Cooking for Children

The title for this piece was going to be "The Joys of Cooking for Children", until I realised that for me there is no joy involved. Regular readers of my blog will know that cooking is not exactly my strong point



I envy all women who love to cook, but the women I envy the most are those who effortlessly produce meals without any forward planning.

Whipping up lunch for all the kids

An excellent example of this is a wonderful friend of mine who managed to rustle up lunch for 16 children and 10 adults in a couple of hours. She seemed to have an endless stock of exciting ingredients to choose from (making my "staple" cupboard look completely dull); didn't once have to duck out to Tescos for anything and didn't even glance at a cookery book. She can't be normal.

Or perhaps I'm the abnormal one

I can't even cook my husband a meal without having to pour over cookery books, write endless lists of ingredients, shop for said ingredients, shop again when I've forgotten something, and then throw the whole lot in the bin when I've burnt it. And all of that pretty much takes a day out of my life. It's exhausting.

Meal planning...

With the kids I have to plan their meals like a military manoeuvre, otherwise they'll be getting cereal again for tea. During term time, I work out a meal plan a few weeks in advance which seems to work well.

But then along come the holidays (and in particular the very long summer holidays) and the whole thing breaks down. In term time I only have to worry about giving them tea, so my trusty stock of 10 different meals can be spread out over a few weeks at least. This doesn't work in the summer, when I have to provide lunch as well.

Organising meals during the holidays

So this summer holiday I promised myself  that I was going to be very organised (I am actually good at that), have all the food ready in advance, and even introduce a few new items to my repertoire of 10.

It started so well, with barely a cry of "Not pasta again" from either of my boys. But then disaster struck. The Olympics. Given the choice of slaving over a hot stove or watching hunky athletes on TV, there was only going to be one winner.

So out of the window went the good intentions, and onto our laps landed jam sandwiches – for breakfast, lunch and tea. With the Olympics drawing to a close, it will be back to the "joys" of cooking again. Who am I kidding - more like a quick trip to "Cook" to stock up for the last weeks of the summer.

Jayne, Working Mum and Freelance Editor

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Tinies has been amazing, friendly and responsive to me at all times. Thank you!
Childcarer, Cornwall