Welcome back to another “In my kitchen”, the guest post series where we find out how other parents feed their families. This week I’m joined by Sally who is going to tell us all about how she cooks and feeds her family.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
Hello, I’m Sally and I’m married to Paul. We have been married for 15 years this year although we have been a couple now for 21 years. We have three sons together. Beau aged 6 (although very nearly 7), Rudy aged 3 and Sonny aged 20 months.
My husband and I run our own computer business. My husband works in the shop and I work behind the scenes from home, allowing me to also be able to take care of our three young sons.
Being at home with the children means that food forms a bit part of our day. There’s, breakfast, lunch and dinner and the snacks in between!
Who does most of the cooking in your house? Do you enjoy cooking?
As I am the stay at home parent, the majority of the cooking falls to me, although I’ve got to say I love it! I really enjoy being able to prepare healthy and wholesome food for my family which they love.
Do you meal plan?
I don’t meal plan as such, but of course, there are always favourites and staples that seem to come round in weekly rotations such as spaghetti and meatballs (Beau) and of course a weekly roast dinner (Hubby).
I do try and batch cook meals such a chilli con carne and lasagne as its easy to cook these in large quantities and then separate into smaller portions for the freezer.
What are mealtimes like in your house? Do you eat together as a family?
We always start the day by all of us sitting down and having breakfast together, although lunch time is usually just myself and Rudy as Sonny has his lunch when Rudy is still at nursery and Beau is obviously still at school.
With regard to dinner time, it depends…sometimes, for instance, Daddy will have to work late or will be called out to a job, so, therefore, he is not around to eat with us and in these circumstances, I will often sit with the children while they eat, but will then have my meal when my husband comes home as I don’t like the idea of him having to eat on his own.
What are your favourite family meals to cook?
Some of our favourite meals include:-
Spaghetti and meatballs, enchiladas, fajitas, curries, chilli con carne, lasagne, stir fries, stews, hot pots, sausage and mash, fish and chips, homemade burgers and of course, we love a full roast dinner. My husband would have a roast every night of the week if I let him? my favourite meals tend to be the fake-aways such as sweet and sour chicken balls or chicken and black bean with noodles.
Do you cook the same meals frequently or are you always trying new recipes?
I suppose when I first was married and had my own home, I was very nervous of cooking and would often get panicked in the kitchen. Nowadays, I am a lot more confident and I love trying out new things or indeed trying to jazz up an old favourite in some way.
Do you have any tips for dealing with fussy eaters?
Of course, I’ve come across one or more of my children declaring what I’ve just prepared and served to them is “yuck” and telling me that they don’t like it! I always think that compromise is key. I don’t force them to eat something that they really don’t like, but I will always ask them to at least try something. I tell them that there is no way that they can say they don’t like something until they have at least tried it.
We also have a rule in our house that unless you eat your dinner then there is no dessert. The boys all love pudding, so this seems to do the trick for us!
Do you have a favourite cookbook?
I don’t really work from cookbooks, but I do have a couple from Delia Smith and Nigella Lawson which I will occasionally refer to more often than not if I have guests coming for dinner and I want to try something a little different.
Do you enjoy baking?
Yes! I love to bake and I always try and have some cakes or biscuits in the house for the boys. The boys also love to be able to get involved with the cake making and especially seem to enjoy the weighing out of the ingredients.
Do you have any tips for making feeding the family easier?
As mentioned above, I am a fan of batch cooking. On Monday’s I always try and prepare our family meals for the week. For instance, I will make some things for the freezer and also some things fresh which will then be stored in the fridge such a marinated chicken or fish.
I find that this not only saves so much time during the week but that there is always a meal prepped and ready to go at relatively short notice. This means that the boys and myself and hubby can all have the same meal even though we may have to eat at different times and that mine and the hubby’s food is freshly cooked and not simply reheated.
I also find the freezer meals to be a godsend as I freeze them in individual portions so if one child wants one thing and another something different, this can easily be done! Plus there’s the benefit of having ready-made convenience meals, but knowing exactly what has gone into them.
Do you get your kids involved in the kitchen?
Absolutely! the littlest two are still a bit young, but my eldest son can often be found in the kitchen with me helping to chop and prep the vegetables. I think it’s important to teach children these life skills from a young age. One day my babies will fly the nest and I would like to think that they will go knowing how to prepare and cook a healthy and wholesome meal for themselves.
Where can we find you?
My blog is at www.thehappyhomewith3boys.com where I write about all things parenting, lifestyle, home and everything in between.
You can also find me on Instagram, Facebook and on Twitter as @thehappyhomewith3boys