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Do you cook in bulk? Do you cook lots of different things? Do your kids get their food at school or bring from home? Do you eat together or separate?
For breakfasts everyone fends for themselves, Sasha is the only one who isnt old enough to sort out his own breakfast, so I do his, but all the others are find to make their own toast or cereal or whatever they feel like. On weekends usually me, DH or Dita make something bit and exciting though.
Lunches I sort out the night before for the younger 3. Were in Australia, so there are no "school lunches" as such, Lux and Sunny's school has a canteen thats open on fridays, so on friday they order their own hot lunches (which really, is just junk, pizzas, toasted cheese sandwiches, I do have to say, the soup they have in winter dosent seem too bad, but once a week isnt alright) and Sasha has to take his lunch to kinder.
Sunny and Lux's lunchboxes usually include:
A main: dinner leftovers / sandwich / wrap / roll
A piece of fruit
A snack: cheese and crackers / yoghurt / dip and crackers / muesli bar
Sasha just takes the "main portion" because he dosent eat as much. He also takes a whole piece of fruit every second week for the "shared fruit morning tea". Their kinder class is divided into two groups, and the groups alternate weeks for bringing fruit, which they give to their teacher, and it is cut up and everyone shares it.
Az and Dita go to a community high school, so while most high schools have canteens, theirs dosent. They are allowed out of school grounds whenever they have classes, but all thats walking distance from their school is proper resturaunts and cafes, which are too pricey for an everyday lunch (Dita and her friends do go out to a cafe for lunch on each other's birthdays though, which I think is sweet) so they mostly pack their own lunches, dinner leftovers or sandwiches and such. When they forget, or dont have time they usually get the bus down to the bottom of the mountain (about 15 mins each way, do-able because they have an hour for lunch) where there is a Subway and a Chinese take away.
For dinner, most of the time I do one big meal, I like one pot stuff, I have some giant crock pots and baking dishes that fit enough to serve everyone plus extras for lunch. When we only had Dita and Azriel I used to always cook tapas style, lots of different things, I had this "big plan" to have these buffet style things every night, it was just so impractical though.
Last edited by cybele; April 11th, 2012 at 04:13 AM.
Hi- I don't post here often, but thought I'd answer. I'm interested to see what others say as well. So far, I only have 3 kiddos (one on the way). And this has been a difficult topic for us. We homeschool, and preparing meals all day can be tiresome. Add on top of that the fact that we don't have a dishwasher, and I feel like my husband and I are swapping off in the kitchen all day long. I have been wanting to cook in bulk, but we have a small city house with no basement or extra space for another fridge or freezer and our current apartment size fridge is packed.
So we prepare three meals a day for the kids. I'm less likely to *cook* breakfast. I'll make cereal for the kids. My husband loves cooking a southern style breakfast when he makes something for the kids.
Lunches are pretty raw. We make a small main dish. It's often something like a sandwich, pasta salad, or leftovers, with granola, trail mix (nuts and berries), fresh fruit, and raw veggies (and sometimes a dip).
Dinners are the one meal a day that we really cook. We try to cook enough to have for lunch the next day. But our boys sometimes eat more than we expected (which is fine). My husband and I alternate cooking, so there's always something VERY different to eat each night. It's usually themed around a country and we try to use our meals to help teach the kids.
I only buy food for a week (at the most) ahead of time. We barely fill up the small freezer we have connected to the fridge, but also have one that is a free standing chest freezer. It's not even plugged in right now.
Breakfast typically was cereal or the whole wheat raisin toast (from wic) toasted with butter on it. I recently started making scrambled eggs and waffles for them. The waffles I buy 2 boxes, at about $5 total and make them ahead of time. The last time I made it it was like 6 dozen and lasted 2 breakfasts, and we have a 1/2 dzn leftover. Sebastian will probably eat them for dinner one night or something so they don't get stale before I make the next batch. Eggs at Aldis are only 99c so that's only $2 for a breakfast, pretty cheap compared to the 2 boxes of cereal + milk they were usually having.
Lunch the kids get school lunch which is free because of our income. Even for summer the kids can go eat lunch, but EVERYONE can eat that lunch you dont' have to apply for it. Any kid 4-18 can eat. I'd just have to pack something for Bastian if I bring them all, 3 of the kids are doing summer school, so I will probably just do that when I pick them up, we'll just stay for lunch.
At home the kids that don't have school just eat leftovers.
Dinners vary a lot around here, the only time they get repetitive is when we have to have really cheap stuff. Then we eat spaghetti, things made with ramen noodles, toasted cheese, eggs and toast and corned beef hash, hot dogs etc.
Que, not sure where you live, but have you tried looking for a free dishwasher (portable) on Craigslist or freecycle? That's where I got my 'new' one from when my took a poop last year.
