What to do with kitchen scraps when you have kids

 Food waste with kids

By Alyce Kirk

Do you have kids? Do they eat all the food you lovingly make for them each day? Yeah, mine neither. Although one time I do recall my youngest declaring one dinner “the best ever” until I went to make it again. 

We are lucky to have both backyard chickens who eat our table scraps, as well as a compost heap. But I’m someone who likes to get the absolute most out of my food. So here are three ways to use your kitchen scraps in creative ways with kids.

1. Homemade Paint

While we are still very slowly making our way through our stockpile of craft and paints that we accumulated before changing to a sustainable way of living, I have been experimenting with making my own paint as the girls just love painting. 

It’s worth mentioning that I will still use our existing paints and craft items because I feel it’s wasteful to not use them, but I do not plan on purchasing any more. 

I just cook cornflour and boiling water in a saucepan, approx. 1 cup water and three teaspoons of cornflour, and add blended up vegetables/fruits/spices to create the desired colour. I add a bit more water for a smoother, runnier paint. Or add more cornflour for thicker paint. 

As its food-based, it’s also edible! I used to make a similar one when the kids were babies, as I didn’t have to stress about them popping the paintbrush in their mouths. 

 

2. Using scraps as a natural food colouring

Much like making homemade paint, using scraps to create natural colours is quick and easy.  

Boiling kitchen scraps in a saucepan can create natural liquid food colouring. This can be used to dye practically anything from play dough, material, or even eggs at Easter time. 

Some colour suggestions are using carrot or paprika to make orange, spinach leaves make a dark green, turmeric for yellow, beetroot for red, raspberries and blueberries for pink and purple, and my personal favourite is using red cabbage leaves and baking soda which magically turns blue! Amazing stuff, even the kids were impressed. 

3. DIY stamps

I remember being in primary school using half a potato cut into stars, squares and triangles to dip in paint and print onto paper. 

The concept is exactly the same, but you can use anything! Lemon (or any citrus really) after I’ve used it in my tea makes interesting circles. Half an onion, apple slices, carrots for smaller circles, or even mushroom slices. 

Bonus points for then upcycling the craft into homemade cards and wrapping paper for all the millions of parties kids get invited to. 

My other tip is to invest in a few Swag bags (can be bought from Banish) to prolong the life of your fruit and veg. One of the best purchases I’ve made this year!

About the author

Alyce Kirk is Banish's resident Parenting Editor and mum of two girls who is kicking goals when it comes to reducing her families footprint and wants to empower her kids to make the best choices for our beautiful planet.


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