Tackling school lunch waste

Tackling school lunch waste

Do your children take an apple to school in the morning just to bring it back at the end of the day? Do they eat half a sandwich and bring the rest home, looking sad and stale? Uneaten food in school lunches is food waste that we can reduce – sometimes! Here are our top tips for reducing school lunch food waste.


Get the kids involved

It all begins with a conversation and involving children in the process whether in grocery shopping, prepping and cooking food, or growing produce in the garden. These activities open up different channels to start conversations about the value of food, the cost of food, and what happens when food gets thrown away. Planning and cooking together may get a little messy, but builds important connections.


Keeping track

Check what is being left behind in lunchboxes and adjust.

When you start seeing a pattern of food that is not being eaten completely, try serving smaller portions, or cutting the fruit and vegetables so it is easier to eat. If they repeatedly bring home their sandwiches or wraps, it’s time to try something else!

Try making home made sushi rolls, rice balls, pita bread pizzas, summer rolls, baked spring rolls, or just a boiled egg and vegetables.


Save what they don’t eat

Fruit and vege with only a few bites are worth saving. They may just need a trim around the bitten parts, then cut into smaller pieces and can be cooked or keep in a bag in the freezer to be used later in smoothies. Read about our 8 awesome ideas for less than perfect apples, and the next time you find apples with only a few bites taken out you will know how to save and transform the apple!


What waste at school looks like

Apples school waste

A number of New Zealand schools have done food waste audits and looked to see how much avoidable food waste their students were throwing away. To read more on that and spark some ideas on what you can do find it here.