of the tedious procedure that goes into growing vegetables and even the very act of preparing a meal. To do so, you should show them what goes into the growing of vegetables on a farm and how exhausting it is to slave in the kitchen. Now that you have a brief picture of what you can do as a parent and caregiver, it’s crucial to learn about how they can be implemented. They can be simply implemented through World Food activities. Food activities for kids help them get a bigger and clearer picture of the importance of reducing food wastage.
World Food Day Activities For Kids
- Food waste weigh-in: To create awareness about just how much food a household wastes regularly, ask everyone to place their uneaten food in a bucket. Once you weigh it, it will give you a rough idea of how much food is being wasted in a week or a month. This will help your kids become conscious and mindful of how much food they are wasting.
- Poster making- This is one of the best food activities for kids that not only creates awareness regarding the food shortage in the world but also strengthens bonds between parents and children. A coloured poster with graffiti encouraging people not to waste food is a fun and engaging way of teaching kids about being mindful of the amount of food they waste. Catchy phrases can be used on posters to garner the attention of the general public.
- Reading books- Children love to listen to stories and even read short stories. You can add a few books on the celebration of food to make them appreciate food even more. This can go a long way in achieving what the United Nations set out to achieve.
- Grow your vegetables- This initiative helps children understand the painstaking procedure that goes into the growing of vegetables. It will give them a newfound appreciation for food and will help them become more careful concerning food wastage. Planting a few chilly or tomato seeds in your garden also teaches kids basic life skills.
- Serve small portions- Rather than taking a large quantity of food on your plate, take what you are going to eat. You can always serve yourself more. However, to avoid wastage of food, do not over-serve yourself only for the food to end up in the dustbin.
- Consider the shelf-life of food- Every product has a shelf life or the period before which it is safe to consume. Consuming something beyond its shelf-life can lead to food poisoning. Try not buying excess amounts of fruits and vegetables that have a short shelf-life. It’s also better to buy fresh vegetables and fruits rather than to consume something from the refrigerator.
- Reusing leftovers- Some leftovers can be reused to make another dish. This can be a fun way of teaching your kids to make the most of the food they have rather than dumping it in the garbage. It’s also an interactive way of making them learn how to improvise and cook with whatever is available at home.
- Distribute to NGOs- While it isn’t logical for a family to give or share their food with an NGO regularly, it can be done with the extra food left over from a family gathering like an engagement or wedding. Food from pantries at offices and hotels can tie up with NGOs and donate large quantities of food.
Here at EuroKids, we inculcate values in our students that make them emerge as responsible citizens of India who are aware of their civic responsibilities. While academics are our primary focus, we strive to achieve holistic development. We try to engage students in food activities to help them understand the value of food. If you feel like your child needs to be educated in this aspect, head down to our nearest centre.