At this blog, I truly intend to focus my writings on educational methods and ideas, but occasionally I just can’t help myself, and I start writing about nutrition and meal planning. On rare, frustrated moments, I admit to being envious of mom’s who send their kids to full-time schools, for the simple fact that the kids are out of the kitchen for 8 hours straight. Imagine. The bottom line is that the more I have our menu-planning stream-lined, simplified, and under control, the more I can focus on my kids. And that means a lot to me.
Trying to figure out how to feed children in a healthy way without blowing the budget could easily be a full-time job. If there’s one thing I envy about mothers of past generations, it’s that they didn’t have to spend much time thinking about what foods to fix. (They just spent a whole lot more of their time fixing that food.) In one of Maria Montessori’s books she recommended that children be given primarily stock with chunks of bread to soak in it. My kids didn’t think that made much of a great lunch, but I do love to make them homemade bread and chicken stock.
I know there are a lot of blogs out there devoted to sharing great meal planning ideas and recipes, and if you have any favorites, I’d be happy to link to them in this post. So many variables come into play with food, like budget, allergies, food preferences and availability, and the ages of the children in the household… I’ve written previously about trying to eat in-season with kids, and in that post I provide menu planning sheets you can print and try out. I’ve also posted our basic meals here.
I enjoy making home-made yogurt for my family. I’m privileged to own a Vitamix blender, with which I make all kinds of great smoothies and my own coconut milk. Instead of dessert, I offer a snack with tea-time. I try to serve protein at each meal, and save favorite menus for Sundays. This current rotation of 14 days has chicken 4 times, beef twice, ground turkey once, and a small amount of bacon 3 times, with sea-food, eggs, peanut butter, and beans filling in the rest.
As much work as it is to feed our kids 3-4 times a day, 365 days of the year, the absolute truth is that I am thankful-to-tears that my kids don’t have to go hungry, and that they get to eat anytime of day that they need to. I have been studying various memoirs from the Dachau concentration camp lately, and remembering to be more thankful for my country and the blessings I have been given.
How about you? How do you survive life in the homeschool kitchen?