Has fussy eating created our food waste crisis?

Modern parents are throwing away a quarter of meals they cook because of fussy eating habits.

New research has revealed of the 1,460 evening meals parents prepare for their family each year the equivalent of 394 of those are getting thrown away.

The poll of 2,000 parents found eight in ten regularly end up throwing away at least part of their children’s uneaten meals, with salad the dish most likely to be left followed by meat and veg, stir-fry and risotto.

Forty-five per cent blame this on their children being fussy eaters with 57 per cent admitting they have put a meal in front of their child, only to have them completely refuse to eat it.

And a staggering 78 per cent had to face a child turning down a meal because they ‘didn’t like it’ – despite happily eating it in the past.

Others reasons for children not eating everything on their plates include tucking into snacks before meal times, not having a big appetite and messing around so much they don’t end up finishing.

A spokesperson for food waste disposal firm InSinkErator, which commissioned the research, said: “Mealtimes can often be a chaotic and stressful time for families, whether that’s because of a lack of time to get everything prepared or because family members don’t want to eat what’s on their plate.

“Parents will spend a large chunk of their time preparing and cooking evening meals for the family, so it can be frustrating to end up throwing so much of that food away.

“Not only that, but there is a cost implication to think about, with all of that wasted food coming out of their pocket and into the bin.”

Top ten foods children refuse to eat – and end up in the bin

1. Mushrooms
2. Avocado
3. Cabbage
4. Tomatoes
5. Broccoli
6. Lettuce
7. Green Beans
8. Onions
9. Peppers
10. Salmon


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