Cooking for Kids… Why Didn’t we just do Beans on Toast Again?
• Post by Guest Blogger •
Do you often run out of meal ideas? Feel guilty for doing a rushed microwave meal?
For some reason we are all programmed to think that putting time into something makes it better and shows we care.
So here’s how it often goes..
After a week of microwave food, beans on toast and pasta (see my meal ideas at the end for quick and healthy) you feel bad enough to open the cook book.
After aimlessly scanning the recipes you pick out a chicken in white sauce type of thing. It has a posh name but let’s face it we can’t be bothered to remember it let alone spell it!
Luckily you have all the ingredients in stock. There’s a first for everything.
You start with enthusiasm and a feeling of pride that you are creating a healthy meal for your family and showing them how much you care. Delia has nothing on you!
Half an hour in and a thousand trips from pan to iPad the recipe isn’t seeming quite so appealing. Why does white sauce always go lumpy? Chargrilled chicken is a delicacy isn’t it?
Anyway, eventually it’s all ready. Dinner at 8pm isn’t the end of the world once in awhile is it? So you call them to the table ready for them to wolf it down, they must be starving by now.
The three sullen faces staring back at you after you dish up really don’t look promising, but you tuck in and lead the way… “oh yum, isn’t this good?”
You look up and find that no one has even taken a mouthful, the youngest is squishing it in his hands, the middle child is building a tower and the eldest hasn’t even put down their phone before declaring “I don’t like it”
But why, you think?? They like chicken, they eat sauce, all you did was make those two things into something really nice!
You take a deep breath, “I will not shout or lose my temper”. Repeat this three times at least.
By 8.35pm you give in, even the bribing didn’t work.
Sure they all reluctantly tried it as is the house rule, but the faces they pulled were just plain rude!
So the kitchen is a mess, the children have eaten nothing and you feel like sh*t. “I bet Delia doesn’t get this” you think while slamming the dishwasher door! Beans on toast for the rest of the week, screw the perfect mummies who cook from scratch daily.
The fact is children really don’t care how long dinner took or the effort you put into it.
They like plain simple food, that’s it.
But you know what? That’s actually a great thing for you busy mums. Plain and simple needn’t mean unhealthy!
I’ve been a Nanny for over 15yrs and this meant regularly cooking healthy meals from scratch for just one child.
Well who’s ever going to do a lasagne for one?
So over time I’ve come up with a list of mega quick but healthy meals that usually take a maximum of 15 minutes. You know a real 15 minutes, not a Jamie Oliver 15 minutes. No one measures out all our ingredients ready in little dishes do they? I often wish they would… and do the washing up!
So here are your first 5 to get started with.
As adults we seem to think a meal should be put together and have a name, but kids don’t.
So long as you have the mix of protein, veg/salad and carbs that you want then it’s a healthy meal
Next time you feel a little guilty and like you should spend time cooking for your kid just remember… They don’t care! Feed them quick, healthy food and spend the extra time together playing and having fun. That is something they will appreciate more than michelin star cooking.