As a Mom to three growing kids, I know how much the grocery bill has expanded since the little tykes have started eating everyday people food. I am the mom who refuses to make custom-to-go meals at our house. I make one breakfast, one lunch (if we’re home) and one dinner. Lots of sides for picky eaters like we always have cheese, bread and fresh cut veggies, but unless I have already cooked a pasta one with meat sauce for carnivores and one with plain tomato sauce for everyone else, I do not go any further. Even if I felt inclined to make five different meals, I simply do not have the time. The closest the kids every get the “more than one meal choice” is either at breakfast where one out of three can make her own cheese wrap if she prefers that over oatmeal or it is leftover night where I re-heat and re-use everything in the fridge and put all the dishes in the centre of the table.
I would love to batch cook on Sundays but up to this point, life gets in the way. With Mr. L working from 1130 am to 3 pm every Sunday, my time is spent on Sunday resting, catching up with kids homework or organization house projects, writing (gasp!) or exercise. That is in between the birthday parties, family get-togethers and other life events that get in the way. On top of that, I’m just tired by Sunday and can think of nothing less I would want to do than be on my feet for four hours prepping meals for the week. I applaud people like my younger sister who work shift work and have to do this so her family has healthy meals on hand. I’ve seen her in action prepping meals during my last post-delivery when she showed up, pots and knives in hand to prep two weeks worth of meals for our family while I was dealing with being in and out of NICU with my little Jacob. I am in awe of people like her.
However, with full hibernation mode on as we settle into another month of cold, snowy and freezing temperatures, I decided to return to the Sunday brunch. Being on the go a lot in January meant we had little time to sit down on Sunday for a proper meal. I am not an early riser and in dire need of coffee each morning and Mr. L has not taken up the apron as of yet, so an early morning breakfast doesn’t jive with me. But brunch once I am caffeinated, showered, the house is fairly tidy and I had an hour or so to write, seems ideal. So this morning I plunged ahead. Wrote for a half hour and then started making bacon and french toast with orange juice to drink. Simple but food the whole family likes.
Watching the bacon while burning the new Bath and Body Works Limoncello candle to mask the grease smell it was heart-warming to hear the kids say, “Mmmm..what smells so good?”
After placing all items on the table and the kids digging in they all yelled thanks and with full bellies have disappeared upstairs to quiet play. (Thus why I’m writing this and not doing the dishes!) But I had to gasp, how can three little people eat a plateful of bacon (I cooked the whole package) and all but two pieces of french toast? (I used up 3/4 of a loaf.) I was hoping to have bacon left to use in a recipe this week for a pasta sauce and a bit of french toast left to refrigerate for tomorrow’s breakfast. My regular sized frying pans did not even accommodate the total amount of food I had to cook but I had to fry and flip multiple pans to get the food ready. Did I mention little people? Eight, six and three years old to be exact. What is going to happen as they get older and hungrier? I already have to battle the “I’m hungry” bug multiple times a day, especially if it’s an at home day.
As I go to wash up the dishes, for the second time this morning, I’ll have to re-think not only my pots and pan situation but also how much food to buy for a family of five. I could have easily cooked up two packs of bacon if I wanted to try and have some for the rest of the week. I was very much looking forward to fresh crumbled bacon on a caesar salad on Tuesday night!!
How do you plan and feed a family with three or more kids??