21 Responses to “sweet potato waffles + thoughts on food waste”


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  1. We minimize food waste TO THE MAX! But I know a lot of other people don’t. For example, I’ve read a few bloggers straight up say “I don’t like leftovers”…uh, what? So it’s garbage? CRAZY! I’m so glad you posted about this today AND! these waffles. They look perfect!

    • Hi Katrina, Three cheers for you! It can be tough to stay on top of things, but I think planning on leftovers is a good approach. Like, we try to make a double portion of a dish so it will make two meals instead of an awkward 3/4 portion leftover. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  2. Oof I don’t know what super viruses are but they don’t sound good! I also have no experience with children not eating their food/picky eaters butttt when I have a lot of leftover vegetables, I tend to toss everything into soup or a quiche or scrambled eggs or a bowl of noodles. It really kills me that people barely recycle in Houston and I miss the compost my mom runs back home since I can’t compost from my apartment…in the meantime, I’ve been experimenting with using every part of certain vegetables to reduce my food waste–I made kale stem pesto the other day and it wasn’t bad!

    • Hi Erika, Thanks for stopping by and commenting! We didn’t have any crazy sickness or anything, but kids are secretly germ buckets (adorable ones at least). And yum, I love your leftover ideas –– eggs make everything better. In our old apartment we had a balcony, and tried composting out there for a while, but things got gross, fast. Kale stem pesto sounds great! We save ours for broth too.

  3. Jessica

    I serve things on the table in pots and platters instead of dishing it up on each person’s plate first. That way if my son (age 4) doesn’t want it, he hasn’t put his hands all over it (or coughed on it…). That helps. Also, after throwing away way, way, way too much food, I simply don’t give him food until he asks for it or I offer it and he responds that, yes, he would like some of whatever it is.

    I don’t serve more than a little at a time. His latest favorite food is frozen strawberries, so I’ll only put 3 or 4 in a bowl at a time. If he wants more, I’ll get them, but I’m not going to put 10 in a bowl and let half of them get thawed and forgotten. Yes, it gets annoying when I have to haul my super-pregnant belly back and forth for refills, but better than throwing money out the window!

    For things like scrambled eggs, once I’ve made it, I’ve made it and I won’t be making more. If the 2 eggs aren’t enough for him, he can have fruit, nuts, a glass of milk, a slice of cheese, or something else that’s quick and easy.

    • Hi Jessica,
      I LOVE your ideas! I feel like you’ve articulated some of the tactics I try to use, but since I’ve never sat down and listed them out, things can get wishy washy. Even though it’s so simple, your idea of serving dinner in pots and platters is great. Somehow, I got in the habit of plating my girls’ food before we sat down, and that definitely leads to waste. I really appreciate you taking the time to share all of this great advice!

  4. My favorite thing about waffles is they freeze beautifully; no waste!

  5. The colors in these photos are just beautiful! I love the contrast of the blood (cara cara? grapefruit?) oranges against the white plate.
    I think even being aware of waste is so important. A lot of people, unfortunately, would not think twice about it. And composting is great! As long as that compost goes back into the earth along the way.

  6. Amy

    I love leftovers for a weekday lunch at work. My favorite kind of lunch. Sometimes I choose what to make for dinner based on how easy it is to reheat at work.

  7. With bigger munchkins in the house now, nothing is ever left over. They plow through everything I cook. However, if I leave something in the frig, in the back, it can become scary. Most dairy products can still be baked with way over date (not that I would admit to them that I’ve put such things in their muffins.) Also, eating later at night without snacks beforehand makes them more willing to accept things on their plate. Of course, with littles, you have to balance the tiredness factor. As you mentioned, veggies first is always important, as is limiting sugar so that they taste the naturally occurring sweetness in their food. Of course, as a last resort, (or for children who you are feeding when their mother is far, far, away) bribing with dessert can work wonders to get a little protein into the mouth.

  8. Great post! What a wonderful use of leftover sweet potatoes. I’ve even seen waffles made with leftover mashed potatoes!

