I have spoken about getting stern with my three children about wasting food since we are on lockdown, but it has undoubtedly created problems.
I have always questioned how my children manage to get through the day at school with one snack and lunch because, as soon as they get home, they are ravenous and eating like horses. I kind of get it, as I know at school they are hurried to eat their lunch so that the school can get their two sittings in for all pupils. They are also desperate to go out and play so food isn’t important at that time but my goodness it is when they walk through the front door at home.
Sometimes I’ve not taken my coat off before the demands begin and they are asking what we are having for dinner. Here you go...
Breakfast before they go
Break time – fruit snack
Lunch time – packed lunch or hot dinner
Get home after school – snack
10 mins later – request for another snack
10 mins later – children try to get into the fridge while I’m out of the room forgetting it bleeps when it opens thus alerting me to their sneaky tactics
10 mins later – toddler goes cupboard raiding in search of snacks
10 mins later – another plea for snack but noses turned up when offered fruit
5pm – Dinner
6pm – Snack requests begin
7pm – I eat my dinner and they all come to inspect whether there is anything on my plate for the taking
8pm – Snack before bed
I could detail it all here but suffice to say despite three regular, healthy filling meals with dessert, one or other of the children is asking me for something to eat at least half hourly but their sneaky tactics are escalated significantly to meet the challenge. For example, (pre lockdown) they would ask for something to eat in front of visitors knowing I’m more likely to succumb. An apple miraculously goes missing from the fruit bowl, nobody knows how. When Nanny is here, they would say they are hungry (cue rolled eyes from me). My shopping bill certainly goes up considerably during the school holidays as they seem constantly starving. I know they are growing, but into what? Lions?!
Throw into the mix the toddler who is learning to talk and so you have to guess what he desperately urgently needs before he throws himself on the floor in disgust. Prispies = crisps, Bix = Weetabix, Num Num = Kinder chocolate bar (obviously), Opening fridge and “uuuuuggggghhh” and a pointed finger = a yoghurt.
And so as you can imagine, lockdown has proved problematic. We are only allowed out for essentials and try as I might to explain this to the children, chocolate bars are not essentials. Yes, we will buy some when we do our shop for other essentials without stockpiling a mountain of snacks, but I do think this situation may remind us all what is essential and to cut down on waste. I cannot abide waste which is why two years on I’m still carrying a little, err, baby weight.
Not from the pregnancy, but from the delicious roast dinners I’ve served them since then which they’ve barely touched resulting in me being Six Dinner Sid.
One ‘solution’ I’ve seen online is that the parents create snack boxes each morning containing a range of snacks – boxes of raisins, fruit, crackers and a packet of crisps and the children are allocated a box each and once their box is finished, that’s it, so it is up to them as and when they eat their snacks. How do I explain that concept to a two year old? This is the boy who opens his lunch box on the sofa in the mornings if I don’t stop him in time so he theoretically tries to have his lunch at 8.15, approximately 30 minutes after ‘Bix’ which keeps most adults full until lunch time due to the lovely stodgy nature of the stuff. Have you seen how it sets on the bowl? I think some builders may use this in construction work.
So suffice to say, I don’t think there is a complete solution and I just have to keep reminding them of the current climate without scaremongering and educate them about waste and the importance of appreciating the food we have.
Then when this is hopefully over, they can have the biggest snack box known to man!