What if you could save the planet and feed your kids better all in one go? Chair of Wesley’s Sustainability Committee, Mrs Anna Sellings, has a plan…
Nude food is a huge topic at the moment. Parents always react to the phrase in the same way: a moment of confusion about the word ‘nude’ followed by a groan at another element of life getting more complicated.
So, let’s start at the beginning: what is nude food? Well, that’s easy enough, it’s food without excess packaging. The more natural and less processed the food, the better – think vegetables, fruit, home-made muesli slices, salads, noodles, sandwiches…
That’s the bit where people groan. Yes, I know. I can hear it, but to be honest I probably groaned louder than you. Nobody wants to be the one telling you what you already know – that waste is choking our planet and we need to change our ways.
Of course, good intentions don’t put extra time in your day. It’s already a rush making lunches the conventional way, nude food is only going to take longer, surely?
Well, perhaps. Packets are popular because they’re quick – but with the tips below, you may well find that nude food ends up being quite an appealing solution.
Tip 1 – Buy a Lunchbox
There are a million choices available, but most converts to nude food say that multi-compartment lunchboxes are the go. By creating sections, you don’t need to wrap anything up – you just fill each compartment, slam on the lid and everything stays in place – even liquid things like dips.
Tip 2 – Get in the Kitchen
Ok, this is the one that everybody hates, but with a bit of weekend planning the whole week will be easier. Perhaps involve the kids in chopping up carrots or teach them how to make some nude food meals. Alternatively, go it alone, but aim to have a week of sliced vegetables, cut fruit and home-made muffins (or whatever takes your fancy) that you can just pull straight out of the fridge and throw in a lunchbox in the morning.
Tip 3 – Feel Superior
Firstly, you’re doing something to save the planet so you can mention it casually at dinner parties and reap the reward of being the most woke parent. But, much more importantly, you can enjoy the comfort of knowing what your child is really eating. None of us really look closely enough at the colourings and preservatives in the processed treats we use. But if you’re the one making tasty bliss balls or cookies you know exactly how natural they are.
The funny thing is, that while this seems like a very modern problem, the solution is as old as we are.
I can still remember what my friends and I used to have for lunch. It’s hard to forget… I had an apple and a piece of chocolate cake for recess and a cheese and gherkin sandwich for lunch – every day for 12 years.
Mum would make a chocolate cake on the weekend, with oats in to make it ‘healthy’. In summer, she would freeze a little bottle of water that slotted into my lunch box and in winter it wasn’t frozen.
My best friend Sara had a Vegemite sandwich and an apple every day… and was jealous of my chocolate cake. We were both jealous of Belinda’s cold spaghetti jaffles.
If we were to replicate those lunches today, but obviously without the Gladwrap, it would be pretty simple right? You could use one of those little sandwich boxes or a beeswax wrap to keep the bread (and possibly even cake) fresh, while the apple takes care of itself.
Ok, I admit a lot of my apples went home – they’re a lot to get through for little jaws when all you want to do at recess is summersaults off the monkey bars. Maybe grapes would be better or sultanas?
The thing is, food doesn’t need to be complicated. It just needs to provide enough energy for kids to get through the day. All these convenient, single-serve, individually packaged bags of processed rubbish, are just that – rubbish. They take energy to produce, energy to dispose of, release gas in landfills and don’t do the one thing you want them to do, that is: give your kids sustained energy to play and learn.
Of course, this push for reduced waste isn’t purely at your door. The College is also in the process of making changes in everything we do, to be as ecologically friendly as possible. If you haven’t seen the articles we’ve written, take a look at what we’re doing in the different sub-schools:
We’re trying hard. We literally go through our bins examining what’s been thrown away so we can look for ways to improve our systems. That’s nobody’s favourite job.
However, one thing we have noticed in our waste audits is loads of juice boxes and liquid breakfast drinks. A lot of students grab them for breakfast after training. We all know that sugar rots teeth and the plastic straws get stuck in turtles’ noses.
Please consider crossing them off your shopping list. It’s a simple thing that would make an instant impact on the amount of waste we create at Wesley.
I bet one of Belinda’s cold spaghetti jaffles would make an awesome post-training snack.
Alright, so that’s lots of advice, but why share it now? Well, later this year, we will be introducing Waste-Free Wednesdays. Lots of information on that will follow, but I think we can do better. With a bit of planning and a bit of support, I believe we can – and should – be waste-free every day.
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