4 steps to staying sane while feeding your family during lock-down
Are you find feeding your kids more difficult than usual during lock-down?
Three weeks in and I need sanity!
Here’s my plan.
- Basic meal structure. The first week of lockdown, I was walking around handing food out and putting it in their mouths. If anyone knows me, you will know how absurd that is. It was horrid – like being a full-time fast-food mobile restaurant. So, we are back in a kind-of-schedule. They do ask for food if they are hungry, (eg breakfast is at different times), but if I am serving lunch, I inform that it’s happening now and once. They don’t have to eat it, but this is the meal. This mostly happens for supper, and sometimes lunch. My kids have totally different metabolisms and times when they are hungry. Oh, and feed yourself at the same time. You also need regular meals and snacks.
- Simplify. Breakfast is cereal or yoghurt, lunch is tuna/ cheese snackwiches, and supper is something very easy – burgers, pizza, pasta, and a cut-up fruit/ veggie if its a good day. You know those healthy biscuits you want to make? Maybe lockdown isn’t the time to try (unless you have time on your hands of course). Buy biscuits, ready-made food, frozen pizzas and whatever you can get to make your life easier. No guilt (see number 4). While new foods are usually important to offer, I am sticking to tried-and-trusted. If it works, then feed it to them.
- Let go. While I usually try to provide a variety of store-bought snacks and yummy homemade stuff, I am relying a lot on bought stuff. We stock up on crisps, chocolate and biscuits etc because you never when in the day you need something to keep everyone quiet, distract them, stop them from fighting, or just fill them up. We have weekend cereal every day, and I am trying to not worry about their nutrition at the moment.
- Guilt-free. This is a big one. We are in global trauma. No matter how privileged you are, this is HARD, as you know. So no guilt over how many times they eat chocolate spread in a day (or out the jar), or if you need to bribe them to be quiet in a zoom meeting with a lollipop. For me, with no domestic help, and no dishwasher, I am using a ton of disposables, which I never do and it’s been life-saving (this goes for bed-time, screen-time and pretty much anything else you need to do survive. )