I’m not particularly happy in the kitchen; I’m no chef and cooking meals is a thankless task in this house.
There are very few meals that everyone will eat and all I need is one kid to start complaining and all of them kick off.
When dinner time loams over the horizon, a feeling of dread settles in my stomach as I start to mentally flick through my repertoire of recipes, trying to find something that most of them will eat, which we haven’t already had recently.
But recently I’ve read a book which has changed my attitude towards the kids’ meals.
It’s called Simplicity Parenting , and it makes a lot of sense, as it talks about how today’s busy lifestyle can affect our children.
It suggests methods of streamlining your home environment and reducing the amount of toys, books, and clutter your children have access to—as well as the lights, sounds, and general sensory overload.
The book explains why rhythms and rituals are important to children and helps you discover ways to ease daily tensions, create battle-free mealtimes and bedtimes, and tell if your child is overwhelmed.
Scheduling a break in your family’s busy schedule is advised, as is decreasing and managing your children’s screen time.
The chapter on meal times has inspired me to create different themed nights for each night of the week. This is nothing complicated, I’m still cooking the same kind of stuff I used to but now everyone knows what to expect each night. Monday night is fish fingers/ nuggets/ burgers with chips night, Tuesday is pasta, Wednesday is mince ( tacos, chilli con carne, Shepherds pie, mince on toast), Thursday is beans or spaghetti on toast or pizza night, Friday is a snacky dinner, Saturday is Pasta again and Sunday is meat and 2/3 vegs.
Of course, sometimes I might chuck something else in for a bit of variety, but I’m feeling much less anxious in the kitchen now I know what I’m ‘supposed’ to be doing.
The kids have recently started having school lunches, so they get variety of meals there and even try things they wouldn’t touch at home so I’m not too fussed about getting things nutritionally balanced at this point.
The other thing I’m eyeing up to help me with meal times is a Homemade Meal Planner.
This looks fantastic but I’m about as crafty as I am creative in the kitchen, and I wonder whether it’s beyond my capabilities.
I keep telling myself that if I ever find a spare picture frame and 7 clothes pegs lying around, I’ll give it a go!