Saturday, 26 November 2011

feeding hungry boys...

Maybe it's this time of year, as the nights draw in and it starts to turn cold, my boys seem to be ravenous. Constantly under my feet in the kitchen asking "what's for tea?"or "can I have a biscuit?" and occasionally foraging right under my nose!

To combat this constant demand for food, I am trying to plan my meals for the week ahead so that I make the most of what we buy, and be able to prepare quick and easy meals. So this morning I hit the recipe books, searching for inspiration, so that I can provide tasty meals that we all enjoy (including fussy number 2 son!)

Tomorrow we will have a traditional Sunday lunch, we usually have roast chicken or beef as we can source affordably from local farms. I do LOADS of vegetables, so that on Monday, we can have leftovers, vegetable gratin, or bubble and squeak and the meat in our packed lunch sandwiches. Tuesday, if we have eaten the left overs, the boys can have a tomato chicken casserole after school (that I can prepare in the morning) and I will add some red wine to turn it into something a bit more special like a coq-au-vin for us for supper. By Wednesday, we are quite weary and crave something really quick, so a risotto is my fast food of choice at the moment, I am going to try the cauliflower risotto recipe from Jamie's Italian book this week, as it can be spiced up with some chilli crumbs on top for Pete who sometimes despairs of my bland palette, (which is even more bland when I'm pregnant!)

The boys like to have school dinners once a week, and enjoy reading the menu we have pinned to the fridge and choosing, at first it was because Friday was 'chip day' but now it seems that they are more likely to choose other days, which is fab as the menu is quite varied and it encourages them to try new things. I don't like the price of £2/meal but it is a good balanced menu and freshly cooked at the school, which I whole heartedly support. If they have school dinners then this week I am going to do my favourite and 'oh so simple' butternut squash soup for tea with crusty bread, as it is soup season and my favourite way of getting the fussy child to eat more veg! On Friday, inspired by Anna's "Little Chef Friday's" we have decided to do the same thing in our house too, the boys have chosen to make pizzas, so I have remembered to make sure we have the right flour in the house and plenty of toppings!

Saturday, after porridge for breakfast, we will be inspired by the farmer's market if there isn't a football match. The fussy child loves trout, he loves choosing and buying his own trout, and will happily eat all of it himself. I am constantly surprised that he does this, and will always indulge this request as it is usually only around £2/trout, and is a meal for him and his brother! I think it stems from our holiday to Cornish Tipi Holidays, when he must of only been two or three years old and was captivated by the fact that we caught and cooked our own trout from the lake. Just shows how good children are when introduced to things from an early age, just wish he felt the same about the vegetables from the garden!

I think that should be a balanced week, there will of course still be biscuits but at least I should be better prepared!


  1. Ahh the feeding of boys - this is a constant theme for me. My trouble is the teenagers who get home before me and turn into locust. I now have food they can eat & family food so that I don't get home & find a vital ingredient for tonight's dinner has disappeared! They spent their childhood eating lovingly prepared, organic goodness and their teens eating a LOT of bread, cheese & beans... It could be worse.

  2. What an inspiring post, I relaly enjoyed readign it. I must try the idea of cooking extra veg for gratins etc - brill idea.

    I too have two boys (1 energetic 5yr old, 1 not so energetic 8yr old- and he's the fussy one in our house). I find it hard to get him just to try foods and totally agree with you that letting them cook seems to be the best way.

    Love the sound of your menu. Tomato chicken hotpot was wolfed down here last night funnily enough and there's butternut squash soup in the fridge for lunches tomorrow.

    Homemade chicken nuggets (just chicken breast, egg&flour and wholemeal breadcrumbs) are No 1s favourite to make (he loves the sizzle) and like your son is a fish fan too and will devour a side of pollack or coley, no questions asked. Likewise veg is a challenge; broccoli, the odd roastie, peas and that's about it so I shove tons in bolognese and he drinks plenty of whole fruit smoothies.

    I long for the day when my fridge has been emptied by ravenous boys and try really hard to keep my frustrations under wraps but its not easy! Off for a biscuit I think!


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