As a parent, one of my biggest headaches is the monotony of preparing a meal for the family, day after day after day…
In fairness, not every meal. Breakfast I can handle. Lunch and it’s ability to encompass a bit of this that and the other is a doddle. I can even whip up myself a cheeky GROWN UP lunch while the kids happily gobble down sandwiches, ham, cheese, fruit etcetera etcetera etcetera.
But I do feel as a stay at home Mum I owe it to everyone to knock up a wholesome hot meal for dinner. Which is where I become a little unstuck.
It’s not just the combination of having a fussy eater, and a minesweeper. It’s also the desire to prepare just one hot dinner per evening (and the associated clean up operation which ensues). The problem is finding something the four of us agree on as a tasty dinner… with all of us having opposing favourites it’s easier said than done.
I personally would enjoy nothing more than something uber-spicy, but that’s probably a little harsh on an under two. The hubby is pretty partial to a potato based side…especially if it’s roasted, but the little one hates potatoes. Unless it’s a chip. Which is unusual as she detests any other processed food. Unlike her sister. However they both love a good old sausage…but even with the high quality ones that’s not doing a lot for my palate (or waistline). And how can you eat bangers without mash?…Pasta kind of works, with a nice tasty tomato sauce (no chilli, sob) but the eldest will only eat her pasta plain. I could go on.
My point is the combinations which do work (and I haven’t found that many) are getting a little repetitive. If you have ever found yourself staring into a fairly well stocked fridge with a totally blank mind, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
So, the same 6 meals or so have been abused beyond belief. Spag bol has even been discarded by the mouse this week. Even she is sick to death of it.
In my constant quest for the perfect family meal I have weathered all seasons. We are currently deep in barbeque heaven, so if it can go on the grill outside, and encompass a sausage, a roll and a corn on the cob it’s a winner. (That covers all major food groups right?).
Conversely, in the winter if I can slow cook it from 9 am, my day is made. Whether it’s eaten or not the reduction of stress at tea time is a saviour.
I have turned to pinterest many a time, searching for those illusive nutritious recipes I can whip up quickly, post park-play-date when my energy (and theirs) is rock bottom. So far I’m still looking.
In fact, I’ve had way more success resorting to an old-fashioned technique. It’s called interest. Have you heard of it? It goes something like this…
Me: “What are you having for dinner tonight?”
Them: “I’m cooking the kids favourite… ”
I can’t tell you how many fab ideas I’ve stolen from ‘Interest’. You should try it. ‘ What are you having for dinner’ is fast becoming my catch phrase, as I give everyone I know a grilling about what they’re grilling. They must think I’m the dinner police, giving them the spanish inquisition about what’s on their menu c’est soir.
From mid-week mini-roasts, quorn sausages, Thai prawn noodle broth, sweet and sour chicken, summer sausage ragu to slow cooker ham…interest has it covered. There’s basically no better source on this subject than other Mums.
Chicken sausages? It was a gamble but going down a storm with the kids! @heckfooduk #kids #whatareyouhavingfordinnertonight #cookingforkids #dinner #dinnersofinstagram #dinnerstagram #food #foodie #foodstagram
A photo posted by Mummuddlingthrough (@mummuddlingthrough) on
So now, I ask you. What are you having tonight? Let’s take interest online and share the inspiration. Leave me a comment, tell me your favourites, send me your links, spread the frustrated-mum love.
x MMT, dinner idea thief
Image Copyright: nomadsoul1 / 123RF Stock Photo