Sunday, 18 April 2010

Oh help! What's for lunch?

I've suddenly realised that my first proper week of unemployment starts tomorrow and that in just over ten days I'll be a full-time mum (we're leaving the girls in nursery on Thursday and Friday next week to allow time for packing ('cos I can pack up my house in two days, easy)).

I've got all sorts of worries about this:  will I lose my identity? Will B respect me if I'm not contributing to the family income? Will the girls respect me when they're grown up? Will I respect me when I can't remember who the prime minister is?  What on earth am I going to do with all that empty time???

But I've suddenly realised that I've given no thought at all to the biggie:  What on earth am I going to feed them?

I'm going to have to provide three delicious, nutritious meals a day, every day.  No respite: no "Oh well, they're going to nursery tomorrow, I won't have to think about it"; no "They eat a varied diet at nursery, so fishfingers for the third time this week won't kill them"

So this is a plea for advice.... what do you feed your children? And, more specifically what do you feed them for lunch?   Even I can make a piece of toast and put some cereal in a bowl at breakfast and I have a repertoire of things I feed them at suppertime* (it's remarkably the same as the stuff my mother used to feed me) but my brain goes blank on lunch.

I think the problem is that it's so long since I ate anything other than a sandwich or soup for lunch that I can't think beyond that.  But somehow I instinctively feel that a sandwich isn't sufficient if you're sixteen months old, and I'm not sure my kitchen floor would survive me giving them soup (even assuming L would eat it).  But I'm also not sure if I'm supposed to be giving them a proper hot meal at lunchtime too.  Am I?

So, please help!  Hints, tips, recipes...any and all gratefully received.


*Things I feed my children:  shepherds pie, fish pie, spag bol, Annabel Karmel's chicken sausages (actually I make them into chicken burgers), AK's salmon rosti, the ubiquitous fishfingers (used to be home-made pre-A and S, now I am Captain Birdseye's most loyal fan), sausages, risotto (they actually tend to get that one for lunch), roast dinner if we're all having it (so not very often then), beans on toast, jacket potatoes, eggy bread, erm... that's it.  It's not wildly exciting is it?


  1. I am so happy for this stage in my boys lifes to be over. Come September when Mini starts school no more lunches for me. we are not wildy excisting, but things like beans on toast, muffin pizza, pitta bread and salad with a dip, scrambled egg, leftovers (more often than not - so spag bol, curry, jacket with last nights leftovers), noodles, sandwiches, spagetti on toast

  2. Toast, cheese, ham, hummus, ritz crackers, tomatoes, yogurt, grapes, raisins. And more toast.

  3. I'm with Iota. Finger food - as in, bread, pitta, rolls etc + whatever you have in the fridge. Or cook a big bowl of pasta (so you can use it over a couple of days) and then throw in whatever you were going to put ON the finger food (chopped ham, bits of chicken, cucumber, carrots - this is a great way to use up left over veggies, btw - pesto, etc etc.). But my top tip? Sorry to harp on about this because I'm sure you'll have read it in my blog or on other comments, but spend 10 minutes a week meal planning so that a) you can go out and buy what you need on one trip to the supermarket (rather than several when you realise you've run out of stuff) and b) you don't have to think about it FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK! Works for me, anyway... Best of luck!

    PS - as to what to do with your time; isn't that what blogging is for?

  4. Finger food is a winner in our house. Or pasta, ham, something with cheese, homemade fishfingers (feels a bit better than birds eye but probably aren't), home made chicken nuggets (see fish fingers disclaimer). I would have the same problem if I gave up work. A real challenge. I'm jealous of your new life to be honest. I know it'll be really hard work for you, but God I'd love to be a SAHM and spend real time with my kids.

  5. I have one little girl of 19 months and I tend to feed her the same types of meals for lunch and dinner (similar to your menu). I do a lot of batch cooking or cooking extra of what we are eating and freeze in portions so that I avoid the panic of not having anything to feed her - I am not a creative cook and don't seem to be able to whip something up with what I've got in the fridge! I also have a (hidden) whiteboard that lists what we are going to eat each night that makes shopping so much easier. Good luck with making the transition to FT Mum - you'll have fun!

  6. What did they eat for lunch at daycare? What did they LIKE to eat at daycare? You could ask their carers. Otherwise I think finger food for lunch would be perfect, especially with the warmer weather - you could have picnic lunches in the garden (or park) every single day!

  7. Okay so I think I'm outing myself as an ignorant American here, but I don't know what half the foods are that you mentioned. But as far as feeding little ones goes, I try not to worry too much so long as I am offering them decent foods most of the time. I just make what I like and eventually they seem to want to try it too. We eat a lot of burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, sandwiches, rice, yogurt, salads, simple soups, pastas, etc. Nothing fancy and the kids don't always eat. But as long as they aren't starving to death (which they aren't, my kids are on the thicker side) I try not to worry. Good luck!!! You are a great mom and everything is going to go just fine!!! Promise.

  8. yoghurt...umm, bananas, and erm...whatever they can forage from the firdge.

  9. Thank you all SO much. Somehow I had in my head that everyone else's children were eating duck a l'orange and beef wellington for lunch... So you have no idea what a relief it is to realise that "whatever's in the fridge" is as much a regular on menus in Finland, Moscow, the mid-West and all sorts of bits of the UK as it is here.

    Will stop worrying and start menu planning (thank you PM and little black duck). It's weird. I menu plan for B and me, but somehow doing it for the girls just never seems to happen. Must try harder. Have no job to distract me any more, after all.

    Mummy Halder - You'd think the daycare menu would be a good starter wouldn't you. Unfortunately I am the mother of the child who famously announced that she liked pasta "at nursery but not at home"...

    Mad Mummy - Lucky lucky you... although I'm sure I won't be saying that once they're all in school and I'm washing a million sets of netball kit, and trying to remember how to add 2 and 2.

    It's a Mummy's Life - thank you for being jealous too. I had to write "full-time mum" on a form for the first time today. Felt most weird...

    As for Organic Motherhood... well.... send me an email and I'll send you some recipes! But suffice to say, I couldn't tell a burrito from an quesadilla from an enchilada from a toreador if my life depended on it....

    Oh, and PM - it's not how to fill *my* time I'm worried about, it's how to fill *theirs*. I can happily blog/read/sit and stare into space. They're just not so keen. Yet.


I know. I'm sorry. I hate these word recognition, are you a robot, guff things too, but having just got rid of a large number of ungrammatical and poorly spelt adverts for all sorts of things I don't want, and especially don't want on my blog, I'm hoping that this will mean that only lovely people, of the actually a person variety, will comment.

So please do. Comments are great...