Every now and then I get asked about meal ideas and what we eat over the course of a week. It can be hard for people to imagine or plan weekly meals when plastic packaged food seems to be the only option. There’s also a perception that package free food is more expensive, which makes people curious about our meals. It seems obvious then that I’d share what we eat and drink throughout a week. However, the topic of what we eat and feed our children often evokes emotional reactions from individuals, and I have found myself shying away from sharing this information. There’s always judgement from someone about meat content, dairy content, sugar content, fruit and vegetable content, carbohydrate content, and artificial flavourings and colourings, but very little understanding of things which influence family meals like sensory processing differences in children, availability of affordable fresh food, and various household dynamics. So what made me decided to share? I realised that it might help others reduce their waste and that probably outweighs any insecurities I have about our diet. And, my insecurities and difficulties actually have nothing to do with plastic and package free living. So if you are looking for insight into plastic free and zero waste living, I hope these weekly accounts of what we ate help in some way.
Some things to note:
- We often have dinner leftovers and we always eat those for our next lunch (sometimes breakfast).
- I tend to bake a batch of something and when that’s been eaten I bake something else for snacks. I find it helps lessen food waste.
- We have access to package free milk because we live on a dairy farm.
- We focus on local and in-season ingredients.
- Shopping for all these ingredients doesn’t happen weekly. Most pantry items can be bought every few months.
- I don’t have access to bulk stores but I have managed to find bits and pieces that I can get in bulk around my district.
Three Weekly Winter Meal Plans
This is a reflection of how we have been eating lately. If people are interested I will do a similar post for each of the seasons.
Here is the corresponding ingredients list for all those meals and how I buy it.
- Bread and baked goods – package free or homemade (extra loaves kept in freezer)
- Flour – package free or large paper bag
- Rice – package free
- Sugar – package free or large paper bag
- Brown sugar – homemade
- Vanilla essence – homemade
- Cacao powder – package free
- Baking powder – package free and homemade
- Oils – package free
- Honey – package free
- Dried fruit – package free
- Shredded coconut – package free
- Nuts – package free
- Seeds – package free
- Pasta – bought in a box
- Porridge – recyclable box
- Muesli – package free
- Cornflakes – package free
- Tea – package free
- Coffee – glass jar that gets reused
- In season local fruits – package free or homegrown
- Butter – parchment paper which gets reused for baking before being composted
- Eggs – backyard or from friends or a nearby producer if ours aren’t producing
- Milk – package free
- Capers – glass jar which gets recycled
- Medjool dates – package free
- Jam – homemade and glass jar
- Cheddar cheese – waxed coating
- Parmesan cheese – package free
- Feta – package free
- Meat and fish – package free
- Pickles – glass jar that gets reused
- Herbs – home-grown
- Tomato paste – glass jar that gets reused
- In season local vegetables – package free or home-grown (onions, potatoes, etc. stored in pantry)
I’d love it if you could share with me some of your favourite easy zero waste meals.