Skip the packaged snack foods and reduce your trash output by trying a few of these easy ways to green your kids snack routine. Snack smarter with some of these easy ways to go green at home and on the go.
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Choose Green Snacks for a Smaller Carbon Footprint
The one thing most kids have in common is their love of snacking. While 3 nutritious meals a day are important, snacking also has it’s benefits. Healthy snacks in between meals keep kids fueled up and gives them the energy they need to keep up with the demands of a busy schedule.
Snacking, however, can have quite a big carbon footprint, depending on the choices you make. If you want to green up your kids snack routine this year, here are a few things you may want to consider.
Buy in bulk
Buying pretzels, crackers and dried cereal in bulk is cheaper than buying individually wrapped serving size bags. Send your child’s snacks in snack sized reusable storage containers. This is convenient if your child only eats half of what you send. Just put the lid back on and bring the leftovers home. That way, your kids’ snack routine is resulting in food waste.
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Make it from scratch
Baking cookies from scratch is cheaper and creates far less waste than buying a box of cookies at the grocery store. Skip the packaging waste and add wholesome ingredients by making your child’s snacks in your own kitchen. Check out my recipe for homemade molasses cookies and start baking!
Add organic to your kids snack routine
Organic snack foods have become quite popular in the last few years. Usually, organic snacks have far fewer artificial ingredients as well as being grown without pesticides. Supporting the organic food industry is a great way to reduce your snacking carbon footprint.
Choose beverages wisely
Individual boxes of juice and bottles of sports drinks are not very eco friendly. Instead of choosing sugar laden sodas or artificially colored juice mixes, invest in a reusable water bottle and fill it from the sink. Water is a much healthier alternative for kids snack time and using a reusable bottle cuts down on waste significantly.
Skip the plastic utensils
If you giving your child a snack that needs a spoon or fork, skip the plastic, disposable options and go with regular silverware. If you are concerned about your good forks and spoons being lost at school, consider buying a cheap set to use just for snack time. Check out my post on how you can save the planet one fork at a time.
Use cloth napkins
Snack time can be incredibly messy but rather than handing your child a paper towel, consider investing in cloth napkins. They are incredibly easy to toss in the washing machine and will add one less thing to your trash can.
Recycle what you can
Many items like plastic pudding cups and cracker boxes can be recycled. Make sure you recycle everything you can. Remind your child to bring home their recyclables if they don’t have a recycling program at their school. Unfortunately, most schools don’t consider a green snack routine to be a priority.
Skip the wrappers completely
Consider buying snacks for your kids that don’t have wrappers at all! Apples have very little waste associated with them except for the compostable core. Apple flavored fruit snacks, however, come wrapped in multiple layers of plastic and cardboard. Choose fresh foods for minimal packaging.
Eco-Friendly Ways to Pack Your Snacks
Sustainable snacks are good for the planet. Here are a few ways to pack a greener snack.
- Reusable Silicone Bags. Reusable storage bags are perfect containers for food, lunch, snacks, vegetable, fruit,
- Glass Containers and Jars: Buy mason jars or upcycle baby food jars for a green snack routine. There are a million ways to use glass jars so never throw them out!
- Metal Containers: Small metal containers are great for throwing in a back pack or purse since they won’t get squished.
- Compostable Parchment Paper: Unbleached chlorine-free, this is a great way to wrap a sandwich.
A green snack routine can be just as tasty, a lot more healthy, and create less waste than traditional packaged snacks from the grocery store. As kids head off to school, sports, and grandma’s house, make sure they pack a green snack with them! For some healthy snack ideas, check out Healthline.com
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.