Food for thought..the feeding journey continues

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Anyone else worry that their child may be 80% sausage, 20% potato waffle some weeks?! (Asking for a friend! 😂) Never fear I try not to get too bogged down or upset if I miss the mark some days on nutrition. I try my best but some days you just don’t have the time or energy to make dinner from scratch-or else the kids are in the kind of mood where you don’t want to waste valuable time cooking when whatever you make will be turned down so you just stick to Captain Birdseye! Tip Number 1 – don’t get too disheartened it happens to the best of us (except Annabel Karmel, I bet she doesn’t have an emergency pack of chicken nuggests stashed in her freezer! 😂)

With an 11 month old who gave up milk at 7 months and eats a crazy amount of food, along with a constantly hungry 3 year old, I struggle most days trying to think of decent snacks and meals to give my kids. Fruit and veg is always a great choice.. but you have to think of the fibre (and the horrendous nappies if you give the baby too much fruit) also sometimes you just dont have any fresh fruit left after a mad blueberry/grape binge (toddlers take notions for stuff and will gorge for days and eat you out of house and home) and then other days refuse to look at anything remotely healthy.

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Recently I started menu planning and it hasn’t only cut my food bills but has made life a lot easier. This is Tip Number 2! Spend a little time sorting out meal ideas for the week and it makes the weekly shop a bit less stressful and you have way less 4pm dinner hassle. Now we have one motto at meal times, if they dont like/want what I have prepared that’s fine, I will try and persuade them but if that fails then they get nothing else-no substitutions. I try not to get overly worked up over dinner (shouty mum does come out some nights though and I find myself screaming ‘it’s  only a bloody tomato and you liked them yesterday’ at a huffy toddler!) Baby girl is still at that amazing age when they basically eat whatever you give her so I’m rolling with that for as long as I can!

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Snacks I have given the kids this week…

•rice cakes, for some reason they love them

•toast/scones/pancakes – we go through way too many carbs in our house

•cherios – an actual godsend as I make myself believe they are a decent snack because the box says they are multigrain and fortified with vitimins!

•fruit (if I said veg I would be lying as toddler boy hates all veg right now and baby girl has no teeth!)

•mild cheddar cheese cubes

•popcorn

•quavers/wotsits/skips

As I said before it’s all relative. Obviously ‘bad snacks’ aren’t the best choice but some days they are the ONLY choice! So give yourself a break and move on.

Tip Number 3 is to avoid getting bogged down in recipes. If you don’t have all the ingredients it says you need could you adapt it? Could you substitute something you do have? If you don’t like something in a recipe leave it out. And change the quantities to suit the portion you need.

Egg Cups (makes 6)

3 eggs. Splash milk. 6 pieces of bread with crusts removed. Filling of choice – grated cheese and chopped ham/cheese and onion/red pepper and feta/grated carrit and corgette.

Oven 170°c. Roll out bread with rolling pin and place in a cupcake tin like a liner. Whisk eggs and milk and pour into the cups. Add filling. Bake for 20-25min or until egg fully cooked.

Fish Pie

Potatoes peeled, chopped, boiled and mashed. 4 fillets of fish,I use smoked haddock but use whatever you enjoy. 500ml milk. 2 carrots grated. 1 corgette grated. 50g butter. 1tbsp cornflower. 1/2 cup grated cheese.

Put fish in a bowl and cover with milk. Microwave for 2-3 min. Take out fish and flake into an ovenproof dish-reserve milk. Put butter in a pan and melt then add cornflower and cook for a minute, whisk in leftover milk and add cheese to make a cheese sauce. Pour over fish and add grated veg. Leave to cool then top with mashed potato. Oven at 180°c for 30min.

Cauliflower and Broccoli soup

1 large cauliflower. 2 broccoli. 1 onion. 1.5pint veg stock. 1/2 cup grated cheese. Splash milk.1tbsp oil.

