Step Two: Notice how much you really eat
Now my cupboards and fridge were sorted, I then decided to take a really long, hard look at what I cook and how much of this ends up in the bin!
I spent a week cooking the same meals and quantities of food I usually did. I then looked at:
- how much food got left on plates and had to be thrown away
- how much food never even made it to the plates (i.e. I’d cooked too much of it) and ended up being thrown away.
I noticed a pattern of always cooking too much pasta, rice and potatoes and often found these hard to use up even as leftovers. I also cooked too many vegetables – and given that at least one of my children refuses to eat any vegetables at all (at this point in time!!) I was being ever so slightly optimistic.
So I made a conscious note to cook less next time. I invested in some nifty portion control utensils. Mine are from the Healthy Steps range which I found at my local supermarket but I’ve also seen them on Amazon. I have this Three-Piece Serving Set as well as the Pasta Basket and Ladle – the starch spoon in particular is really useful for measuring out things like mashed potato and rice and I now can’t make a meal without it.
I also dove into the treasure trove of really useful information on the Love Food Hate Waste website, in particular the excellent Portion Planner to get an idea of what a portion really looks like. I was surprised!
And then I made a final change – which was to serve food family style. This meant placing food in serving bowls or on plates in the middle of the table so that my husband and kids could help themselves. This was and still is an excellent way of getting a realistic idea of how much we really do eat. I only need to look at what’s left behind on the serving dishes to know to cook less next time. It also means the leftovers I have are untouched and can be quickly wrapped in cling film or foil and put straight in the fridge. Not only has this one step helped me cut back on our food waste but it’s really changed family mealtimes for the better too. See our Quick Tip Tuesday One Simple Tip to Make Family Mealtimes Easier where I explain in more detail.
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