Sustainable weaning – how do you do it?
To celebrate Recycle Week (23rd – 29th) September, ParentFolk caught up with Karen Maurice aka @n4Mummy, eco-friendly influencer and ambassador for Little Freddie baby & toddler food, to give us her top tips on how to wean your baby sustainably.
“Weaning your baby can feel really
daunting and something extra on your to do list. But it doesn’t have to be complicated or
wasteful. See it as a journey of
discovery of food for your child, as well as a chance to introduce them to
sustainability habits that they’ll remember throughout their lives. Here are my top tips for eco-friendly
- Try reusable freezable moulds to cut food waste
Invest in some reusable freezable moulds so that any food your baby doesn’t eat you can portion out and pop in the freezer for another day. You’ll soon build up a little supply of healthy homecooked meals for your little one. Plus, it means on the days when you’re too exhausted to do anything other than order in pizza, you’ll have something ready made for your baby.
- Visit local markets for fruit and veg not wrapped in plastic
Whether you follow baby led weaning or purees is up to you. However, I’ve found it helpful to do a mixture of the two. I’ve always given mine a pureed main course, so I know they’re not hungry, alongside real pieces of fruit and vegetables. Things like banana, avocado, peppers, berries and broccoli to help them get used to the texture of food. Pop to the local market for the seasonal offerings that are super fresh and don’t come wrapped in plastic.
- Give little ones locally produced seasonal ingredients to cut emissions
After weaning two children and with a third on the way, my number one piece of advice is to keep it simple and move with the seasons. Yes, initially you’ll need to make individual purees of apple, carrot etc. but when you start introducing new flavors try fruits and vegetables that are in season and locally produced as this cuts down emissions. And of course, avoid produce wrapped in plastic. Very quickly your baby will be able to enjoy more complex tastes. You might not have the time or energy to be cooking lots of separate meals for different members of the family and this is one area you can really set boundaries about what you are /aren’t prepared to do. Plus, in my experience, it leads to good eating habits when children realise there is only one meal on offer and cuts down on food waste.
- Use pouches from Little Freddie that you can recycle, so that nothing goes to landfill
Be kind to yourself, there will be days when using a food pouch is the most sensible option. You might be too tired to cook or out and about and just need the convenience of a food pouch. That’s ok. Just keep a stock of Little Freddie pouches in your cupboard ready to go. As Little Freddie is a sustainable baby food brand you can recycle your pouches by sending them back in the post, it’s really easy and fuss free. Just squeeze out anyextra food and pop them in the recycling bag, pop the lid in your normal recycling and when the bag is full put them in the post.
- Grow your own veg at home to cut down on emissions
If you want your child to love fruit and vegetables, then always choose the freshest and tastiest. If you have space, you could always grow your own and when the kids are a bit older have them help with planting and watering the fruit & veg. Getting their hands dirty while watching things grow and learning about where food comes from. We have joke in our household that my daughter only eats home tomatoes and not the ones from school. Of course, if you don’t have a garden you can still plant a window box. Green onions, spinach and leaf lettuce in particular are perfect for small spaces.
- Buy well and you buy once – invest in sustainable feeding accessories
Making mealtimes routine so little ones become familiar and confident. Byusing the same cutlery, plates and bibs while at home and out and about, mealtime becomes the norm. It’s worth investing in accessories and there are some great plastic free options available.
- Buy in bulk to cut down on packaging
When cooking and prepping meals at home buy your dried ingredients in bulk as this reduces plastic waste
- Use Tupperware instead of cling film at home to keep pre-prepared snacks fresh
From an early age give your children cut up fruit or vegetables as a snack. It’s worth investing in a set of Tupperware so you can prep it and keep fresh in the fridge ready to grab in a second. Or, take with you on the go. Save the ready-made children’s snacks for treats, high days and holidays so it doesn’t become an expectation. It’ll save you money and create less waste.
Little Freddie is an award-winning baby and toddler food brand with a mission to be THE most sustainable baby food brand in the UK.
For more information on the Little Freddie range head over to the website LittleFreddie.com