Breakfast is sometimes cereal sometimes not. It really depends on my mood.
Lunch can also range, my kids would eat top ramen or cup o noodles all day long if I let them. I try to mix it up a little, right now we are eating a lot of egg salad sandwiches from the left over Easter eggs.
Dinner is whatever I feel like cooking. I try to mix it up but sometimes it's a failure....even I won't eat it.
Honestly my husband is the picky eater, my kids would be fine with soup and sandwiches but her likes meat and potato type meals. He never really complains but I know it anyways.
I also homeschool so I feel like I live in the kitchen without a dishwasher also.
We got our dishwasher from a "damaged floor model" auction. Basically the models they have on show in store that are in fully working condition, but have been damaged, ours has a dnt in the door from where someone has kicked it, BUT for the sake of a dent, we got a $400 dishwasher for $50.
Breakfast is usually fend for yourself, especially when I am at work, since I have that 4am-9am shift. I keep frozen waffles, toaster strudels, cereal and bagels/cream cheese on hand for them. I like to cook and so does dh, so when in the mood (or at home in my case) they will get eggs, sausage, bacon, omlettes, pancakes, french toast, breakfast burritos, etc.
Lunch for school kids while in school is packed for the younger ones, they hate school lunches. It is usually a sandwich, chips, drink and treat. High schoolers fend for themselves in their cafeteria. At home its whatever I feel in the mood to whip up or leftovers.
Dinner is never really planned, just whoever feels like cooking (me most weeknights since dh is working) and whatever we have a taste for.
My kids will eat almost anything.
We do have a freezer downstairs I keep fairly full.
Jenifer....The Queen Bee
#12 is on the way
Breakfast~~we are getting a way from eating a lot of cereal and heavy carbs for breakfast. DD has t1d and can't seem to handle the carbs so we've been eating alot of eggs (scrambled, hard boiled, fried) and fruit. They are starting to get sick of it now so I'm going to have to start thinking outside of the box soon.
Lunch~~Older 4 eat at school. I used to pack lunches way back when but then they started to complain. My oldest especially was sick and tired of a cold lunch but they wouldn't allow access to a microwave so I didn't have much options. Trying to pick and chose when I would send lunch and when they would eat at school became to confusing so I switch to them eating at school. Now they are starting to complain again. They may just have to suck it up this time.
The 2 littles eat anything from leftovers to sandwichs. Usually I like to sure they have a fruit, veggie and protein for lunch. As long as those 3 (at least) are cover then I'm happy with it.
Dinner~~I would like to say I cook one day a month and my deep freeze is packed with meals but that would be a lie. I cook daily. I try to change it up. Pinterest has helped me out there but I also keep ingredients on hand for my old stand bys when I just don't want to think. My life runs smoother when I have a menu plan laid out. I haven't been doing them lately but I need to start again.
C...mom to A, C, E, L, I, and R
I have great plans for make ahead meals but zilch follow through
breakfast: cereal (cheerios on the bottom, sweet junk on top), waffles and pancakes on Saturday mornings, sometimes bacon if we're camping-none of the kids will eat eggs
lunch: often soup and sandwiches, sometimes a meat/cheese/pickle/cracker throw together, they also love hotdogs but without buns
supper: they like pork/beef/chicken, pasta and some raw vegs. They like their foods pretty plain. sometimes they just eat plain pasta with parm cheese and grilled chicken breast. We usually bring home Mcducks on Mondays since they all have swimming lessons late that day and there's no time to cook. My kids hate leftovers and so do I
When the kids were little, I did a lot of advanced cooking such as spaghetti sauce, & lasagna, but now that they are older & I just have the two youngest at home (14 & 13) I don't cook anything in advance anymore.
They are like me, they just cannot stomach food straight away in the morning most times, so during the week they might grab a bit of cereal, a muffin, yogurt or fruit. They get packed lunches for school as no grade schools around here offer anything for lunch or even access to a microwave. If they want soup or something then it's heated in the microwave in the morning & put in a thermos.
Dinner it's whatever gets decided the same day of - it is usually two different meals, one for me, SO & the 13 yr old, and something different for the 14 yr old who has severe texture issues. For example, last night we did marinate boneless skinless chicken breast on the BBQ, and although he loves the smell of it, he cannot eat it as he cannot swallow the food; same goes for pork chops, steak, ham.
We make & eat a variety of stuff in the house and do not tend to order out or have fast food very often at all. Also, what we have depends on what shift my SO is on. When he is on the early shift & ends at 5:30pm we plan for something that he can eat as well (can't handle carbs very well, low sodium & low to no sugar due to high blood pressure & acid reflux). When he is on the later shift & finishes at 7pm he will wing it later on as he needs something lighter to avoid acid reflux issues since his meal ends up being later.