I realize that before joining the movement to reduce waste I’d never stopped to think about school snacks. Looking around the school playground, the amount of waste is shocking and pretty unhealthy for our kids too. School snacks often consist of highly processed cakes, biscuits or crisps in plastic wrappers, juices packed in cartons with a plastic straw wrapped in plastic. If that wasn’t enough, these individual snacks often come in multi-packs wrapped in yet another layer of plastic! Following the zero-waste philosophy that individual choices and actions make an impact, I’d like to share some ideas from the snacks we prepare at home. I hope to at least inspire you – and remember, they’re not just for the little ones, tasty and healthy snacks will be a hit for anyone in the family on the go!
The structure of the snack is always the same, but I vary the contents to keep it interesting.
Piece of fruit + drink + solid snack
Piece of fruit: I usually include pieces of fruit than can peeled or eaten with the skin on. This type of fruit has its own packaging and it preserves the vitamins! Our favourites: Bananas, tangerines, apples or pears.
Drink: milk, milkshakes, homemade lemon juice, fruit juices or smoothies. I re-use little glass bottles like the ones in the photo, refilling each day. Stainless steel bottles are better for younger children of course!
Solid snack: sweet or savoury. For sweet snacks try homemade sponges, biscuits or the timeless flapjack! (Check out our yummy zero waste vegan flapjack recipe). When it comes to savory, the classic sandwich is always a winner. I wrap them in a cloth napkin that serves two purposes. Beeswax food wraps are a great option too of course.
Instead of placing it all in a plastic bag, I pack them in one of our natural cotton & linen cloth bags or a natural jute fibre bag of course! They can be used over and over again and I always have some handy.
Examples of healthy zero-waste snacks
Snack 1: banana, orange juice and flapjack
Snack 2: apple, strawberry milkshake and homemade cookies
Snack 3: pear, homemade lemon juice, ham & cheese sandwich
Snack 4: tangerine, vegetable milk and sponge cake
Snack 5: walnuts, chocolate milkshake, and a slice of baguette with olive oil and salt (a Spanish classic)
Snack 5: apple, mango smoothie, and an avocado sandwich
I hope these ideas help you to quickly prepare some tasty alternatives. Would love to hear your ideas and inspiration in the comments below. ?