Food Waste Lessons

What is food waste? What are some problems associated with it? How can we prevent and reduce food waste at home?

These are the questions that parents and teachers will be exploring with students aged 5-18 with these food waste lessons, which were developed as a bonus feature for the 2021 Agri-Food Experience through Western Fair District.  There are two sets of lessons; one for students aged 5-11, and one for students aged 12-18.

Food waste is an issue that interacts with the food system at various points including during production, distribution, and in households. These lessons focus on avoidable food waste in households where students can potentially help to significantly reduce the amount of food waste produced. These materials have been created as educational resources for teaching students aged 5-11 and 12-18 about food waste with the following learning outcomes:

  • Students will understand what food waste is
  • Students will describe some problems related to food waste
  • Students will understand solutions for reducing food waste at home

Educational materials are attached for both age groups below. Each set of materials includes a slide deck, a short video paired with reflection questions, and a collection of three activities that can be introduced in class and completed at home.

Lesson Plan: Age Group 5-11

Guide: Food Waste 5-11
Presentation: Food Waste 5-11

Reflection Questions:

  • Why is food waste a problem?
  • How much food gets wasted every year?
  • How can you help prevent food waste?



Chickpea Vegetable Salad (Students can substitute any of the vegetables in the recipe with what is in their fridge to make this a “fridge clean-out recipe”)

Lesson Plan: Age Group 12-18

Guide: Food Waste 12-18
Presentation: Food Waste 12-18

Reflection Questions:  

  • How much food gets wasted every year? 
  • Why is it important to prevent food waste? 
  • How does preventing food waste help the environment? 
  • List some ways that food producers, grocery stores, and individuals can help prevent food waste. 
  • How will you help reduce food waste? 



Scrambled Eggs with Vegetables (Students can substitute any of the vegetables in the recipe with what is in their fridge to make this a “fridge clean-out recipe”)