Parenting / 17 May, 2021 / My Baba
Nuby asked frugal food expert and blogger, Kayley Monaghan, for some top tips for ‘clean, green ways to wean’ in promotion of their new eco-friendly Rice Husk tableware range! Here is what she had to say and some simple changes you can make to help our planet…
Meal planning has been, not to sound dramatic, life-changing for us and has helped us reduce the amount of food waste we produce. I always shop in my cupboards first to see what needs using then plan around that. I organise my meals by used by dates and have drastically reduced our food waste every week. We also save money because we use everything we have rather than buying more when we don’t need it.
Batch cooking is like preparing a gift to your future self! Food is often cheaper when you buy in larger quantities so we like to cook ‘one for us, one for the freezer’ when we make things like meatballs, lasagne, bolognese or curries. Not only are you less likely to waste food this way but you also use less energy when you cook and it means you have an effort free meal for the nights when you just can’t be bothered. We freeze these in family portions and child-sized portions so when baby is eating separate to the adults you can pull out exactly the amount they need without having to waste any.
Make the switch to eco-friendly weaning products.
The majority of weaning products are made of plastic or other non-recyclable materials. Plastic takes 1000 years to biodegrade and with other, more sustainable options on the market, it is just unnecessary. I absolutely love the new Nuby tableware range made from rice husk. They are 100% biodegradable so when you have finished with them you can break them up, put them in your compost bin and they will biodegrade within just a few months! The set is also dishwasher and microwave safe (which a lot of other environmentally friendly products aren’t). The products feel so sturdy, good quality and, as with all Nuby products, are really affordable too!
Baby wipes so handy but when you are home it is so much cheaper and kinder to the environment to use face cloths. You can buy these cheap from lots of different places then just throw them in the wash after they have been used. My children love having these next to them like napkins when they eat and I love that it stops them wiping their mouths on their sleeves! Making a mess is all part of the fun of weaning and how we clean it up can make such a huge difference to the environment and our bank balance over the course of a child’s weaning journey!
I never would have considered this until last year when I decided to give it a go but growing your own fruit and veg is such a great way to feed your family. Not only do you avoid buying from the supermarket (which all too often is unnecessarily wrapped in plastic), this is a great activity to get older children involved in. Even as babies, what better way for them to learn about sustainable living and where food comes from than to pick ingredients for their dinner from their own garden?
There are so many options out there to store food and cook on without using single-use items. We have reusable freezer bags, glass cooking trays with lids to make storing food after super simple, reusable baking trays, silicon muffin cases, beeswax wraps to cover or wrap things that don’t have a lid. There are so many options out there that aren’t expensive and will help the environment and save you money in the long term.
A few years ago we discovered a sustainable shop near us where you take your own tubs, fill them up with pasta, grains, cereal, snacks etc. then pay for however much you have. Not only does this mean that whatever you buy is packaging-free but it also means you only buy the amount you want and will use!
Those bits of fruit or vegetables that you cut off when you are cutting food into exciting shapes for your baby, bag them up, even if it’s the tiniest bit and create soup and smoothie ‘dump bags’ for your freezer. Add to these and over time they will fill up enough to add to soups, smoothies, use as breakfast toppers. The possibilities are endless!
Not only is this better for the environment and more cost-effective but it’s also likely you will discover new meals that you never thought of before! Lentils, beans and chickpeas are great sources of protein and you can make some tasty, filling meals the whole family will enjoy with them!
These tips are changes we have made over the course of the last few years and didn’t happen seamlessly overnight. Habits take time to change and that is ok. Every little change you make is a step in the right direction and something to be proud of! Lifestyle changes take time and the main thing is to be aware and do what you can.
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