Feeding the Four and a half bellies

....and anyone else who happens to be stopping by.....
In order to put the challenge into context, maybe it would be useful to know a little about our daily routines, dull and imperfect though they may be.  

This is a monotonous feast, I find, which we jazz up for high days and holidays. But nobody is functioning at full throttle at this time in the morning, and so on most week days it is the same old same old fruit, juice, cereal and toast.  But at least I know we have all had at least two of our five a days by the end of this meal. Infact when I forget to serve fruit at the start of breakfast, either Maths Geek or The Noble Knight will usually yell "We need to start with fruit!".  Such creatures of habit...

On weekdays Maths Geek and The Noble Knight have a school dinner and I provide Princess Baby with a hot meal, so their evening meal can be light. Mrs Doubtfire is a sandwiches-to-work man, which I insist he makes himself. I have enough bellies to feed don't I? I am lucky that my work provides a hot meal, and when I am at home I join in with what ever Princess Baby eats. 

We enjoy fruit, toast and yummy toppings, raw vegetables, cheese and biscuits and the occasional treat from the oven or the bakers if we are feeling lazy. After school Maths Geek and The Noble Knight are ravenous and need a substantial snack, a milk drink and a very early supper. 

Evening meal
We are torn between the joys of eating as a family and Mrs Doubtfire and I snuggling in with a cosy meal for two.  On week days it is usually too late for the children to stay up to eat with us, and in any event, I think it is important for Mrs Doubtfire and me to have time as a couple.    By the early evening the children are usually tired, and they prefer to eat more "nursery food" which is easy to eat with a spoon and easy to chew on.  Luckily though we have three very good eaters in Maths Geek, The Noble Knight and Princess Baby, and they also love trying out left over what-ever-the-grown-ups-ate-last-night, particularly if we have had a dinner party. This means that although I am catering two evening meals on most nights, one of these meals only involves heating up left overs or a very simple fix like eggs. Pudding is mostly fruit and/ or yoghurt (not in little pots, as this increases waste, and there is no need for "children's" yoghurts, which can be expensive), but I sometimes serve up semolina or rice pudding if I have the energy and have thought about it.  

Often, I try to have Mrs Doubtfire and my evening meal cooked or nearly cooked in the morning, when I have more energy, so that I can concentrate on chatting and drinking wine after the palaver that bathing, reading to and putting to bed three children involves.  Drinking wine while organising the meal is a lovely way to unwind and catch up with the day's events.

The weekly family Sunday roast is a must do, and this is where we participate in eating as a family and talking about the world all together.  I always ensure there is a good pudding as well to enjoy.    

Feeding the five thousand
We like to invite our friends to eat with us, and the extra money spent on food is definitely off set by the numerous occasions we go out for a meal to friends' houses or go and stay with our parents.  

Copyright: Dinner Lady 2011