Staying motivated and inspired in the kitchen can definitely be challenging at times, especially when you feel that you are constantly in the kitchen cooking or grabbing a snack for the kids. I personally enjoy cooking and love trying out new recipes but there are definitely times that I have no desire to even whip up a quick omelette.
School holidays is no different, and at times I find that even though you have no lunch boxes to pack some how you end in the kitchen even more or heading out for lunch with the kids ends up costing you over $50, which you could actually spend that money else where or on fun activities. When I was recently in Denmark I noticed that families don’t generally go out for lunch and dinner like we do in Australia – cafe culture isn’t as big for families as it is here. After speaking with a few of the locals they mentioned that it is just too expensive and it is more ‘hygge’ cosy to have a picnic or go to each others houses instead. I always know that I am in Denmark when I see families walking around eating carrot stick or fye bread.
Here are my 5 tips on staying a float during the school holidays and spending less time in the kitchen and less money out:
Sunday kitchen prep: Continuing to wash + cut up cucumbers, carrots, capsicum, celery sticks and cherry tomatoes is definitely a great time saver and an easy snack that the kids can grab from the fridge – plus you know it is healthy so you don’t mind how much they take. You could even prep your fruit such as grapes, watermelon, apples, oranges and have them ready to go in containers as well. Strawberries and blueberries are in season at the moment and cheap so all you have to do is wash and they are ready to eat. See my latest facebook video posts on Sunday prep here. ## I usually do this 2 times a week.
Make a fruit salad: cut up all your kids favourite fruits and make a yummy fruit salad – this can be used for breakfast, morning tea or afternoon and it generally last for 3 days and it means that it is one more thing already cut up. I avoid using bananas as they don’t tend to last 3 days. Try adding a bit of fresh lemon juice or wild orange essential oil to stop the fruit from going brown. Adding some ice cream or yoghurt to the fruit salad can also make a great dessert!
Heading out: Pack a lunch box for each of the kids like you would usually for school and put together a yummy salad or sandwich yourself. Maybe put a little treat in since it is school holidays like juice, flavoured milk or some cake whatever you think the kids would be excited to eat – I find this so much easier when I am out and about as my kids are always hungry and therefore I don’t feel like I am running around and having to buy so much food that they don’t end up eating anyway. Great money saver and you won’t be frazzled when you are constantly being told they are hungry even though they ate 30 minutes ago.
Get the kids involved: During the school holidays and if you are at home with the kids it is a great time to get the kids involved in the kitchen and allowing them to either make lunch or dinner for the family. Sienna loves to do this and I usually get her to pick something from a recipe book or she can search it online (usually takes her 30 minutes by the time she has found what she wants to make and then write her shopping list). This is a win win situation for me as I don’t have to cook and she is kept busy!!! Taste online is Sienna’s favourite.
Good old picnic: This is something that we use to do as children all the time and often reminiscence good old times we had with family friends on a picnic – creating memories is priceless. Times have definitely changed now and we are all busy rushing off to try the latest new cafe in our local area but I personally think this is a nightmare with 3 children, they don’t sit still and generally never finish the food that I have ordered for them. Waste of money and telling my kids to sit down 100 times it not my cup of tea. Instead we are heading on a few picnics to beach or our favourite park these holidays and have already pencilled in a few playdates. Great way to the get the kids involved as well as you can put a list together on what they need for a picnic – therefore they can pack and you prep the food.
Here are some ideas on what you could have on your checklist for them:
> Location/ theme – beach or park
> Toys/ Equipment they will need
> Towels / blanket / umbrella or tent/ book for mum 😉 false hope
> Food – good old bbq chicken always works wonders but don’t forget you already have your fruit and vegies cut up so half the work is already done for you. You could also get a bit creative and make a nice salad for you or buy some fresh bread that way the kids can make there own sandwiches once they get there.
> Plates/ cups/ paper towels/ baby wipes
> Drinks / juice or water
> Don’t forget the hat and sunscreen
I hope that you find these ideas helpful and save you time these school holidays.