May 27, 2010

I must say as a mum of three I hate dinner time! I know I am not alone with this as a lot of the mums I know feel the same. It is just such a busy and at times stressful time of the day – I am lucky to have two out of three good eaters but I still have to make 3 or 4 different dinners all of which are served at different times.

(Oh how I will it was like this!)

Indi is a great eater and probably the easiest of the lot – I have lots of pre-cooked vegies and meat all frozen into little cubes and I just get them out as I need them – she eats dinner at 5pm and still loves me to spoon feed her (which I am happy with as it is so much faster and cleaner!).
My four year old Sofia is my drama queen in the food world – has been since the spoon first hit her mouth – fussy and has the most limited palate – most nights it is plain pasta in a bowl and unless she is ravenous she only eats a few mouthfuls! She loves her nonna’s food but unfortunately we can’t eat their every night (it has crossed my mind though as they don’t live that far away).
My 5 year old Sienna is a great eater and will eat most things but she certainly likes to tell what it is that she feels like each night for dinner – she loves fruits, vegies and meat and will generally pick the fruit in her lunch box over the treat (unlike Sofia who will avoid all healthy food at all costs).
Then there is dinner for myself and Mr A. As he is not home from work until around 7pm most nights that means we don’t eat all together – sitting one is at 5pm, sitting two for the big girls is at 5.30pm and sitting three at 7.30pm-8pm and every sitting is something different! Is it any wonder that mums despise meal time.
Those of you that visit me regularly will know I am a highly organised person (yes very OCD) but I always feel very out of control when it comes to dinner – especially dinner for Mr A and myself – I honestly couldn’t be bothered after feeding the kids and getting them to bed!

I am on a mission however to change things after reading a little ebook called What’s for Dinner. I came across this little gem after purchasing a home organization system called Did you remember the milk?
I have today purchased a new receipe box from my favourite stationery store Kikki-K and I am about to build my new system. The book talks about having easy access to your favourite meals and doing a big marathon cooking session in which you freeze lots of food for either two weeks or a month – I know this is not rocket science as I have done it in the past but why do we feel guilty when we pull something out of the freezer for dinner – for some reason I feel that if I haven’t made it fresh then I haven’t really cooked dinner – silly really as it also means we waste more food and have to shop more often!

OK so I am off to find my favourite receipes and I am up for a marathon cooking session – will let you know how I go and please feel free to point me in the direction of any good meals to freeze. I am no longer going to feel guilty about pulling dinner from the freezer most nights!

10 thoughts on “Food Planning

  1. hi- as a mother of 3- our littlest bambino being a non-veg eater…i sympathise…however my youngest is your oldest and it does sort itself out somewhat….we all eat as a family now- and i can cook the one big organic chook with rice and just leave *bits* of little audreys plate….it makes you feel a little *out-of-control* as a mum i know- as we have to think ahead for pretty much everything…my littlest also plants out her own herb pots with me each spring as this encourages her {slightly 🙂 }….
    love your blog- a little bit of home for me…
    melissa ….

  2. hi- as a mother of 3- our littlest bambino being a non-veg eater…i sympathise…however my youngest is your oldest and it does sort itself out somewhat….we all eat as a family now- and i can cook the one big organic chook with rice and just leave *bits* of little audreys plate….it makes you feel a little *out-of-control* as a mum i know- as we have to think ahead for pretty much everything…my littlest also plants out her own herb pots with me each spring as this encourages her {slightly 🙂 }….
    love your blog- a little bit of home for me…
    melissa ….

  3. hi- as a mother of 3- our littlest bambino being a non-veg eater…i sympathise…however my youngest is your oldest and it does sort itself out somewhat….we all eat as a family now- and i can cook the one big organic chook with rice and just leave *bits* of little audreys plate….it makes you feel a little *out-of-control* as a mum i know- as we have to think ahead for pretty much everything…my littlest also plants out her own herb pots with me each spring as this encourages her {slightly 🙂 }….
    love your blog- a little bit of home for me…
    melissa ….

  4. When Huzz isn’t travelling we try to eat together a few times in the week and nearly always at the weekend. Other times the kiddos eat together. I try to make their dinner a variation on what Huzz and I are eating, or they eat the same meal. Luca is a bit fussy – hates onions (throws a hissy fit if he finds any. Ruby won’t touch a potatoe in any shape or form. I need to push the veggies more, but that’s more my fault than theirs. They eat well generally. They are healthy and never hungry, so I think its going ok so far.
    I always freeze some bolognese sauce, chilli, veg stock and of cousre there are fish fingers in the freezer always.
    Great idea with your super efficient box – hope it helps.

  5. I totally get where you’re coming from. We only have two sittings in our house. Little girl eats at about 5pm and then husband and I eat after she’s gone to bed. It’s always a different meal for her and for us. I am really lacking motivation for cooking our dinner these days as by the time dinner comes around I can’t help feeling I’ve cooked one meal already and can’t be bothered to start again with another one! I would never make a good chef, eh!

  6. Hehehe – my husband gets home at 9pm most nights – early compared to Paris. One meal I no longer sit for and often eat with the kids (as cooking staff does 😉 So nice now we all eat mainly the same things. Couldn’t go on cooking it all differently and decided now they are 6, 8 and 10 that they will eat if they’re hungry. Still wondering how much they catch up with other kids’ bikkies at school though 😉 WANT WANT WANT one of those boxes!

  7. Hi Leanne. I have secretly been following your blog for weeks but can’t resist to comment today. We have been having the same issues here with one fussy eater and another with serious food allergies. But: there is a *wonderful* cookbook out at the moment called “Dinner with Kids”. It has loads of delicious and healthy recipes, each with a step that can be modified so that it suits adults as well. My hubby has been raving about my cooking lately and has even made some requests from that particular book. All my boys eat at 5.15pm. Baby gets his pureed food when his big brothers get their dinner too. At 7.30pm I reheat dinner for hubby and me and add the extra step to adult-ify it. Easy-peasey. Oh, and once a week we eat dinner out, Sunday dinner is at the grandparents’ (alternating weeks, of course) and our nannas are both happy to cook loads of freezer meals for us and we use these once a week too. That leaves only 4 nights a week for cooking. Hooray! I also have some recipes I’ve made up or modified myself for the kids. They don’t freeze but are really quick and easy to make. I’d be happy to pass them on. Have a good day and Happy Friday 🙂

  8. Check out the Frost Bite books by Susan Austin…they are my frozen dinner saviours!! Every recipe has been specifically written with freezing in mind and her second book is filled with recipes for kids.

  9. I just have to say a big “Yay” to Kikki-K! Gotta love them! 🙂 Hope your new system works like a charm and takes some of the angst out of “happy hour”!
    Meal planning is my saviour too! At least then I don’t have to think of something new everyday!
    I’ve seen so much in blogland about organisation/priorities lately…hmmm

  10. Okay, so seeing as I spend so much time reading other peoples’ blogs I thought it would only be appropriate if I shared too. My first recipe (as promised) is on my new blog, which I’ve finally found the time to start. It’s a freezer one and super-easy. Enjoy.

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