Sunday, 24 January 2016

Monthly Meal Plan

Oh yes you read it right!  A monthly meal plan!  Not weekly, monthly!

This is for the kids, not myself and papa penguin - we like variety. However kids love having the same predictable things.  Kids love routines, they thrive on routines!  I'm a childminder and I survive on routines!

I've been working on this meal plan for the last month or so, looking at what the kids like, what they don't like, which kids I have on which days and how many.  Most days I have just 3 children for lunch but for dinner - Mondays I have 6 kids, Tuesdays 6, Wednesday 5, Thursdays 4 and Fridays 6  - one of which is gluten and dairy free. The children are aged between 1 years old and 6 years old.

Week 1 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Lunch Baked Beans on Toast Scrambled Egg on Toast Soup & Granary Toast Ham, Jam or Cream Cheese Sandwich with cruditees and boiled egg Gluten Free Pasta with tomato and hidden veg sauce

Yoghurt Fruit Pot Yoghurt Jelly Fruit pot
Dinner Boiled Ham, Homemade chips, egg, peas Pasta Bolognese Pizza and cruditees Wholewheat Pasta with tomato and hidden veg sauce Sausages (some gluten free), Rice, Peas

Banana & Ice Cream Yoghurt Jelly Yoghurt Yoghurt
Week 2 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Lunch Baked Beans on Toast Ham, Jam or Cream Cheese Sandwich with cruditees and boiled egg Wholewheat Pasta with tomato and hidden veg sauce Ham, Jam or Cream Cheese Sandwich with cruditees and boiled egg Soup & Superfood bread

Yoghurt Fruit Pot Yoghurt Jelly Fruit pot
Dinner Roast Chicken Traybake Pasta Bolognese Homemade chicken goujons, chips and cooked carrots Wholewheat Pasta with tomato and hidden veg sauce Boiled Ham, Homemade chips, egg, peas

Jelly Yoghurt Banana & Custard Yoghurt Banana & Ice Cream
Week 3 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Lunch Baked Beans on Toast Scrambled Egg on Toast Soup & Granary Toast Ham, Jam or Cream Cheese Sandwich with cruditees and boiled egg Gluten Free Pasta with tomato and hidden veg sauce

Yoghurt Fruit Pot Yoghurt Jelly Fruit pot
Dinner Chicken curry, Rice, Peas & Naan Pasta Bolognese Sausages, Mash and Broccoli Wholewheat Pasta with tomato and hidden veg sauce Fish fingers (some gluten free), Rice, Cooked Carrots

Banana & Ice Cream Yoghurt Jelly Yoghurt Yoghurt
Week 4 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Lunch Baked Beans on Toast Ham, Jam or Cream Cheese Sandwich with cruditees and boiled egg Wholewheat Pasta with tomato and hidden veg sauce Ham, Jam or Cream Cheese Sandwich with cruditees and boiled egg Baked beans & Superfood bread

Yoghurt Fruit Pot Yoghurt Jelly Fruit pot
Dinner Homemade chicken goujons, chips and cooked carrots Pasta Bolognese Fish Fingers, New Potatoes, Peas Wholewheat Pasta with tomato and hidden veg sauce Chicken curry, Rice, Peas & Naan

Jelly Yoghurt Banana & Custard Yoghurt Banana & Ice Cream


I won't lie. Mealtimes aren't easy.  It can be very depressing to put a nutritious meal on the table for kids of all ages say yuck to. You know there is nothing wrong with it, and you know that they will probably eat it but it can still be upsetting.  Especially when they aren't yours.  

My pasta bolognese (pasta shapes, not spaghetti as thats just too messy!) is the one meal that all children will eat with no fuss! Most have seconds!  Monday's dinners will get eaten....eventually. Wednesday is the one day I let them eat I guess more kid type friendly food.  Thursdays we need a meal that can be cooked and eaten quickly and I have my daughter and 3 boys to take to martial arts and Friday is a bit of everything and due to having two different kids to the other days will some time last minute be changed.