Chop and fry onion in oil. Roughly chop and add cauliflower and broccoli. Add stock and simmer for 10 min, add a bit more water and cook for further 15min. Once all veg fully cooked remove from heat. Blend with hand blender or potato masher. Add cheese and splash of milk and stir over low heat. Serve with crusty bread.

Tagine

Tip Number 4, next time you are in the supermarket spice aisle then look out for ‘ras-el-hanout’ it’s an incredible spice mix that you can put on grilled meat and veg or add to soups and stews if you like a Moroccan flavour.

2 chicken breasts. 1 onion. 1 butternut squash. 2tsp ras-el-hanout. 1tsp cumin. 1tsp paprika. 2 garlic cloves. 1 tin chopped tomatoes. 1/2 pint veg stock.

Chop and fry onion. Peel and chop butternut squash and place in ovenproof dish. Add diced chicken and crushed garlic to the frying pan. Add spices. Add tomatoes and stock and simmer for 5 min. Transfer to ovenproof dish with lid and cook at 180°c for 1 hour. Serve with cous cous and pitta.

This is food with beef or lamb too, just adjust the cooking temp to 160°c and double cooking time.

If all else fails..raid the freezer! I am passionate about cooking but understand the stress that parents face when they have to come up with 7 lunches and dinners every week. So it’s time to help each other out. Share recipes with friends, give them your tip tips an time saving hacks. Or even share the number for the nearest take away in your area!

Hope you are all well this week.

Pam xxx

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27 thoughts on “Food for thought..the feeding journey continues

  1. Wow your so organised wish iv seen your meal plan when my 2 years old was a baby and can start getting him use to try other foods. I wasn’t that creative back then and maybe that’s why he is a bit fussy now. She is so adorable bless her. #foodiefriday

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad I’ve found another Mum who has the same food/meal block as me. I’ve gone down the route of KFC chicken pops for tea as ran out of food and couldnt bring myself to defrost the lobster thats been sat in the freezer for the last four months. I’ll be subscribing to your blog as found your posts funny and honest, something I like as makes me feel less like a crappy Mum and gives me a sense of comradery! X

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this! We meal plan and our ‘cooking’ is often more chuck it in the bowl, mix and heat, than follow all 35 steps of a recipe carefully 🙂 I’ll be trying your recipes, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh man! I usually love menu planning. I love that it saves us so much time! But I totally have to agree with the bogged down on recipes or letting their lack of eating get to you. Which is where I am at right now! Ha! these ruts sometimes are hard to pull out of. I mean. How many nights in a row can we do mac and cheese? Ha! as many as necessary till I get my food-jo (mojo for food?) back.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have recently started meal planning and it has really taken the stress out of tea time. We always have emergency fish fingers in the freezer though..just in case. Thank for sharing this with #BlogCrush xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it was because I was noticing a massive dip in our cashflow when I didnt meal plan as i kept bipling to the shops through the week! Dont get me wrong I dont do it every week though i wish i was that organised! Thanks for reading x

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  6. I really must get back in to the habit of meal planning again, your right it does make shopping easier and my older kids can have a look and decide in advance that they aren’t going to eat it!!! 😂😂😂
    #foodiefriday

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s so hard when you have a picky eater. I have one who is still picky at age 9. I like your idea of the meal planning. this was a very interesting post
    #stayclassymama

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You’re doing a great job! Loads of effort in your menu plans and thinking about the food you’re serving. I’m going to have a look for the moroccan spice you mentioned as the OH and one of my kids likes a bit of spice.

    Mainy
    #TriumphantTales

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh I need to make some egg cups! Meal planning is so useful, especially after a day of work when my brain is mush. I am thankful my son is at school so they feed him lunch! He ate everything as a baby now is crazy about food…so any one pot meals etc he hates as he does eat a wide range of food but likes it separate and not mixed! Thank you for linking to #stayclassymama xx

    Liked by 1 person

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