I’ve promised myself something; I’m going to get better at planning meals for the family. I don’t want to do myself a disservice, it’s not something I’m awful at, but I recognise that I need to be more organised when planning meals, especially for the children.
When it comes to fruit and vegetables, the kids generally get to eat a good array at least twice a day (three of four times if you include snacks). The eldest, Helen, is also quite partial to freshly squeezed fruit juices so she gets these when I have the time.
Helen’s lunch box, however, causes me a real headache. There are some foods she can be really fussy about, and others she is far too keen on. Given the choice, she’d happily eat crisps and ham sandwiches for lunch every day.
Needless to say, she isn’t given that choice. Only thing is, the usual array of breadsticks, humus, grapes, yogurt etc. is getting a bit tedious. I can only deviate from it so far before receiving complaints.
It doesn’t help that she isn’t particularly keen on cheese. As I recently wrote, however, she has discovered The Laughing Cow cheese and this has helped enormously. I’m hoping we will, steadily, move on to Cheddar, Red Leicester and so on.
In the evenings, I will, as far as possible, give the children what mummy and daddy are eating. When that isn’t possible, we seem to be stuck in circle of spag bol, chicken and tomato sauce and a few other staples. It isn’t very adventurous and I sometimes worry it isn’t diverse enough.
For a number of years I was a vegetarian and so I am keen to limit the amount of meat eaten by the entire family. To meet this aim I have made dishes made of Quorn mince. Sometimes it’s gone down really well, sometimes it hasn’t.
Even so, I all too often find myself at supper time throwing something together at the last minute because I haven’t planned ahead. On these occasions, I usually rely on the mighty fish finger.
Okay, so I’m sure fish fingers have their detractors, but as a quick-to-cook convenience food, the fish finger is king. How far wrong can you go with some white fish, paprika and breadcrumbs served with fresh broccoli?
As I say though, I must get better at planning meals. I like to think the family eats reasonably well but there are improvements to be made.
So tell me, do you plan your family’s meals? If so, how do you go about it? What do you serve your children for packed lunch? I’m curious and need ideas. Any help you can give this little ‘ol stay at home dad would be greatly received.