**This article has been translated automatically and will be reviewed soon.**
I talked about zero waste grocery stores in my last article . In the zero waste lifestyle, eating is still a great challenge, because you have to start again every week.
Changing disposable handkerchiefs for washable ones in the house is the story of a purchase on our website and it's set for life! Same thing for toilet paper. Afterwards, we never have to think about it again.
On the other hand, grocery shopping is a recurring thing. And doing a zero-waste grocery store requires organization and that can annoy us as parents.
HOW TO FIND ECO-FRIENDLY SNACKS FOR KIDS?
Damn Goldfish. I have a love-hate relationship with Goldfish! They are at the very heart of the problem of finding “green snacks for kids”, because they are loved, but not so green. Let's face it, the problem with “eco-friendly snacks for kids” is “the kids”. Why do they not want to know about unpackaged snacks!? Are you going to say it's because it's not fun? Because all your friends have beautiful snacks packaged in beautiful colored plastics? And you are absolutely right...
Besides, an excellent proof of childish nonsense: raisins. They don't want to know that I buy raisins in bulk and put them in a little reusable snack bag. “Yark, grapes! Disgusting.” And yet, I give them a little box of Sun-Maid and they DEVOUR them like there's no tomorrow.
But hey, that’s it… we don’t want to encourage big grocery stores! We want to encourage local and organic and keep our trash bin free of final waste! So in my children's lunches, there is nothing packaged: no Ficello, no cardboard juice boxes, no sriracha packets. In short, this means that I find myself limited in snacks so I fall back on the Goldfish from Costco and I pretend to be eco-friendly by putting them back into snack bags.
Yep, I gave up! But that doesn't make me so happy. And here I am at the end of 3 bags from Costco, I wish I didn't buy more! So I need new ideas. So I embarked on an ultimate quest for eco-friendly snacks.
ECO-FRIENDLY SNACK IDEAS
In recent years, I have tested everything available in grocery stores/zero waste stores that can be used as snacks for children:
- dried fruits (bananas, mangoes, etc.)
- honey mustard sticks
- sesame sticks
- crackers or spent grain sticks
- square cheddar crackers or tomato crackers
- small balls of energy
- granola bar squares
- granola bites
(well, we could have put the last three in the same category!)
- plantain chips*
- mini pretzel
- waffles (I saw this at LOCO in Mtl )*
- nuts, we forget that at school...
- fruits and vegetables (raw vegetables)*
Are there any missing ones that you have at your local ZD grocery store that your kids love? (Do they like wasabi peas for example? Or do you use them as a revenge snack?)
*To give you an idea of how big the challenge is in my case, my guy just likes the stuff where I put an asterisk. And I don't have access to plantain chips or waffles where I buy them in bulk near me. So that leaves the cookies/muffins (which I consider more of a dessert) and the cucumbers, carrots and peppers (but just the yellow or orange ones)! The problem is that more and more, I find them in his lunch box in the evening. I think he's tired of eating the same thing 5 times...
Even apples, which once lasted 2 days at home, now last 2 weeks. Is it like that with you too? Besides, why do children eat apples, but never raspberries? 🙄
So on the one hand, we avoid big box grocery stores because we want to buy local, organic and seasonal. On the other hand, we don't have much variety and the children get bored and no longer eat what we offer them. So I REALLY need some ideas! Or just from a caterer at school that I stop thinking about it... 😆
PS. If you ever have recipes for rice cakes or wafer scraps, I'm interested!
ECO-FRIENDLY MEAL IDEAS
Snacks aren't everything! There are still meals! And being vegetarian limits the choices a little too, especially when children don't like blocks of tofu (even generally tao) or tempeh... At least, they like pasta, rice, vegetables, the bread!
DISHES WITHOUT ANY PACKAGING, IS IT POSSIBLE?
YES! But again, it takes ideas! I tried to think about the question in great detail. Find ideas for dishes that can be eaten with ingredients found in bulk.
I have to tell you: I concluded that pretty much EVERYTHING can be done , but there are some dishes that really take more time than others to make! For example, my children like the PVT tacos from Jean-Philippe's kitchen but the tacos cannot be found in bulk... So we would have to MAKE the tacos. For one meal per week, it could be viable to make more elaborate meals in order to limit our waste. 7/7, you need a lot of motivation. And then, is it possible to maintain this pace over a year? To discuss! The fact remains that I found some easy ones!
LIST OF EASY ZERO WASTE DISHES FOR BUSY PARENTS
I found a small list of dishes that are relatively easy to make and which allow you to avoid packaging if you buy basic foods in bulk. It can therefore be done during the week (for busy parents). The thing is, I'm going to need your help to make it bigger, because otherwise, we're going to become like children and we're going to get tired of always eating the same thing!
- Pasta (Latina makes returnable pots of sauce)
- Lasagna (with cheese on delivery or direct from the cheese maker)
- Risotto (but without white wine and with parmesan straight from the cheese maker)
- Rice with vegetables (you just have to find the soy sauce in bulk)
- Vegetable stir-fry
- Pasta/rice/couscous salad (again, you just have to make the sauce)
- Soup (returnable or homemade with homemade or returnable broth)
- Quiche (with cheese on delivery or direct from the cheese maker)
- Lentil shepherd's pie (you only need to make the creamed corn)
- Orzo with pesto and zucchini (if you make your own pesto sauce or if you can find it in consignment)
- Raw vegetables and baguette bread (at our house, we call it a picnic)
- (your ideas)
- (your ideas)
Is it just me or are there a lot of starchy foods on the list and/or does it take a cheese maker! 😆 And then, cow's milk isn't so eco-friendly... so we can't get away with it.
Speaking of milk, I forgot my favorite weekend recipe that can be made 100% with bulk ingredients: homemade oat milk pancakes! Mix 1/4t of whole oat flakes (organic) with 1t of water, put everything (including the okara) in 1t of flour with 2 eggs and a pinch of salt and mix. Double/triple the recipe as needed. So! Easy! And even the brown sugar and maple syrup to put in/on the pancakes can be found in bulk.
Just to reassure you: this article is above all an exercise in reflection! It’s the zero waste lifestyle taken to the extreme! Worse still, if we really want to push it even further to the extreme, everything would have to be vegan.
Would you be able to eat 100% zero waste? No? That's quite correct. I don't always want to cook that much either! The important thing is to move towards zero waste , not to be perfect.
Think of this as an article about vegetarianism . If you eat a lot of meat and want to pay more attention to the environment, I would say: start with one vegetarian dish per week, then two, then three. (In truth, I would especially tell you to replace beef with chicken..) There you go, slowly, by having good ideas for vegetarian recipes, you end up not eating too much meat!
It's the same for meals that you can make without throwing away any packaging (or with as little packaging as possible).
And for snacks, don’t give up ! I know, it would be so easy to buy Ficello, Babybel, Roll-o-Fruits, bear paws, bags of Ritz biscuits…! But let's try to resist the disposable invader!
We just need new snack ideas and we won't hide it: time . At different levels. It doesn't take long to cut vegetables (raw vegetables), but it takes a little longer to make applesauce, muffins, homemade yogurt, vegetable chips... Much longer to make mini pear panettone delicately candied... (joke, no one does that. Except during the holidays, in Italy)
Then, one thing that is undeniable: “homemade” is better for children’s health (and ours)! Let's remember the time when we made their purees when they were babies, because we wanted them well. It's almost the same...