A friend popped in briefly today and said “your recipes and posts look amazing! I feel like such a bad mum ’cause I think, yeah I should do that – and then I go, oh, who’s got time for that? Here kids, have a vegemite sandwich!”
Well, I reminded her firstly that little R will not and never has eaten sandwiches. Anything bread like for that matter. He turns his face away in disgust like I’m trying to feed him poison. (Does he know more than we do?) He used to occasionally munch on a bit of toast when he was very small but only really to suck the butter off. So sandwiches were never an option for me with him. J, 4yrs, loves sandwiches but depending on the bread, they don’t always love him. Although generally more expensive, I’ve found spelt or kamut flour breads or mountain bread wraps are the best option on the digestive front with no hidden nasties. (My local food works supermarket has a great range called “Ancient Grains.”) Or of course, you can bake your own.
The other factor to note is that with two busy boys, my house looks like a bomb has hit it most days. I’m busy failing in all sorts of other areas too! Different people, different priorities
But she’s not the first frazzled mum to ask me “how?” or “when?” so these are my top 5 tips for getting the good stuff into you and your family:
1. Keep a container of veggie sticks in the fridge (carrot, capsicums, cucumber, celery, fresh green beans)
Chop up enough to last the week on a Sunday night while you’re watching 60 minutes and then when you or your munchkins are sniffing around for a snack, plop them on a plate with some dip and some plain rice crackers if you need to ease them into the veggie idea. (the Sakata ones are the only brand not covered in artificial junk) The dip pictured above is my ‘best of a bad bunch choice’ for when I haven’t made my own, as its list of ingredients is actually recognisable foods and it’s preservative free. Making your own dips however, is a much better option. (I will post some recipes soon but in the meantime, feel free to share your favourites with the rest of us!)
2. Make veggie soup.
Now, you’ve already got a whole lot of veggies out that you’ve been busy chopping up for snacks, so why not roughly chop some more and throw them in the slow cooker with a diced onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, some dried herbs, a tin of tomatoes (try to find a brand that don’t line their cans with BPA. Alternatively, use a jar/bottle of passata.) and a litre or three of nourishing homemade stock. (Depending on how many veggies you’ve cut up.) Cook on low overnight and ladle into jars in the morning. (It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or for at least 3 months in the freezer. Then simply heat and serve for an easy winter lunch or snack. If your kids won’t eat it chunky like this, purée in the blender first and give it to them in a mug. I like to serve this with something protein based to keep them full. For example: hard boiled eggs, some leftover meat from dinner the night before or J’s favourite: a ham roll up – a slice of Istra Ham (ethically farmed, preservative free) rolled up in a slice of buttered mountain bread.
3. If dinner includes bones, make stock
Check out my post here about how to create a rich, nourishing homemade broth/stock.
4.Keep your juicer/blender on the bench otherwise you’ll never use them. And pre-prepare fruit and veggies
These days I buy two bags of delicious oranges a week -in season, fresh, juicy and perfect for boosting your vitamin C during winter. One bag i keep for whole fruit snacks and one to peel and store in the fridge for juice/smoothies. (It’s the hospitality training in me!) Celery is a pain to store in the fridge anyway so before you put it away with your groceries, rinse it and chop lengths into halves. Bananas going brown? Peel them, slice and freeze for smoothies and ice cream. You get the idea.
5. Always make more than you need
I always make our smoothies the night before when the kids are in bed and sanity is returning. When little people aren’t pestering you, EVERYTHING is easier to prepare. And I ALWAYS make enough for two days unless it is quite acidic. (With lemons/oranges)
The http://renlikesred.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/breakfast-moothie/ keeps really well for two days but no longer. Always make double batches of casseroles, stews and soups, roast extra veggies for lunch the next day, cook extra chicken drumsticks to shred for tomorrow etc… And make sure you use everything up!
So there you have it, these are some of the ways I try to stay as organised as possible so I always have something nourishing to feed my hungry little monsters.
Would love to hear some of your tips!