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Sustainability Struggles & Solutions - SNACKS

We all know that living sustainably is a really big challenge in today's world, but we constantly hear from our Rowdy Kind Families that being sustainable with kids feels darn right impossible at times. We wanted to try to help in any way we could… So, a few weeks ago we asked:

“What is your biggest struggle with being sustainable with your kids?”

We received incredible responses via email and social media.  So we’re addressing the top challenges with some ideas on how to make them just a little bit easier!   Follow along with this four part blog series. 
This is Part 2 - SNACKS.

(If you missed it, Read Part 1 - TOYS here)

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From Crisps to Cookies, Yogurt to Sweets, and even Fruit & Veg - this was the most popular response to our question.  How can we snack more sustainably when everything is packaged in plastic?  As busy parents we don’t always have the time to DIY our own plastic free snacks, convenience = survival!  And when the kids want a cereal bar, they want a cereal bar - am I right?!?!

Some Tasty Solutions

Plastic-Free Packaged Snacks:

Okay, plastic free packaged snacks are hard to find, no question.  But keep your eye out as new companies keep popping up like: SNACT which uses ‘ugly’ fruits and backyard biodegradable packaging for their snacks, hüüg who makes a range of vegan and gluten free bars in compostable packaging, and PLAYinCHOC who offer sustainably and ethically sourced chocolate (which is also dairy, nut, gluten and of course plastic free!) that is delish!

Bulk Up!

Another great alternative is to buy in bulk and package your own (I know what you're thinking… I don’t have time for that, but hear me out...).  With a single trip to your local bulk food or zero waste store, you will find a plethora of snack options: pretzels, nuts & granola, cereals, chocolate buttons (for special occasions!), even cookies, and crisps in some cases!  No zero waste store - no problem, buy the ‘Family’ size at the supermarket and make that one piece of packaging go the extra mile. You can fill up some cute Marie Kondo style tubs and have your pantry looking FRESH, and all you have to do is pop single portions into a reusable container (like a used yogurt container, stasher bag, or Huski Home lunch box, or use a ziplock bag over, and over and over) and BAM packaged snacks are ready for camp! BONUS - it's generally much more economical.

Forgotten Cupboard Staples:

But, you don’t always have to search out and buy the latest snack trend innovation (which are often premium priced) or go out of your way to pop by a zero waste store, there are also store-cupboard, super simple snacks that maybe you’ve forgotten about!

Toast.  Yes, it doesn’t feel like a snack, but it’s nutritious, fills the hole, and each portion isn’t wrapped in plastic film. Dress it up with jam, peanut butter, hummus, nutella or just butter and you’ve got a variety pack!  Also, if your kids’ up for it - dive into the array of bread choices out there:  raisin bread, cinnamon swirl, ancient grains - the choices are endless! Combine it with a quick switch to bakery bread and the plastic problem is solved.
Popcorn. Whether you pop the kernels yourself or stretch one bag across multiple rounds of snacking - it really is easier than you think.  You can even make it ahead of time and stash it in a sealed container for a couple of days (but let’s be honest, it probably won’t last - just like at the theatre).  

Friendly Bake-a-thon?!

DIY-ing your own snacks is a chore that many parents don’t want to take on (definitely not us).  BUT, what if we make it a team effort?  Circle up that parent group and have a bake-a-thon one weekend.  Everyone pulls out grandma’s recipe for cookies, muffins, squares, dried fruit or whatever it is and make a BIG BATCH - then everyone swaps and all of a sudden your freezer is full with a variety of homemade snack options!  Yummmm.

Plastic Free Produce:

What about the Fruits & Veggies’? They often come with plastic tagging along too! Here are just three great options we found for the naked variety!

Oddbox - rescue wonky or surplus produce!  This is a great value option, and it feels like Christmas as they deliver in the middle of the night!
Riverford Organic Farmers - are trailblazers in sustainable organic farming, with a claim to fame of reducing like-for-like supermarket plastic by 80!
Organic Delivery Co - allows you to select an option for an entirely plastic free box! 

Plus of course, fruit, from the loose produce section!  I mean technically, fruit is “pre-wrapped”, why do we need plastic on it at all?  The issue is probably explaining to your kids why this is better for them and the planet than the pre-dried, sugar-added, plastic-wrapped version.  Tackle that conversation, they might surprise you when you explain why it’s best.

Summer Snack Ideas & Family Fun in One!

DIY Ice Cream.  Believe it or not, making your own ice cream at home is quite easy (and the kids love it!).  No, you don’t need to go buy a fancy ice cream maker - all you need is a few household ingredients, a metal tin (like our tins!) a bowl with a lid and about 20 mins of your kiddo’s patience!  For full instructions click here.
Berry Picking.  A fun day out, PLUS you will have zero plastic PLUS tired kids PLUS you can very easily freeze whole berries and sliced fresh fruits. They will keep for 12months plus (from personal experience) so all year long you can dip in, whizz them up and ta-da plastic free fruit snacks, smoothies, baked goods…..  It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN! 
Popsicles!  When did we stop making our own popsicles?  It’s SO FUN to do and results in endless creativity from your littles:  Fruit juice, smoothies, full berries, dare we experiment with some mint leaves?  All you need is an ice cube tray or any freezer-proof pot, wooden popsicles sticks and an imagination!  It’s basically a snack and art project in one 😉

There’s no doubt that a hunger for plastic free snacks puts you in a bit of a pickle, but it’s not about pear-fection (you see what I did there) and we hope these idea’s help to spark some positive change in your snack game.

Let us know what you think and make sure to share any extra ideas that we should include!

Stay tuned next week for Part #3 of this series - CLOTHES!

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