View Full Version : When do you cook?

11-11-2011, 05:06 PM

For those of you that serve a hot meal,

Just wondering if you serve a hot meal at lunch time or dinner time?
I'm wanting to do hot meal at dinner as we will all have the same meal, but have seen a lot of posts that serve it at lunchtime.

11-11-2011, 05:18 PM
I do a hot meal for all my mindees if they stay for tea. I either use the slow cooker and have put it on in the morning so only have to stick rice or pasta on when we get in from school. Or I have made it the day before/while little ones napping in the afternoon to heat up or very occasionally cook when we get in after school if it is very very easy like sticking baked potatoes in the oven. I struggle to be organised - also have to cook for my family as we are vegetarians, there are 5 of us (all teenagers so like feeding 5 adults every night) and I cook for 5 littlies - so I do A LOT of cooking!! ...I am lucky though as my teens often cook our tea.

I make sure that any little ones that only stay for lunch have a cooked lunch most days - so save some of what the others have had the day before too heat up for lunch.

11-11-2011, 05:29 PM
I cook the night before or batch cook at the weekends and freeze
I cook when the kiddies are asleep or i have a free hour or so because i have no one here

I cook when the kids are happy playing!

11-11-2011, 05:29 PM
i do a cooked tea for mindees. usually its in the slow cooker, or on timer in the oven, to be ready, and all i need to do is quickly cook veg, pasta etc.

i usually prep tea after lunch when LO sleep, but depending on what is for tea, i might do it first thing before mindees arrive, or even the night before and put it in the fridge overnight!

i have one mindee who needs a cooked lunch and he either has a portion saved from the night befores tea, or i also have frozen LO meals in the freezer for when needed.

my children & mindees eat first, then Dh & i have it later, reheated if necessary, or with fresh pasta etc cooked as needed. (although tonight, i ate with the children as as soon as mindees gone home, got to pick up DD from dancing, drop home DS friend and go to choir practice! i wouldn't eat till 9.30 else!)

i've been doing a cooked tea for mindees for the past 8 years, and its pretty much habit now an di don't think about it! mindees are good about me getting stuff sorted for tea, and either play or come and do drawing/reading etc in the kitchen with me.

11-11-2011, 06:36 PM
We have our hot meal in the evenings as I have after schoolies every day adn they dont leave til 6 (and then mum is usually late at least once a week!) I try to either cook in bulk on a friday whilst no kids here and freeze for the week, or whilst mindees are happily playing. I have done as much as I can to reduce the time I spend in the kitchen when mindees are here. I use microwave rice, my slow cooker etc!

11-11-2011, 09:26 PM
Depends on the day/child but usually for the younger ones I do hot meal at lunch but this is usually saved from night before or like others I have portions saved in my freezer, or something easy like jacket potato and beans or homemade soup. Mostly from 2 up i do range of finger food bits at lunch and hot meal in the evening. Now the colder weather is setting in I do more soups, or hot finger foods such as toasties or crumpets etc for lunch.

Depending on what I am cooking and who for depends on when I cook/prepare it. Either something to quickly heat up or put in slow cooker or things that don't need much attention. My kitchen and living area is next to each other with a stair gate anyway so it's not like I would be leaving them to cook. I haven't found a problem so far.

12-11-2011, 09:33 AM
*the plan* is to cook for lunch but prepare as much as possible beforehand so I only have to do the minimum while mindees need me.
As DH and I will - at least part time - be working together, we thought it would be nice for all of us to have lunch together, then have a simpler meal for tea.
I *think* that a cooked meal works out slightly cheaper too, it's easierto make it bulky and filling with potatoes, pearl barley, rice, pasta etc. Which means kids *should* last longer, especially the smaller ones, than if they nibbled on a bit of bread and cheese etc.

However what it will look like in practice? I'll have to wait and see!!

Meals I was going to cook for lunch would be mainly "sauce" based - like mince in tomato sauce, pre cooked and frozen, then different spices and herbs added for Moroccan mince with viscous, spaghetti Bolognaise, shepherds pie,...
But then we need to invest in a bigger freezer first lol!

All theories at the moment... Boy I'm lookingforward to feeling dumb when it comes to practicing my clear theories haha!!:laughing:

12-11-2011, 03:09 PM
When I had after schoolies I cooked so that everyone had their hot meal for tea. But they have all left and my kids now have school dinners so I cook a hot meal for lunch. This now works better as a couple of my little mindees leave before tea and it means they always get a hot meal here.

Most of my preparation is done the evening before or first thing in the morning and the majority of meals are cooked in the slow cooker or oven on a timer. If the mindees are playing happily in the conservatory I can shut myself in the kitchen with a safety gate and cook whilst still watching them.

12-11-2011, 08:08 PM
Yes, luckily my kitchen is between te conservatory / playroom and living room which will be both used for minding, so I can keep an eye on both rooms :)

12-11-2011, 09:09 PM
When I cooked meals, I used to make a big batch of spag bol in the slow cooker (6 litre pot) and serve it for the children at about 4.30 then freeze enough sauce for 2 children in several containers for other times. I also used to make Cottage Pie mince this way too and chicken in gravy, so all I needed to do was the potatoes/rice/pasta/veg in the microwave :thumbsup:

12-11-2011, 09:19 PM
Most of my mindees are here until 6 so we have a cooked meal after school, I try to batch cook on a sunday, if i dont have time to do that i will usually prep everything after lunck while lo's are having sleeps or playing. :)

12-11-2011, 10:05 PM
I sometimes cook both at lunch and teatime, just depends who is coming.

I often cook at weekends and freeze so it's only reheating plus veg and I use the slow cooker a lot too.

Miffy xx

12-11-2011, 10:53 PM
I do very easy to prepare lunches as couldn't possibly cook with the ch'n around me. One day a week I defrost a soup which I made at the weekend, another day it might be jacket potatoes done in the microwave with various fillings, another day sandwiches/toasties, couscous with cooked meats and salad or tinned/frozen veg, gnocchi with defrosted sauce etc. I cook more 'complicated' meals for tea when mindees are asleep after lunch.