Back to top

Kid-Friendly Tips: Cooking for Leftovers

Stop Food Waste Blog

Kid-Friendly Tips: Cooking for Leftovers

Jun 13, 2019

Stop Food Waste Blog

Leftovers. You either love them or loathe them. For many of us with families to feed, we also have to consider the pickiness and behaviors of our children… and partners.

If finishing leftovers is a constant struggle in your home, consider planning ahead and being strategic with portion sizes and storage to avoid the inevitable "tired-of-eating-this-every-day" syndrome. At the same time, you can make life a little easier by having a ready-made meal that everyone loves prepared for a busy weeknight. 

We’ve received this tip from a number of parents throughout Alameda County. It seems that some of you are already making use of this time and food saver, whether it’s curry, soup, lasagna, or enchiladas:

 If I make a big pot of curry, I try to freeze half so we can eat it next week rather than trying to finish or throwing away in two days. My family gets variety the next day, too. -Fremont Mom

I will often freeze half a batch of soup or make double of freezable casseroles (enchiladas, shepherd's pie, etc.) since we aren't always the best at using up leftovers right away. -San Leandro Mom

Remember to always label and date the leftovers you put in the freezer to avoid confusion. We don’t want to end up throwing that good food away after months of it getting lost or forgotten behind the frozen fruit and fish sticks!


Some recipes freeze better than others. Here is a list of 10 Big Batch Dinners that taste just as good the second time around.

Get tips on how to freeze and thaw leftovers safely, and find a helpful chart on how long those leftovers (and other frozen ingredients) will last in the freezer.

Over at The Kitchn you can find a helpful guide on the types of packaging for freezing.