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If you have three under three, or more, please tell me how you organise your meal planning?

(16 Posts)
mameulah Sun 23-Nov-14 08:39:37

I don't know whether iabu or not but we are expecting DC3, DC1 is not yet 2 and DC2 is not even four months old.

Please tell me how I can stay organised when I am exhausted.

I don't want to end up spending a fortune on food and still somehow having nothing in the fridge for dinner.

WalkingInMemphis Sun 23-Nov-14 08:43:59

I think you're panicking far too soon. By the time dc3 arrives you'll have an almost 3 year old and dc2 will be approaching 1.

You just make a meal for dc1 and mash/chop it up for dc2. Try to make a freeze meals when you get a chance so you have easy stuff to heat up for times when you're feeding baby (for instance).

QueenofKelsingra Sun 23-Nov-14 08:52:01

i had 3 under 3 (DS followed by DTs). batch cooking is your friend! I tend to have a session on Saturday or sunday when DH is home to have the kids and make huge pots of soup, bolognaise, curry, fish pie mix etc and portion and freeze them.

When the DTs started weaning (BLW) I would also cook off some parsnips, carrots, sweet potato in strips for them and keep in the fridge ready to microwave for them.

as Walking said, the key is to make sure everyone is eating the same - no making separate meals for the kids (adults can add salt/other extra seasonings after kids portions are dished if required).

when baby comes you'll find what is baby's best time - the DTs were happiest mid morning and I would set DS1 up with a game/tv and get lunch made (sandwiches/picnic type) and in the fridge and do dinner prep so there wasn't as much to do in the evening when the kids were more fractious.

you will manage! and in no circumstances feel guilty if you haven't got organised and just chuck beans on toast at the kids for dinner - as long as its not every night its fine!

Purplepoodle Sun 23-Nov-14 09:00:03

Batch cooking is your friend. I make my own bolognese, chilli ect (usually whizz the kids batches a bit). Then freeze the kids in ice cube trays and adults in Tupperware. All you need then is to defrost in microwave and add pasta/microwave rice - very handy for weaning. I got a few kid friendly recipes from gina ford that freeze well - chicken and peach casserole is a hit.

Plus I started giving main meal at lunch time then finger food like mini sandwhiches for dinner with a yogurt.

Purplepoodle Sun 23-Nov-14 09:01:15

When started maternity leave, ready to have dc3 I batched cooked enough that we had to go get a chest freezer lol

Purplepoodle Sun 23-Nov-14 09:02:22

Found the ready filled pasta from supermarket very handy. They loved noodles with the ready cooked chicken from the deli.

mameulah Sun 23-Nov-14 09:04:37

Thank you!

And did you all do an internet shop? And did you food plan for the week? And how often did you repeat the food plan?

mameulah Sun 23-Nov-14 09:05:32

Purple

Good idea, noodles, chicken and what else with it?

QueenofKelsingra Sun 23-Nov-14 09:11:17

I do a big internet shop once a month for all 'dry' food - pasta, jars and sauces etc. I then go out to buy fresh stuff once a week. I think in the newborn days I had a weekly fresh delivery though.

i had a food plan that covered the month so i had all the dry stuff in. then arranged weekly so i knew what fresh stuff to order. i could then move the dishes around within that week to suit plans. but always with backups in the freezer for when i didn't have time to cook fresh that day. i think we had about 18 meals to cover the month - so things like curry/bolognaise got a couple of outings per month.

Purplepoodle Sun 23-Nov-14 09:11:18

Chuck in some microwave veg if your time pressed or stir fry veggies.

I Internet shopped. For just after baby was born I made a list of about a month main meals somtimes repeating stuff weekly other every two weeks. The rest of days meals were flexible. I tended to Internet shop every two weeks but would nip down to local shop (or get DH to pick up fresh things like milk).

Kids like quorn sausages that be cooked from frozen and jackets which need little prep

Purplepoodle Sun 23-Nov-14 09:15:11

Don't be afraid to go for easy options if the day has beat you like the ready filled pasta with some micro veggies and tin toms, or cheese on toast (Tom purée can make into mini pizza or using pittabread) beans on toast is great too..

Friend swears by new potatoes as only take minutes in microwave with some veggies.

If all else fails there is take away pizza ;)

QueenofKelsingra Sun 23-Nov-14 09:19:56

omelette is also good - chuck in any leftover veggies from other meals or just ham and cheese - quick and easy (i used to do this for the kids and then DH and i would be down the chippy once they were in bed!)

mameulah Sun 23-Nov-14 09:28:51

A monthly internet shop, wow, I am impressed!

At what point in the day did you cook and how often in the week did you batch cook?

Artandco Sun 23-Nov-14 09:30:19

Have 2 with small gap, not 3. However main things we did were:

- batch cooking as mentioned. Still do. So need large freezer space, buy another if poss.
Ie bolognaise we make 10 family portions ( enough for x2 adults and x2 children), plus x10 small kids portions ( incase just children eating). So only actually cook that say x2 a year

- cook evening meal after lunch. I would get kids to nap at same time ( or for you eldest ones and baby in kitchen), and cook or at least prep evening meal then.

Then you can eat say x2/3 pre prepared frozen meals ( fill these with veg), x2 prepared at lunch meals, and a few super quick noodle/ pre prepared veg and chicken type meals

BrieAndChilli Sun 23-Nov-14 09:36:26

I had 3 aged nearly 4 and under.
The kids have always eaten the same as us. I had a manual grinder thing from boots (in the baby section) and whatever we were having would get a couple of spoonfuls in there and be ground up for the baby.
Even things like Thai curry, a small amount would be ground up then mixed with rice and more coconut milk to lessen the flavour
I would grind up ham for sandwiches etc
Because you only need to out a spoonful or two in you can do whatever whereas with a processor you would need to blend a large quantity of food.

dustarr73 Sun 23-Nov-14 09:45:19

Yes i had 3 under 4 and really just give the kids the same as yourself.Also no harm in the kids having soup /sandwiches beans on toast.What really helped me was getting your partner to make his own dinner.Ot takeaway some nights.It wont be for long anyway.

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