Children’s Tea / Ours

From the Recipe Box of: Noel Ash


Example week:
  • Baked chicken pieces, raw vegetables w/ ranch dressing → stir fry with rice
  • Asian noodles, raw vegetables → ramen
  • Baked chicken “nuggets”, raw vegetables w/ ranch dressing → cobb salad
  • Beans on toast → red beans and rice or jambalaya (something spicy they would hate) 
  • Hamburgers, raw vegetables, potato wedges → stuffed bell peppers, roasted potatoes
  • Buttered noodles, raw vegetables → pasta primavera
  • Mini meat loafs, mashed potato, frozen peas → meat loaf, baked mashed potato, green beans

Recipe Story:

This is a page from a meal planning strategy my family used for a period of time. We were living in England, and our kids were very young - 1, 3, and 5 - and we adopted the strategy practiced by our friends in the village, of letting the children eat a separate, more child-friendly meal earlier than the adults, who would eat after the kids were in bed. This was the plan I effected to keep from making two separate dinners every night. The way I made it work was to think about making one meal with two phases: For example, the children might have raw vegetables and cooked chicken, which then gets stir-fried together or converted into a cobb salad, hours later, after the kids are in bed. Another favorite was making stuffed bell peppers for the adults, but giving the kids the "stuffing" as hamburgers, and then putting the peppers in the oven while I put them to bed. Eating separately from the children might not have occurred to us if we hadn't been living in England, where children's tea is a common occurrence, and allows for an earlier bedtime (and therefore more adult time). Making this change in our schedules was a marriage-saving device at the time, because we got our dinner time back: We could enjoy our food because it was uninterrupted by complaints about vegetables, spices, etc., and  because we could actually eat the things we wanted to. We also got to enjoy cooking together again.   

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