This week I’m joined by Nicola who’s little boy is a similar age to my youngest. Where she talks about involving in the kitchen, I can really relate to as my toddler loves mess and climbing! I love that her tips for feeding fussy eaters are aimed at adults instead of kids! I have a few in my family too (thankfully not my husband) and I used to find it so stressful when they visited but now I just ask them what they will eat and go along with it. I hope you enjoy reading this post too.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
Hi, I’m Nicola, I’m 31 and live in Liverpool with my husband Neil and my toddler Dexter who is 20 months. I’ve been blogging at http://Mummytodex.com for 18 months now and mainly blog about baby-led weaning and our day to day life as a family of three.
Who does most of the cooking in your house? Do you enjoy cooking?
I do most of the cooking at home and yes I do love it when I have the time to do it properly. While I was on maternity leave, I cooked three meals a day, all from scratch. Since I’ve been back at work I have relied more on ready meals and snacky type dinners, especially because Dexter gets his tea at the childminders. When I have time at a weekend, I like to prepare a delicious and healthy meal for us all.
Do you meal plan?
I meal planned religiously whilst on maternity leave and planned my Morrisons grocery delivery to the absolute penny. Meal planning slipped off the radar towards the end of 2017 and we found ourselves in our local Sainsbury’s most nights picking up bits and bobs and spending a fortune. This week we’ve just started planning again. I’ve written meals for the rest of the month and yesterday received our delivery to go with this. We will need a small top up shop in around two weeks time but only for a few fresh bits.
What are meal times like in your house? Do you eat together as a family?
As I said, Dexter eats four nights a week at the childminders so it’s only on a Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday we get the chance to sit down as a family of three. On the weekdays, my husband completes a vigorous training routine on his bike and prefers to eat after exercising so I often eat alone. This was the main reason I was turning to ready meals as I don’t often fancy cooking just for myself.
What are your favourite family meals to cook?
We love a good old spaghetti bolognese and we are huge curry fans. I make both from scratch making my own sauces and getting a good bit of garlic or naan bread to eat alongside. We also are partial to a fair few pasta dishes, burritos and burgers!
Do you cook the same meals frequently or are you always trying new recipes?
I love trying new things but unfortunately, my husband is really fussy. He won’t have any creamy sauces, cheesy sauces, gravy, pies, stews, mushrooms and only like certain veg. This coupled with a strict meal plan means we often stick to the same meals. I find meal planning works better when you have four or five solid recipes that you can rotate. On this month’s meal plan you’ll find spaghetti bolognese three times, curry three times, pasta and chicken several times and then three new recipes using a big bit of salmon I got on offer.
Do you have any tips for dealing with fussy eaters?
Don’t even bother trying to change them. My husband is very fussy and I’ve tried in the past to hide things from him or pretending it didn’t contain certain ingredients- it just didn’t work and the food got wasted. I wait until he’s away for Dexter and I to enjoy a good carbonara or fish pie.
Do you have a favourite cookbook?
I don’t really use cookbooks anymore- if I’m looking for a new recipe, I’ll do a quick search on Pinterest, have a look at a few different recipes and then create my own using inspiration from them.
Do you enjoy baking?
Yep, I love baking and for Christmas, I got lots of new tools to help me decorate cakes which I’m so excited to start using. I love baking cakes, cheesecakes, muffins and cookies. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen baking baby led weaning friendly stuff when Dexter first started weaning.
Do you have any tips for making feeding the family easier?
I am a huge advocate of online shopping because you don’t get distracted by things you don’t need and you can go in and out several times over the course of a week and change things up depending on what’s on offer or how your plans have changed. We don’t really batch cook as we don’t have enough space in our freezer, but I really believe meal planning helps stop us wasting things.
Do you get your kids involved in the kitchen?
I talk Dexter through what I am doing but I am very interested in getting him a learning tower so he can see what I am doing and he involved. Whenever I’ve tried to get on his level to show him a bowl I’m mixing dry cake ingredients in, he has simply stuck his hand in and caused a massive mess. It’s definitely a work in progress.
Where can we find you?
You can find me on my blog http://Mummytodex.com