My rules!
The rules for my children are the same for all other childminded children.  I've stopped being adventurous during the week and the meals above are enjoyed but majority of the children. I can not cater for everyones fussiness. I do not give massive portions, you can always come back for seconds. You are expected to at least try it, if you don't then you will have to sit in your seat until everyone else has finished.  As soon as you are finished you are allowed pudding but as long as your plate is cleared.  Once you have eaten pudding you are excused from the table.  You are expected to stay at the table till either you've eaten everything on your plate and if wanted had pudding, or until everyone else has finished.  If you have eaten over half of whats on your plate you may be allowed the same pudding as everyone else.  If not you can have fruit.  If you've refused to even try your dinner you get nothing. Unless you are weaning.....thats a whole other story!

Oooooh gosh it sounds harsh but I don't like waste!  I get enough of that from the crusts of sandwiches that don't get eaten!  Generally parents seem happy with my rules. No one has complained yet!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

I'm still here!

I don't want to loose this blog but I've recently been feeling very unorganised and this blog had to take a step back!  I also felt like I was losing my way.

So I started a new blog!  Really hoping I find the time to keep it up to date and post back here every now and then.  I miss writing about the kids.  Not just to share with you guys but I really enjoy reading my posts back a few years later!  So I'm not going anywhere....

However my new love of clean eating is being blogged over here at The Nutritious Penguin....

Thursday, 1 October 2015

My Thursday...

It is Thursday again.  It is that time of the week where I have no kids. Yes no kids!  Pink penguin is at nursery again this morning.  She has been going two mornings a week and loving it.  She does ask every time if I'm going to come with her but I tell her its only for children and grown ups aren't allowed. She seems to accept that.

So what have I been doing.  Last week I was a bit under the weather and also very unorganised.  I had my cleaner due in the afternoon so spent the morning drink herbal tea and tidying up.  Yes I tidy for the cleaner.

Today I have fitted a radiator in our loft shower room.  Yes I fitted it.  Me.  A woman.  I'm super proud as I've been waiting for the original plumbers to come back and do it for over a month now but we had to wait for a valve and that took ages and I guess I got fed up of waiting so I did it myself! The shower screen was finally fitted yesterday. Have to wait for the silicone to dry but it looks as though we can use it from this evening! 

I have also done my weekly towel wash and swept the driveway.  We had a plasterer here yesterday plastering the kids bedroom ceiling as there is a bit of plasterer dust outside along with lots of autumn leaves. Hoping to get stuck in with painting this weekend.  So now I'm off to strip the remnants of wallpaper left in their bedroom.


Thursday, 17 September 2015

Where have I been?

When life gets busy I'm afraid its my blog that suffers!  I haven't forgotten about it, in fact I think about things I could write every day.  Its just I never find the time to do it.

I work four long days childminding from 730am to 615pm.  With no decent lunch break and no time to myself, my evenings are spent getting the kids ready for bed, washing, ironing, cleaning (I do have a cleaner that comes once a week so won't moan too much there) and getting the house ready for the next day.

However as I write pink penguin is currently at nursery/preschool. She will be going two mornings a week. Therefore I have one morning, 3 hours a week to myself!  I have spent this morning doing two wash loads,  tidying the house ready for the cleaner to clean and sorting bills and finances....or lack of!

Maybe I'll start to find the time to blog more now I have a bit more freedom!  Watch this space!

Blue penguin back and school, pink penguins first day at nursery!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Potty Training

We are potty training pink penguin! It was papa penguin's idea not mine surprisingly! 

A few months ago we dug out the potty, she had a play with it, mainly putting dolly on it. We asked her to sit on it but she never did.  Then at bath time she started to ask to sit on the toilet before bath.  She did this for about a month, only once doing a wee. She would sit on it and read a book. Then she kind of lost interest.  I did too.

Then three weekends ago on the Saturday we knew we weren't going any where for the day so we put a loose dress on her and some comfy leggings and let her choose her knickers.  By 9am she had wet herself twice.  I was ready to give up but all of a sudden she just kinda got it.  She'd be running around the garden, then stop and ask to use the toilet.  It had to be the toilet and not the potty.  We struggled to get her in her nappy at bed time.  On Sunday it all went to pot!  She pooped herself twice by midday, countless wet knickers and we gave up! Monday I had forgotten about it and naturally put her back in nappies.


