This question comes up so often! The fate of scraps varies at our house, depending on what the scraps are made of.
Cheese scraps - usually eaten right away. I'll eat them if I get an opportunity, but usually I have Ethan or Paige calling dibs on them as cute shapes are being cut. The baby loves cheese and the scraps are usually in perfect baby-bite-sized pieces, so they often end up on his highchair tray. Very rarely cheese scraps will end up in the fridge to be eaten later. Very rarely. There are too many people in this house vying for cheese for the scraps to make it that far.
Sometimes the bigger cheese scraps will be tucked in a bento box under the cute easily-visible shapes. When I do put them in there I usually take pains to hide them and use tricky camera angles so they aren't as noticeable. ;-)
In this bento box you can kinda tell that the bears are propped up on something - that "something" is cheese scraps. You can see a little of it under the bear on the right.
Fruit leather scraps - when I'm thinking ahead I make the scraps look pretty to be used on other meals in a cute way - such as Ethan's edible nametag in a lunch or to quickly add a little decoration to lunch on a plate. The real scrappy scraps get collected in a snack sized baggie and used for snacks. It's quick and easy to grab the snack baggie of scraps from the pantry when I'm heading out the door with the kiddies.
Bread scraps - the cutters I usually use for making cute sandwiches are Lunch Punch, which are designed to only cut away the crusts. There is very little waste there and the crusts are usually tossed in the trash. Sometimes I'll eat them if I'm starving and lately the baby is gobbing them up too. I don't worry about crusts too much, but I would like to try saving them to make bread crumbs at some point. At some point when I can be organized enough to manage such tasks.
Cucumber scraps - Sometimes the scraps of cucumbers are hiding under the pretty shapes you see in a bento box, sometimes they are fed to the baby or kept in the fridge to be added to our salads at dinner. Sometimes the cucumber scraps follow a convoluted path to find their ultimate destiny.
Wanna see? :)
Here we have the pretty cucumber flowers from Paige's kinda-sorta deconstructed pasta salad bento on Friday:
Next step, peel away the skin. It's easier to peel the slices with an actual peeling tool before cutting the cute shapes because the solid slices are just easier to handle (having no middle makes them floppy and push away from the pressure you are putting on the peel). But I wasn't that organized and did it the harder way of peeling it after the shapes were cut. With a big knife. Again, I don't recommend doing it this way. ;-)
Cut the scrap pieces into whatever sized chunks work for you. I was going to feed these to my baby/toddler, so I diced them into pretty small pieces.
Cute little cucumber scraps ready for baby Tyler!
Oops. Baby Tyler fell asleep while mama was taking pictures. Poor baby. It's not easy having a kinda-sorta food blogger for a mommy sometimes. :(
Good thing that cute little bowl has a lid. It gets stowed in the fridge to be used later.
If I had a compost bin I'd put the cucumber peel in that. But I don't have a compost bin. *sniff sniff*.
Later that day I had to pack snacks/mini-meals for all the kids to take to their playdate/childcare thing and hubby and I got to go out all alone. Just the two of us! Yay!
The cucumber bits were packed in Tyler's little bento.
(sorry for the truly terrible picture!)
Packed in a nibble tray Tyler had strawberries, fishies, multi-grain crackers, salami, cucumber, and mozzarella cheese.
So that's how scraps go down at our house. Other than a few random bread crusts, everything is eaten. We have too many mouths to feed here to let anything go to waste! ;-)
Some info about the red storage cup I used for the cucumber bits (because I know there will be questions! There always are!) :)
It's a Kinderville Little Bites Storage Jar. They come as a set of four, made of a really nice sturdy silicone, hold about 3.5 ounces (also come in larger 10oz. size) and come in very fun colors. I ordered them from Amazon, I don't know where else they are available. I had hoped I could use them inside bentos, but they are too big to fit in anything other than the Goodbyn. So far I'm finding them really useful to store small amounts of food in the fridge since they are smaller than most of our Tupperware type containers. I am liking that I can take it from fridge, to microwave to child without having to switch dishes. I don't put plastic in the microwave, and our stoneware dishes are not suitable for storage. So before I'd have food in Tupperware in fridge, move to stoneware (breakable) plate for microwaving and then move to a child-safe dish for eating...that's a lot of dishes to go through! The silicone is nice for the kids to feed themselves out of since the silicone is grippy on hard surfaces, like the table and highchair tray, and don't slide away from them (especially nice for my toddler since he's just learning to use a fork!). I haven't had them very long, but so far I'm loving them.