The school holidays are nearly at an end and many children have been off school nearly six months. With the beginning of term looming I decided it would be a good time to reflect on my own experiences as a working, mummy Dietitian and how I have managed to feed the family during lockdown.
Practice what I preach – with us all at home 24/7 I realised just how much I was going to need to manage food intake for the whole family. I needed to hone my food parenting and feeding strategy techniques that I feel so passionate about, be a role model and show them how we could conjure up tasty, healthy meals and maintain a flexible approach to life which supported our physical and mental health during a difficult time.
Routine – with days ahead of us and nothing in the diary except home schooling, our daily dose of exercise and our own jobs, I found routine was key. As a Dietitian you can probably guess that our routine was largely centred around our meal structure of breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner! This gave us something to plan, look forward to and avoid any ‘hangry’ meltdowns!
Meal Planning – this was a real test of my skills and knowledge! At the start of lockdown I tried not to get swept away with everyone’s panic buying but I was acutely aware that I had just one bag of pasta in the cupboard and my usual weekly shop was due. With the children, I went through the cupboards and freezer and made a list of everything we already had (the children wrote the list – good handwriting practice after all!). From there another list emerged of all meals I could make from these ingredients and how many days we were sorted. I then topped up via online deliveries where possible, lengthy trips to the supermarket and shopping locally. We enjoyed having more time to experiment with different meals and I would often sneak in a lesson on the Eatwell Plate, which is pinned to our fridge, to check our meals were balanced!
Cooking together – what better home schooling than choosing a recipe, reading the recipe, weighing and measuring, refining chopping skills then cooking it and eating your creation? I involved the children with savoury dishes but more often than not we baked cake! That ‘practice what I preach’ concept was even more important here to ensure we could include our baked cake in our diets without our waistlines expanding!
Family meals – this is probably my favourite one! Every single lunch and dinner eating together. No juggling after school activities, reheating meals or eating at different times. Just a lovingly cooked meal, quality time and conversation around the table.
So, there we have it! These are the positive food related things that have occurred in my family during lockdown. I’d love to hear how this time has positively impacted your family so do get in touch at email@example.com or click here. In the second part of this blog I will explore how some may have struggled with their diets during lockdown and what can be done now lockdown eases.
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