In my kitchen – how I feed my family

In my kitchen – how I feed my family

I started out blogging 9 years ago next month as a food blogger. Since having children I don’t cook or bake half as much as before but once a foodie, always a foodie. I baked quite a bit over Christmas and it got me thinking about slowly starting to introduce food into this blog. I don’t know about you but I find myself cooking the same recipes for my increasingly fussy daughters so I started to wonder what everyone else cooks for their kids. What are family meals like in other peoples homes? and perhaps someone has some tips for dealing with fussy eaters? So with these questions in mind, I have put together a series of questions and sent them to a few bloggers. I’m starting the series off today by answering the questions myself and then I’ll be back every Wednesday with another blogger to tell us what goes on in their kitchen. If you’d like to take part, send me an email to and I’ll send you the questions over.

Who does most of the cooking in your house? Do you enjoy cooking?

I love cooking and so does my husband. I probably cook slightly more often as I only work 3 days a week. Meal planning and food shopping are left to me. I work 3 days a week and on one of my days off we don’t get back from swimming lessons until 5:15 pm so most meals need to be quick to get to the table. Combined with fussy eaters, I’m not enjoying cooking as much as I once did. This is something I want to fix this year though.

Do you meal plan?

I try to most weeks. Occasionally I forget to put the online shop order in until the last minute and end up just going through the my favourites section of the app and ordering our regular items. I much prefer the weeks when I’ve meal planned so I aim to meal plan more this year.

What are mealtimes like in your house? Do you eat together as a family?

We eat together around the kitchen table as often as possible. This means we have family meal times all weekend and when we can in the week. My husband gets in around 5:30 pm so on my days ouff I aim to have tea ready for this time. If he’s running late he’ll have his later but I’ll eat with the girls. On the 3 days I work, family meal times are more difficult. We’re fortunate my mum picks F up from school two days and makes us tea. She’ll usually have fed the girls before we get home though. Mondays are my least favourite day. We all get in at 6 pm, the girls are tired, we make a very quick tea which sometimes they eat and sometimes they don’t.

Meal times are usually a battle in our house as both girls seem to be getting fussier by the week.

What are your favourite family meals to cook?

Tuna pasta bake, homemade pizza, roast chicken (although vegetables and potatoes can be an issue for F) and fish and chips. Everyone used to love my lamb and aubergine ragu but F no longer likes it. In fact, she no longer seems to like mince. I refuse to make different meals and hope to find more meals we all enjoy soon.

Lamb and Aubergine Ragu

Do you cook the same meals frequently or are you always trying new recipes?

I used to try new recipes all the time but nowadays I find myself cooking the same meals each week. Recently F has started refusing to eat many old favourites claiming she doesn’t like them so I need to find some new ones.

Do you have any tips for dealing with fussy eaters?

No. This is something I’m really struggling with. F used to eat anything until 6-12 months ago. E pretty much eats anything if she’s in the mood. I think with E it’s more lack of appetite and her not wanting to sit still! Meal times can be a stressful battle.

Do you have a favourite cookbook?

I have lots of cookbooks that I used to use regularly. I don’t buy them as much but I still can’t resist ones by Nigel Slater or Jamie Oliver.

Do you enjoy baking?

I love baking. I used to bake all our bread before having F and occasional sweet treats too. I bake less now but F is starting to show an interest so we baked biscuits at Christmas a couple of times which she enjoyed. I’m hoping to do more with her this year and perhaps E will be interested in baking earlier than F. I also love to make the girl’s birthday cakes, These photos are last years cakes.

Do you have any tips for making feeding the family easier?

Meal plan before shopping makes life easier. You don’t have to stick to the days but having 7 meals in mind before the weekly shop helps. Batch cook favourite meals that are quick to reheat so you have a freezer full of homemade ready meals for busy night’s. Finally online shopping. I resisted for so long and finally gave in and tried it a few weeks before my 2nd daughter was born. Now I can’t imagine where I got in the weekly shop.

Do you get your kids involved in the kitchen?

As well as baking, F enjoys helping make homemade pizzas. She enjoys rolling the dough, spreading the sauce over the base and adding the toppings. I’m determined to get her more involved this year.

Don’t forget to come back next Wednesday for my first guest post in this series where Kate from Family Fever will be telling us all about what goes on in her kitchen.

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  1. January 3, 2018 / 6:14 am

    Think I’m going to love this series- found it all really interesting. Off to find your lamb ragu Recipe now!

    • Claire
      January 3, 2018 / 6:24 am

      I hope lots of parents will enjoy the series. I hope your kids enjoy the ragu as much as mine used to!

