View Full Version : preparing meals

02-02-2010, 08:38 PM
hi preparin meals how does everyone do ot when minding children?

02-02-2010, 08:53 PM
I get a chef in to do ours :p :laughing:

When I was on my own it was hard, especially when I'm doing tea for lots of little ones plus my own children.

I tended to do as much prep as possible when they were resting / asleep in the afternoon, then other stuff last minute.

even down to putting things in pans covered with water ready and things like that.

I have a slow cooker which is great for setting things going in the morning then I just have to add rice or pasta.

I also involve the children in cooking so they take it in turns to come in the kitchen and help. It keeps them interested and out of mischief at the same time.

hth :D

02-02-2010, 09:22 PM
Yes like Sarah, I tend to do my prep during sleeps & make most meals using the slow cooker

02-02-2010, 09:28 PM
I only do lunches not evening meals, and i have got a lot lazier about it since I have had dh with me, prior to him being around and one of us being the extra eye to keep an eye on the goings on, i used to be super organised and do a lot of preparation in the morning, and make use of making more than needed for our family meal, so that it is a warming up exercise and not a full on cooking job!

02-02-2010, 09:43 PM
It varies from day to day depending on the children attending and what we are doing.
As I have a kitchen/diner I will often prepare some of the veg for lunch at snacktime, whilst the children are sat at the table eating. Sometimes I will sit at the table with them whilst doing it other times I stand at the counter facing them. Often the older LO's get involved. My 3 and 4 year old mindees are getting very good at chopping potatoes and carrots, whilst my 2 yr old mindee likes to chop mushrooms.
If it is something that they can't help at then I make sure they are all busy (free play) and that there are either pens and paper at the table so they can draw/mark-make or playdough.
On days when we are out at toddler group etc I plan something easy eg yesterday we had spaghetti with homemade tomato and veg sauce (tomatoes, onions, peppers, mushroom, grated carrot)and grated cheese sprinkled on top. I batch make my pasta sauce and freeze it in meal sized amounts so all I had to do when we got back from toddlers was cook the pasta and microwave the sauce. The mindees helped grate the cheese.
Today we had homemade chicken risotto, which only took a few mins preparation to chop an onion and put it in a pan with the rice and stock(low salt one), then add chicken, frozen sweetcorn and frozen soya beans (just discovered them in the frozen foods and they're delish!), 5 mins from the end.
I suppose that I'm lucky in that my home is fairly open plan so I can have the children playing where I can see them without too much difficulty.

Carol M
02-02-2010, 10:02 PM
I freeze portions of family meals I make e.g. casseroles, chilli, bolognaise
then I only have to prep veg, pasta or rice.
I spend as little time in the kitchen as poss. I have a drawer in my freezer for mindee food all labeled and dated so it's used in rotation.
I also bung stuff in the slow cooker before start a.m and it's ready for tea.
Nothing wrong in using frozen veg and jackets are no hassle in oven.
This works for me

03-02-2010, 06:58 AM
I use my slow cooker a lot too and tend to put everything in it in the morning beore arrivals, if not i do easy things like pasta or sausages or fishfingers that need little prep and can be shoved in the oven, I also do things like sephereds pie or lasanaga, fishpie etc that can be prepared ahead or at the weekend when i make our own food,
I have considered not doing evening meals but some of mine dont leave till 6pm which i think is to late to then get home and have dinner.