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CM in need of dinner time help!

(9 Posts)
NickNacks Sun 28-Aug-11 12:41:23

I am a CM and quite frankly, mealtimes are a nightmare.

I have little time to focus on a meal without having to dash off and see to a child plus the mix of veggies/religious requirements/allergies/dislikes etc mean that finding a meal that everyone will eat is nigh on impossible. Also last minute absences and early collections mean i have a lot of wastage which i can't afford.

So i have been thinking of weekly bulk cooking and freezing meals into individual portions. The plastic Chinese takeaway boxes would be a perfect size but i only have two. Does anyone know where i could pick up some more?

And do you have any suggestions of the sort of thing i could freeze? Pasta/potatoes are fine to cook on the day to add to a meal.

Ideas/ suggestions much appreciated! Thanks.

VoldemortsNipple Sun 28-Aug-11 13:09:23

Costco do those plastic takeaway boxes.

I work as a cook in a nursery so cook for 40+ children per day. At lunch time, I offer one option of a hot meal and if the refuse it, they are offered a sandwich o
r similar instead.

Tray baked meals would be good to cook in advance and split into portions. They work out quite economical too.
Cottage pie
Fishermans pie

One pot meals
Homemade soup
Mild Chile
Mild curry

Homemade turkey meatballs
Homemade fishcakes
Homemade pizza on individual barm cakes
Hope this is helpful.

NickNacks Sun 28-Aug-11 13:22:54

Thats great thank you. Do you not have to cook more than one hot meal though to cater for the dietry requirements of some children?

We go to Costco quite often and i didn't think of there for the boxes so thats fab!

Individual pizzas sound great as they can choose their own toppings. Also just remembered my slow cooker which will come in handy especially since winter is approaching.

VoldemortsNipple Sun 28-Aug-11 14:06:23

I try to keep dietry requirements as similar as possible to the main meal. So same meal using quorn instead of meat. Or if the child is not full time, I will make sure the menu for that day is suitable. We have a child at the moment who can't have kiwi, so we don't have kiwi on the days that he is in.

I have to be more creative if a child can't have dairy products, and luckily I haven't had to deal with gluton free yet.

Also, in Asda and Tesco they sell packs of 6 individual jelly moulds for less than two pounds. I use these to freeze leftovers, as they are the perfect size for babies meals.

NickNacks Sun 28-Aug-11 14:12:56

thank you very much- very helpful. I've really struggled lately and i think menu planning might help to, as you say, keep the susbitutions as close to the meal as possible.

VoldemortsNipple Sun 28-Aug-11 14:30:00

What types of dietry requirments do you have?

NickNacks Sun 28-Aug-11 14:40:42

One vegan, one vegetarian and a fuss pot or two!

Sleepglorioussleep Sun 28-Aug-11 20:00:45

Asda had takeaway type containers on metal or plastic. I bought metal one adult portion or two child's for eg shepherds pie and they were a pound for ten.

Sleepglorioussleep Sun 28-Aug-11 20:06:32

Oh And my huge batch cook was chicken and leek pies, cottage pies, fish pies, chicken in tomato and courgette sauce with cannelini beans to stretch the meat, and a similar chicken casserole with peppers instead of courgette. Planning beef stew, chilli (very mild), fish cakes, breaded chicken goujons, lasagne, sausage casserole and chicken and broccoli in a white sauce over next few weeks. I just can't face daily cooking.
Good luck!

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