      • Claire
        January 6, 2018 / 8:53 pm

        Thank you

  2. January 3, 2018 / 8:13 am

    Brilliant post. We love cooking and baking but like you don’t get to do it half as much as we would like. 4 kids school after school clubs just run out of time. We mostly sit together as a family and a roast is all of our favs. We love making cheese cakes and fruit bread.
    Really going to try harder on the fiesta this year so looking forward to reading more.

  3. January 3, 2018 / 5:01 pm

    A great idea for a series! I am always curious to see how other people do it 🙂 I use to meal plan too but sometimes it is a bit freelance too when I forget to order food…

  4. January 3, 2018 / 5:29 pm

    What a great idea for a series! I look forward to more of these.

    I totally understand you on the fussy eaters – Alexander used to be such a good eater and when he hit 3 it all went down hill… It can frustrating sometimes making food and knowing it probably won’t get eaten by them! And those cakes – yum!!!

  5. January 3, 2018 / 9:04 pm

    Such a good idea for a series! I absolutely love cooking and finding new recipes to try out – the ragu would be perfect for my husband 🙂

  6. January 3, 2018 / 9:38 pm

    I love baking but have to confess I am not a fan of cooking. I am the main cook in my house because my husband cannot cook to save his live but honestly I would rather not lol Personally quick and easy meals are a fan in this house. Like you though we always eat aorund the table and talk about our day.

  7. January 4, 2018 / 8:23 am

    Love this idea! Sophie can be really difficult to feed, especially if it’s something new to try. I do meal plan tho, find it so useful x

  8. January 4, 2018 / 8:27 am

    Great post – I don’t cook half as much as I used to – it is so hard with 3 little ones to cook something that we all like. I am definitely going to try a little harder this year. #sharingthebloglove

  9. January 4, 2018 / 8:31 am

    Like you I try and meal plan but I have fallen off the wagon now and then. I’m back on it with a passion now and find it less stressful and easier to manage our grocery budget. I need to try and get Small Boy involved in the kitchen more though. I often just wave things about going “hot, hot”, but I’ve started baking again so might try the pizzas. Plus – who doesn’t love a pizza?!

  10. January 4, 2018 / 11:52 am

    I’m a bit weird in that I only like to cook when I want to. I have to be in the mood to cook to enjoy it. My fiancé isn’t the best cook and prefers me to do it lol. I want to get more into baking this year definitely! Great post!

  11. January 4, 2018 / 12:01 pm

    Such a great post! I really enjoyed reading it, and look forward to more! As a college student and a boxer (resulting in clean-eating), I find meals quite inportant, I’ll definitely be taking your advice for meal planning on board- especially when I’m back to college and away from my mam!!😂

  12. Shevy du Toit
    January 4, 2018 / 2:36 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing, this is great. I’m definitely a foodie but hate cooking, can that be? 😂Fortunately my kids will eat most things but like all children, veggies are a favourite one day and hated the next! #BloggerClubUK

  13. January 4, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    What a lovely idea for a series, it’s always fun to see what other families eat and the meals they have. I love those cakes! I would love to take part, I will ping you a mail!

  14. January 4, 2018 / 9:28 pm

    I’ve never properly done meal planning, I really should do it more in 2018. Sorry, I’m no help on fussy eaters, H eats most things, and B is just 7 months, all I know about it fast changing eating habits – one day I like x, and the next I don’t 😀
    This sounds like a great series, I’d love to take part (I’ll drop you an email now).

    • Claire
      January 4, 2018 / 11:00 pm

      Please do I’d love to have you join. It’s so frustrating when they change there mind. F didn’t like chicken today despite regularly eating it until half way through dinner!

  15. January 4, 2018 / 10:46 pm

    Great idea! I’ve emailed you as I’d love to get involved. I’m back on the meal planning wagon after a busy year moving house!

    • Claire
      January 4, 2018 / 10:57 pm

      Great. I’ll email you the questions over.

  16. January 5, 2018 / 8:22 pm

    Lamb ragu sounds so delicious. We love a good tuna pasta bake in our house too. I love this idea and can’t wait to follow this series!! x

    • Claire
      January 6, 2018 / 9:07 pm

      It is delicious. Tuna pasta bake is a great staple meal.

  17. January 6, 2018 / 7:33 am

    What a lovely post! I love cooking, and baking bread, but I’m not as keen on cake…I’m not very good at it!

    • Claire
      January 6, 2018 / 9:04 pm

      I can bake cakes but icing is not my strong point!

  18. January 6, 2018 / 7:34 am

    I would love to take part in this. I’m a bit of a foodie too but unfortunately my toddler isn’t, mealtimes are interesting currently!

    • Claire
      January 6, 2018 / 9:03 pm

      I’d love to have you involved. Interesting is one word!

