Welcome back to another instalment of In my kitchen, my guest post series where other bloggers and parents share with us how they feed their family. This week I am joined by Justine from Lil Jem and Baby E. Thanks so much for taking part Justine and if after reading this you feel inspired to come and tell us all about your family meals, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
We’re a family of three, plus a cat. The hubby is a social worker, but would rather be an American Football coach, Baby E was born in October 2016 following a successful first round of IVF, and I am a part-time administrator, full-time life planner.
Who does most of the cooking in your house? Do you enjoy cooking?
I definitely do most of the cooking. Probably six out of seven days of the week, with the seventh day falling to the Hubby who often opts for takeaway!
I’ve always enjoyed cooking, but have really relished the (lovely) chore of feeding my family since E started BLW in March 2017 at 5 months old.
Do you meal plan?
For sure. Being a part-time worker, but wanting to keep E to an evening routine, I plan according to how much time I will have each evening to prepare and cook the tea. This guarantees it’s always on the table by 6pm.
On either the Friday or the Saturday, I will write-up the evening meal for each day of the week on a family calendar, and then from this, list all the ingredients I am going to need. From the ingredients list, I then create my shopping list ready for my weekly weekend food shop, which E accompanies me to.
Planning not only means I’m not getting frazzled by trying to work out what we are going to eat at the end of the day, it also means that I can ensure E is getting a varied diet week on week, and it also keeps the food costs down as I only buy what I know I’m going to use.
What are mealtimes like in your house? Do you eat together as a family?
As soon as the Hubby comes home from work he is tasked with entertaining E while I finish cooking the tea. If it’s been my day off from work then I will have prepared most of it throughout the day, but if I’ve been at work, this is the time to get everything done in one go (hence the planning as sometimes I only have 30 minutes).
As I’m dishing up, The Hubby will set E up in her high chair, with her bib being put on her, and a small snack given to her to keep her from fidgeting while I plate her up and wait for her food to cool a little.
We all eat together as a family, and the Hubby and I will chat about our day. E tries to join in on occasion!
The Hubby clears our dishes away whilst I help E out of her high-chair. The dirty dishes are put into the dishwasher, and any pots are left for whoever isn’t taking E to bed that night, as we alternate each evening.
What are your favourite family meals to cook?
E is a massive fan of chicken, which is good for me as I can bulk buy this at my local butchers and freeze individual breasts. One of our favourites is Parmesan and oats crusted chicken. It’s easy to do, and really tasty.
Do you cook the same meals frequently or are you always trying new recipes?
I’m forever trying new recipes. Now is a really good time to allow E to have as much variety as possible. Baby Led Weaning is meant to promote healthy eating and less picky eaters, so I choose a range of meals suitable for a baby that have many different tastes and textures. We never have the same meal in any given month.
Do you have any tips for dealing with fussy eaters?
A lot of the time it is the texture that puts fussy eaters off, so try different ways of cooking food. Boiling, steaming, roasting, grilling etc.
Also, bear in mind that it takes 15 to 20 tries of something before you can truly know of you like it or not, so don’t stop giving food to a child because they had it once and didn’t like it.
There’s nothing I won’t give to E as she’s still developing her tastes.
Do you have a favourite cookbook?
Not particularly, but I get the majority of my recipes from resourcefulcook.com. This is a great site for planning and budgeting too!
Do you have any tips for making feeding the family easier?
As mentioned above, resourcefulcook.com is an excellent online resource. You can choose your budget, how many people you want to feed, and how many days. It will provide you with recipes that use up ingredients and even provides you with a shopping list!
I also double up on portion sizes so I can freeze half, ready for days when I’m short on time.
The slow cooker has been my saviour this autumn for making hearty stews. There are some fab recipes on Pinterest.
Do you get your kids involved in the kitchen?
At the moment, E is too small to get fully involved. When she was smaller, she would sit in her Bumbo on the worktop and watch me. Now she’ll wander around the kitchen and I’ll commentate on everything I do.
Where can we find you?
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/liljem.and.baby.e
Facebook – Liljemandbabye