Now that my two kids are at school and nursery full time, I’ve noticed the shopping requirements decrease slightly. Only slightly, mind. With lunchtimes now catered for by the school canteen, the absence of those previously well-stocked items of bread and sandwich fillers has freed up a bit of space in the fridge. But it’s amazing how quickly we forget.
Especially when the first few days of the school holidays come and go and you’re left with nothing but a few slices of bread and a notable lack of cheese in the fridge. And when you realise that the umpteen requests for snacks has left your fruit bowl and biscuit tin depleted and that you’re going to have to do yet another mad dash to the shop to get through another day.
Yes, we easily forget that feeding our kids around the clock costs a few quid. And coming up with new ideas about what to give them for their lunch can be a bit of a brain drain – it’s so tempting to reach for the cheese and ham for the third day in a row and I don’t blame you. I’m not saying be creative every day, but here are a few ideas to keep you sane…
Bread. No matter how many times it happens, I’m still astonished at how quickly it disappears when there’s more than one person (me) here of a lunch time. So, if you’re stuck for an activity, why not have an afternoon baking a few loaves with the offspring? Of course, with the smell of freshly-baked bread wafting through your home, everyone one will be tucking into that bread as soon as it leaves the oven, which kind of defeats the object of having a consistent supply of the bread in the first place.
Cheese. Good for sandwiching in between the bread, obviously, but also useful for a few other things as well. With crackers, pineapple, melted on toast, grated into soups, on top of salads, or just cut into cubes with apple as a snack. So I would strongly advise you get in a few extra kilos, or thereabouts, before the start of the holidays.
Fruit. Even though my kids eat the stuff, I still end up getting too much of one and not enough of the other. The amount of times I’ve had to use bruised and wrinkly bananas in a banana bread recipe (and that’s a whole other blog post) because no one has being tempted by the prospect for a few days. But you can guarantee that the week I decide not to buy any, will be the week everyone goes banana crazy. So basically, what I’m saying is buy more fruit. You will have endless opportunities to chop it up, blend it in or hide it in baked goods. That’s the great thing about school holidays – nothing will go to waste.
These are all the things that work in my house – what works in yours?
Oh, and I’m not going to pretend I never feed my kids any of the good stuff too. And by ‘good stuff’, I mean biscuits and the odd packet of crisps. Always worth having to hand in a snack emergency. Yes, an empty biscuit tin is a rare sight in this home.