After a quick shop yesterday, I feel today I am better equipped to provide that tasty lunch for the brood in their lunchboxes.
I don't know about you, but the maximum time I like spending in a supermarket is 20 minutes. Then the boredom starts to set in, and I just want to pay and leave, or if the queue is too long, I have always had that tempting thought to just abandon the basket, and come back later!
No queuing please!
I tend to go to my local Tesco Express as it is quick, not too expensive and I really am in and out in about 20 minutes! However, I am sure they know me and recognise me by now, as I am often that women with the heavily laden basket of shopping, struggling with basket in one hand, three lots of 4 pint milk in the other hand, and I have bought no petrol. I am that crazy woman that parks just up the road, so I can make my quick get away - again no queuing please, I must away!!
I have also noticed, I seem to be the only one that bulk buys milk. Whenever I shop, I grab one for each hand, and on occasions, grab an extra 4 pints for luck! We are always running out of milk, and with 5 of us having cereal each day, we seem to get through at least 20 pints a week!
So, back to lunch: Thin slices of turkey, cucumber and mayonnaise on brown bread for Spike, without the mayonnaise for Tuna and well, King Julien, he had to be different and wanted boiled egg, (at least that is protein and NOT vegemite!) I must get the three of them more streamlined in terms of what they eat. However, I have tried that before and with King Julien. If I make all three the same lunch and he doesnot like it, he just doesnot eat it, regardless of whether he is hungry or not. Then he comes home with a full lunchbox and a bad temper....
So the question is: what is better? To make them all the same lunch and cut down my preparation time, and it comes home in their lunchbox, uneaten; or to make them something they are sure to eat, but increase my preparation time, but with the result the lunchbox comes home empty?
I think the best way forward is a bit of both, not to go too overboard in terms of pandering to the child's needs but at the same time, limiting the preparation time. If you pander, I think you end up making it a rod for your own back! Something I definitely do not want to do. Not with three of them! I would end up never getting anything done for myself! Also I think it is key to try and keep giving that variety, and not giving them the same thing each day. What I have found is if you give them too much of one thing, they go off that as well! Then you really are in a corner as to what to give them! We all get bored of food if we do not have the variety, that is just human nature. We just have to sometimes grit our teeth, and keep pushing those new tastes on them. Eventually I am sure they will change their minds and like it!
So in addition today, it was satsumas (again, purchased yesterday), cocoa pop bar for King Julien and Spike, and a Nutrigrain strawberry bar for good old Tuna - she eats everything healthy! A chunk of cucumber. A bag of raisins and yes, you guessed it, water to drink. It is the one thing they are allowed to drink in class throughout the day in those special water bottles the school make you purchase. They do leak, but at least they all have the same!!
They will get a portion of their 5 a day later, a carton of fruit juice with a buttered hot cross bun, to keep them going at swimming and beyond, until we get back home again.
Then later for supper they will have pancakes! It is pancake day after all, and I had better make the batter in advance, and chill in the fridge, again, just to keep down the prep time later!! Oh the things we have to think about in advance!
Juggle here, juggle there, juggle almost everywhere!
I need to come up with a plan of menus so I can know what I am doing a week in advance... When I have come up with it, I will post it, and you can let me know your thoughts, or post your own, that would also be good!