On Tuesday we went to our normal playgroup, got home just before lunch, changed her nappy and she refused to put it back on. So I went with the flow and gave her some knickers to wear.  10 minutes later she asked to use the toilet.  I lost track of time after that and we did the school run nappy free. I had completely forgot to put her in a nappy until we were pulling up on the driveway and she said out loud that she needed a wee wee.  Amazing!  Apart from night time she hasn't been in a nappy since. One Wednesday I packed her a little back pack of spare clothes and she so proudly carried it on the walk to blue penguin's school.


Now its not all going smoothly.  She has had one wee accident in the car during a deep sleep and she can't see to make it to the toilet for number twos.  BUT she is waking up dry, waking us in the night to use the toilet (as annoying and sleep depriving as it is!) and we even managed a trip up to London and back with no accidents.  Thank goodness for the travel potty's! 

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Weekly Meal Plan June 8th



Last Friday I made chilli con carne for all the kids.  I can't believe how well it went down with the tortilla chips.  I had ages 13 months, 22 months, 2½ years and two 5 year olds. Bowls were scrapped! I really want to get the family into more clean and lean meals but for now I'm sticking to just me and papa penguin.


Here is my ipad screenshot of my menu planner app of this weeks meal plan: 


For those that can't view the image this is how my evening meals are planned for this week:
Monday:KidsSausages
AdultsClean & Lean - Spelt Risotto with butternut squash
Tuesday:KidsFish Fingers, spaghetti hoops and new potatoes

Grown upsI'm having stir fry veg and prawns as papa penguin is away 
Wednesday:KidsSpaghetti bolognese
Grown ups
Homemade Gluten free pizza - recipe here
Thursday:KidsThis is our after school martial arts night so quick pasta and homemade sauce from the freezer
Grown upsJacket potatoes - papa penguin will have beans and cheese.  I'll have salad and a small spoonful of beans.
Friday:KidsSalmon, potatoes & veg - last month this didn't go down well.

Grown upsSmoked Salmon and Spinach wholewheat pasta
Saturday:LunchLunch bits - selection of ham, cheeses and cruditees 

Dinner
Chilli con carne leftovers from freezer as kids will be eating at a kids party
Sunday:LunchSpaghetti Primavera

DinnerCottage pie and Salad

Monday, 1 June 2015

Cars Party

At the end of April we celebrated blue penguin turning 5. Then at the beginning of May he had a hall party down the road with a cars theme! Pink penguin is now aged 2.5 years.  Where has the time gone! 

With 38 children invited I knew it could get a bit mental but didn't want to fork out for an entertainer. I think the party went well without one.


Here's a peek into our day starting with his invitation:

We had some great space to use up in the hall.  So I ordered this road tape from amazon which covered a vast majority of the floor.  Papa penguins dad build a ramp for the kids to race cars on.  This was a massive success!  We took all our disney cars die cast vehicles (78 in total) and a toy garage. Also a great success.  I set up two tables, one with biscuit decorating and another with disney car tattoos from ebay. We ended up running out of the write on icing and having to send someone home to get icing sugar and food colourings!

I had party games planned and even put music on to get the kids going but they were having so much fun just playing.  Some times you don't ned to intervene and just let them get on.  Go with the flow!

As usual I was up the night before till ridiculously late making his cake which I think turned out great with the help of papa penguin and my mother! I have a great stock of those colourful ikea plates which come in handy for party's and kids were served ham, jam or cheese sandwiches, a selection of cocktail sausages and crips and a few bowls of cucumber and carrots were shared out.  There was a cupcake for everyone for pudding and fruit shoots or small bottles of water.  Adults had pimms, coffee and garlic bread!

At the end of the day blue penguin said his favourite part of the day was opening all his presents (he was one lucky spoilt boy) and the worst part was all the food because he ate too much and felt sick after!