If you are a working mum and struggling to find you time, kids time, laundry time…you have to co create ! Let’s start with food. If your kids like to breathe and they like to eat, then they need to learn how to plan, shop for and prepare a meal! It has much more impact and relevance if you figure this out as a team. It may take a little more time upfront but the dividends will be evident . Start by sitting down with a blank sheet of paper and creating your menu. You may want to go with a one week, two week or even four week rotation…start small with one week if this is all new and an eye opener!
Sit down with the kids around a table, preferably after they have eaten. Work out what the most popular healthy meals are, include lunches if they pack and breakfast.
Write your menu.
Then post it on the pantry door, kitchen cabinet door, somewhere visible.
Next figure out who can do what tasks that are associated with the preparation. Volunteers are great but you need to rotate the tasks weekly to enable everyone to be proficient. Children under ten can scrub potatoes, wash salad, Butter bread, assemble sandwiches, lay the table etc. There is a job for everyone.
Whatever day you go grocery shopping, have one of the kids responsible for going through the menu the night before and making a list list and figuring out what you need for the following weeks menu ( it can be vague to begin with, like cheese for pizza, tuna for toasted sandwiches etc) . As they progress they can work out quantities.
Keep your grocery receipt so they and you can see what you have spent and use it as a double check list for the following week.
If you can afford it, make one day a week a special night where maybe you pick up a pizza. but don’t feel compelled to do so.
Have dinner around a table that has been laid and only eat at that place, always. ( Food on a tray being a super treat if you are sick!).
Need some ideas?
Toasted sandwiches, tuna melt, cheese and ham, are great with a piece of fruit.
Want to make a quick pizza? use either a packet mix for the dough or make a biscuit base and let each child decide what their section is going to have on it.
Need a quick roast? For three of you, buy 3/4lb of your meat of choice, from the deli.
Prepare veggies and potatoes, (with small potatoes and boil, don’t peel. steam veggies) make a gravy, add meat to gravy and heat. serve!