Over the last few years I’ve been making a conscious effort to be more eco friendly when feeding my children. During my journey to be more planet conscious and less wasteful I’ve also realised that being more eco friendly also usually ends up saving us money!
My children are 3 and 5, so well past the weaning stage but when Nuby asked me to share my top tips for ‘clean, green ways to wean’ I jumped at the chance. My weaning journey may be over but I hope some of the things I learned along the way will help you in your journey.
Eco friendly top tips
1. Meal plan
If you follow me on social media you will know this is something I go on about all the time! 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! Stick your meal plan up on your fridge and if you want to be super organised you can make a list of what you have to make sure no food gets forgotten!
2. Batch cook
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.
3. Avoid plastic tableware
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 is just unnecessary. I absolutely love the new Nuby table wear 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 or compost heap 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!
You can check them out here
4. Use face cloths instead of baby wipes
Baby wipes are 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!
5. Grow your own fruit and veg
Ok, hear me out. I never would’ve 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?!
6. Ditch the clingfilm and tinfoil
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.
7. Consider using a local, sustainable shop.
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!
8. Save your scraps!
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! Banana is a great one to freeze, especially when they are starting to brown, just slice them up, pop in the freezer then mix them in a food processor to make a really tasty, creamy, healthy banana ice cream!
9. Eat meat free a few times a week
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 really tasty, filling meals the whole family will enjoy with them!
10. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself
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! I found the more we changed and learned the more motivated I was to keep making positive changes to become more eco friendly! Lifestyle changes take time and the main thing is to be aware and do what you can.
I hope you have found these tips useful.
What are your favourite tips for being more environmentally friendly while weaning and feeding your family? I’d love you to share and help inspire others!
You can find the new rice husk range from Nuby here along with fantastic downloadable resources to support you with weaning and ideas for eco friendly fun!
This post was written in paid partnership with Nuby as part of their ‘clean, green way to wean’ campaign. All opinions expressed are my own and everything you read here is written by me, from the heart x