Obviously eating their packed lunch is no competition for playing with friends or sharing a friend’s valued pack of crisps. And that is just the food that makes it home. Teachers will say a pile of the same food is discarded into bins at school after lunchtime.
What are we doing wrong?
Why is this part of the $5.2 billion worth of food Australians waste each year? (See http://foodwise.com.au/did-you-know/fast-facts.aspx)
Before the box is even opened, we need to know there is enough ‘mandatory’ sit down to eat time. Many schools have a set time for eating, followed by play time. Or, as Patrick at Wastewise Schools suggests, play first then eat. Either way, a reasonable time for eating sounds good.
Now, what is being discarded?
Sandwiches, whole or half eaten fruit, half finished yoghurt, half finished drinks etc. Perhaps cutting fruit and sandwiches into bite sized pieces may be an option for speed eating busy children or just giving them less lunch box options.
Do you have any clever ideas for desperate parents?
How do we find a balance between providing children with a nutritious lunch and also minimising wastage?