Over the last week I was challenged by Oxotot to get organised and give meal and snack prepping a go. I’ve been aware of it for a while, but I mostly thought it was for people on a diet or those who are training for a marathon or something. I always thought I couldn’t fit it in so it wouldn’t save me time. In reality, we probably all do some form of prepping without even thinking about it. Do you save your leftovers? Freeze a meal in advance? These are simple prep techniques we all do. I’ve been quite surprised by how even the smallest amount of prepping can help, especially if you remember to do a little here and there it can help immensely during those stressful times. Does anyone else get that horrible half hour when the children come home from school and they’re so whingy, they want a drink NOW and they want food NOW and everything’s wrong, and everyone needs a wee and the toddler’s climbed on the table again, and Mummy, Mummy MUMMY!! If I had some ready made snacks that weren’t crisps or biscuits, that might take the stress levels down a bit, and keep them going until tea time. If I can prep some of the dinners too that might help. I’ve also been struggling with what to feed Daniel now he’s got a fair few teeth he can manage a lot more and he’s needing more food.
So with the help of some containers from Oxotot, here’s what I did:
Put some cereal into the air tight container for easy access
Chopped up some carrot and cucumber sticks
Chopped carrots into discs for vegetable portions
Cubed some cheese
Cut up some apples
Slow cooked some pork
Made some granola yoghurt snacks
I don’t think I’ll ever be as organised as this lady is with her baby food prep, and hopefully I’ll never be labelled as smug, but I will certainly keep doing some form of prepping, as it has helped me out this week, on Friday we had friends round after school and the snacks all went down well without me running around like a headless chicken (much). Some other ideas for healthy snack prep:
Crackers broken up in pots
Baked or toasted pitta bread chips
Frozen yoghurt or fruit juice lollies
My kids love eating raw carrots, apple, peppers and cucumber, they’re all part of a stable vegetable intake every week. Phoebe likes tomatoes, William doesn’t! Daniel likes squishing them. I’ve discovered this week that Daniel loves cheese – he always liked it but having the little cut up cubes meant he could just pop bits in his mouth and eat them easily, nearly all of the pot went straight away! I was really surprised how well the prepped carrots and even the apple stayed fresh, I prepped on the Monday when I had time, and even by Friday they were all still good. The Oxotot containers have a really good airtight seal on them which I was impressed by. The cereal/pasta container and the biscuit jar have an ingenious button, so when you put the lid on, you press the button and it activates the seal, genius! The designs are simple and practical, and believe me I need all the help I can get!
On Wednesday I slow cooked the pork (recipe to follow), which meant dinner was ready for us when we were, we had pork wraps with salad, and had plenty leftover for the next day and I had it for lunch on Friday too. Any roasting joint is worth cooking in advance, either on a Sunday or when you have some time at home, just put it in the oven, get on with something else, and then you have meat for 3 days if you eke it out a bit. At just £4.50 for the pork shoulder joint it was well worth it.
The granola yoghurt bites (recipe to follow) were a bit of an experiment, I used my favourite yoghurt, a coconut one, the kids liked the granola and the yoghurt once it melted, but not so much the frozen yoghurt, it was really cold! It would work better if you prepped in advance and then got them out to melt in a bowl so you had granola, yoghurt and added fruit, or just made yoghurt lollies. But they looked great!
Another great gizmo I tried was this snack feeder – yes it’s got frazzles in, but everyone deserves a frazzle once in a while! Daniel loved the sense of independence the snack feeder gave him, plus it made a good noise when he shook it, it has a handle like a cup which he liked, and I was far less worried about crisp spillage. I hear it works well if you put healthy food in it too.
So I’ll definitely keep doing some form of prep when I have time, I’d love to hear from you, are you one of those super organised mums who has it all planned out? Do you menu plan? Do you think you could benefit from having some healthy prepared snacks?