  19. January 6, 2018 / 7:36 am

    What a brilliant post. I don’t meanplan much but I know I should. Everything is much smoother when I do. I’m thinking of getting the kids involved so they can have some ownership of it too. And we are going to get better about eating together (it just takes so long and I find it so stressful!). Looking forward to more food posts from you. X

    • Claire
      January 6, 2018 / 9:03 pm

      Getting kids involved is a great idea.

  20. January 6, 2018 / 7:53 am

    I’m hoping my son doesn’t turn out to be a fussy eater! I was one (and still sort of am), and have missed out on so much variety that I’m only starting to discover now. Great idea for a series!

    • Claire
      January 6, 2018 / 9:00 pm

      Thank you. Fingers crossed for you.

  21. January 6, 2018 / 7:58 am

    This is brilliant series and will be following! I have two fussy eaters who seem to be eating more adventurous stuff at school but same old at home. I used to love baking and cooking but now it’s all about putting a quick meal together so we baseball our meals on a few staples. Curious to see how others are managing 🙂

    • Claire
      January 6, 2018 / 9:00 pm

      Thank you. It’s frustrating, isn’t it? I think F eats better at school!

  22. January 6, 2018 / 8:21 am

    Oh my gosh those cakes look fantastic! What a great post.

    • Claire
      January 6, 2018 / 8:57 pm

      Thank you

  23. January 6, 2018 / 8:22 am

    I’m the same, miss cooking now that I’m a mum! It’s always so stressful trying to find something we will all enjoy! Thanks for inspiring me to take back my kitchen!

    • Claire
      January 6, 2018 / 8:57 pm

      Good luck. I’ve tried a couple of new meals this week with mixed results!

  24. January 6, 2018 / 8:26 am

    Great post! I really struggle with cooking for the kids. I love cooking, but my youngest is fussy, so I end up cooking the same things all the time. At the weekends we eat together, but mid week I feed the kids, then eat with my partner later. We like the recipes from Joe Wicks as they’re healthy and really tasty. I’d love it if we could all eat the same meals though.

    • Claire
      January 6, 2018 / 8:56 pm

      Thank you. It’s so frustrating to cook a meal that the kids then don’t eat!

  25. January 6, 2018 / 8:41 am

    Unfortunately I hate cooking and my husband is the primary chef in our house. But sometimes I do have to pull something together on my own (lord help us, haha) and your Ragu looks delicious x

    • Claire
      January 6, 2018 / 8:54 pm

      Thank you.

  26. January 6, 2018 / 7:13 pm

    We meal plan but we’re so guilty of getting stuck in meal ruts – especially now that we have a very fussy eater in the family. I do think we need to be a bit more adventurous, but it felt like a milestone this evening when he tried a carrot (he declared he didn’t like it, despite having said he loves them at nursery) I think I’m going to try your lamb ragu – mine does still eat mince (so far anyway!) Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    • Claire
      January 6, 2018 / 8:51 pm

      It is so easy to get into meal ruts. We tried something new tonight too. F declared she didn’t like it before she even tried it!

  27. Maria Hughes
    January 6, 2018 / 8:44 pm

    Those cakes 😋. What a lovely idea for aguestpost series! x

    • Claire
      January 6, 2018 / 8:50 pm

      Thank you

  28. January 6, 2018 / 9:35 pm

    What a fab series, I loved reading this. I would love to take part, I will drop you an email. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  29. January 7, 2018 / 1:02 pm

    This is going to be a lovely series, really interesting to read how others do it! We have food issues here too, so it can get really boring at mealtimes! #bloggerpinparty

  30. January 8, 2018 / 9:08 pm

    Those cakes look so gorgeous! I would love to be better at baking. My daughter is really fussy (she doesn’t even like pizza!) and I find myself making the same dishes over and over. I need to find some new recipes, and ones that all the family like, which is not easy. #bloggerpinparty

  31. January 9, 2018 / 10:28 am

    I always find it really interesting to see how others feed their families so this was really interesting!
    Thanks for linking to #foodiefriday

  32. January 10, 2018 / 8:48 pm

    It’s interesting to read your answers. My girls both differ when it comes to food. My eldest is like me and snacks while youngest loves to try and eat everything! #bloggerpinparty

    • Claire
      January 12, 2018 / 9:39 am

      It’s interesting. My two are similar in some ways but different in others. My youngest for example, has always hated anyone feeding her with a spoon. It will be interesting to see if she becomes as fussy when she is older.

  33. January 10, 2018 / 9:46 pm

    This is a lovely post and a great idea for a blog series. Your family sounds a lot like mine when it comes to food – I find myself cooking the same meals all the time, and my kids seem to go through phases of fussiness. I’m determined to try some new recipes this year too. #SharingTheBlogLove

    • Claire
      January 12, 2018 / 9:34 am

      I’m glad I’m not alone! I’ve tried a few new meals this month already with about a 25% success rate!

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