    I have yet to have to feed little ones but we do try to minimize waste as much as possible. Here in Nova Scotia, we are lucky to have province wide composting to keep food waste out of landfills. We do try to use up leftovers as well. They make perfect lunches! I also save my vegetable scraps weekly to makes a batch of stock plus freeze anything that seems to be past its prime like spinach since it can then go in a stew or soup. Lately, we find the more we plan, the less we waste. That way we buy exactly what we need from the market without anything going to waste.

    Thanks for the thoughtful post!

  9. I hate food waste but sometimes we just forget things are there. Things like vegetables and fruit, that look a bit limp or have gone by the use by date, unless they have mould we use in soups or sauces etc
    We often cook meat even if it’s past it’s use by date by a day or two. If it smells good we usually eat it.
    The freezer is a good tool to prevent food waste and we often buy met that is about to go off and store in the freezer to reduce shopping costs

  10. MB

    What a gorgeous post… the waffles look divine. Thanks for bringing up such an important topic as well. Oh, the guilt I feel when my family wastes food! It’s tough to get the portions just right sometimes, and I find myself saying to the kids… “Please finish what’s on your plate.” But if they say: “I’m full, no thanks.” What to do? I do like Jessica’s idea of serving from pots and platters… and I am the queen of taking leftovers for lunch…

  11. Abunker

    One word – chickens!
    Nothing goes to waste in our house. Our girls LOVE it when the kids don’t eat everything 😝

    • Elizabeth

      Hi Angelina, That’s it! We’re currently renting, but I definitely see a chicken coop in my future. Thanks for dropping by and sharing this fantastic advice. Now, I just have to convince Brian that this is the way to go.

  12. Lauren

    Internet Confessional: I’m the worst about food waste. Truly. It would seem to follow that if I KNOW I waste food and keep mental, guilty tabs on it, that I wouldn’t in fact be “the worst.” However, it’s the fact that I am fully aware and still choose selfishness and LAZINESS consistently that drives me nuts about myself!

    My husband and I don’t have children yet and work oddball hours – I’m a bookkeeper and funky retail manager, and he’s in titles, cars, and accounts receivables. We make PLENTY of money, and we love giving to our church and responsible city organizations. It thrills us to be in a position to be generous! And I STILL just threw out $9 worth of raw chicken that we set out to thaw, had a last minute change of plans, and then I chose — CHOSE, not forgot, chose — not to cook it the next day because I preferred reading my book.

    And I have to be wheat free and limit other grains, so we always have tons of fresh produce around because I eat so very much of it since I can’t just snack on a piece of toast or a sandwich or normal crackers. We always buy more than we need because I’m so flighty and “free-spirited” (read: selfish) that I want whatever I want, and I don’t want to run out.

    Sigh. Thanks for reading and letting me share. I think I’ll go tell my bestie so she can hold me accountable to how much money and food I cause my family to waste. It’s certainly not the hubby’s fault – he does the grocery shopping and buys things this way because I’ve asked him to.

    Thanks for the thoughtful blog post that poked at a little guilty spot in my heart and made me want to face a part of me that I don’t like. One day, we’ll have kiddos, and leading by example starts before they ever make an appearance.

    • Elizabeth

      Hi Lauren, I love your thoughts on this. While we’re confessing, I’ve been staring down a busier than usual few weeks, and food I bought or got through the CSA has absolutely been slipping through the cracks. I hate knowing it’s going to waste, and yet I feel powerless to stop it. I think you outline a nice (but gentle) approach going forward –– speaking about intentions with friends and just generally committing to waste less is a great place to start. We’re all in this together, so thanks for sharing your experience here –– I really appreciate it.


  1. […] – I do – a little luxury I allow myself).  The other day I ran across a link to Cornmeal Sweet Potato Waffles from brooklyn supper.  So….this morning I thought I would surprise the girls with them. […]

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  3. […] were all so wonderful in this post about food waste and I’d really love to hear your tips, tricks, and struggles in keeping your own family healthy. […]

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