Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'll feed your kid in exchange for some sanity.

I have this awesome friend Susan who cooks for the masses ALL THE TIME.  And me, well I just cook for my family unless we have the missionaries over.  I don't know how she does it.  She amazes me. 

Recently I started a trade with a friend.  She picks up Gabbers from school and drops her off at home on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  In exchange, I take her daughter to and from Daisy Girl Scouts with Gabbers on Tuesdays, and I also pick her up from school on Wednesdays, feed her lunch, and let her have a playdate with Gabbers for a few hours before taking her home. 

Wednesday lunch a couple Wednesdays ago.

It's really a sweet deal for me.  Taking the kids to school is easy-- especially if I'm going to drive.  I can just swing by and drop them off in front.  But picking up kids from school is an ordeal and is smack right in the middle of Hammy's and the babies naptimes.  There are parents EVERYWHERE.  Cars parked two-deep all around the school prevent the traffic from moving any faster than 5 mph. 

So I really like this arrangement. 

On Wednesdays, the schools get out at noon and the Kindergarteners get out at 11:35 a.m.  I pick up Gabbers and her friend and sometimes we go play at the park first.  She's a lovely little girl with very good manners who eats well.  I love a child that eats well!  Whereas my mom can attest, my kids eat like birds.  I must admit, my grocery budget doesn't complain. 

Anyhow, I have a few questions for experienced moms out there that have fed other people's children.  ahem.  Susan. 

Do you serve up their plates? 

Do you put vegetables on their plates and ask that they finish them before having a treat or dessert?

What are some lunch menus you have at your house?


A. said...

Cute lunch!
It's rare that I've fed other people's kids, and it's never been without their mom there, so I'm not much help. However, when friends and I have taken turns feeding each others kids during a playdate I just feed them how I feed my own. Giving a couple choices to be sure they'll eat what they are given, and then making sure they've finished a good amount before letting them have any treats. And yes, I do serve them up, but that's mostly because mine are still young, and with friends over the serving of themselves could be a disaster. Then again, I guess it depends on what I was making.

Looking forward to the sage advice you get!

Nikki said...


You should be sleeping right now! lol

JoMamma said...

When friends eat over I make them follow the same rules my kids follow. That way my kids see know that I won't bend from my rules.

I recently found a new way to make PB&J. You roll the bread flat then put on the PB&J. Then you roll the bread up. Slice it into little segments like sushi. My kids like the new twist on an old favorite.

Leslie said...

I'm amazed by Susan, too! I would feel overwhelmed to have to feed a mass of teenagers or kids every day for lunch. she inspires me!

But I definitely would say you are feeding the masses with 6 kids!

Anyway, when we have playdate kids over, I usually fix mac and cheese with fruit (our favs are applesauce, peaches, or pears - all my canned stuff), sandwiches, and well, that's pretty much what we eat every day. Unless there are tasty leftovers. And veggies, well - I have to admit I don't usually require my kids (or visiting ones) to eat veggies at lunchtime. Bad, I know.

A. said...

You're one to talk Nikki! i was shocked to find a new post on your blog that late. lol

I enjoy my night time peace so much that it's hard to go to bed knowing that once I close my eyes it feels like it's over in a instan. And the next thing I know I'm being awoken by littles telling me to get up and feed them. lol

Susan said...

My dearest Nikki,

I agree with Leslie! You are feeding the masses with six kids! Don't sell yourself short.

Remember that feeding teenagers and feeding small people differs somewhat. I can tell you that I don't dish up plates, mainly because I have any where from 10 to 17 kids here. I'm not dishing up that many plates. Also, I don't care if they want to eat it or not. The food is free, so I figure they can eat what I put out. I have one girl that DOES NOT like eggs, and unfortunately, we have breakfast foods at least once a week. So on those days, because I like the girl, I'll make her a sandwich and sneak it to her. She has never complained though about the eggs. And because this is an everyday thing, I can make a large variety of food and usually hit everyone's likes. I have themes for each day. Soup on Monday, some type of sandwich on Tuesday, Mexican or Italian on Wednesday, Breakfast on Thursday, miscellaneous on Friday. I make up my menus a month in advance and I almost NEVER deviate.

And that's all I got on lunch! Good luck!

p.s. My kids would die for a lunch like what you have pictured. SO cute!

Nikki said...

I love the PBJ sushi tip. I can't wait to try it!

I don't generally feed my kids veggies at lunchtime. But one of my goals this year for our family is "5 a day."

I'm with you on cherishing that nighttime peace. It causes me to stay up way too late. Then of course, I regret not going to bed at a reasonable hour. :P

I like the menu plan with themed days. I used to do a menu for all three meals when I homeschooled the kids. I suppose I could still do it seeing as Bun, Ham, and the twins are STILL at home all day with me. Then on Wednesdays I'd have a more solid plan for when we have a guest.

I'm going to be calling you when I have 5 teenage boys to get advice on keeping them fed! Well, Pookie will be 20 when the twins are teens. But still...

Lisa said...

One of my favorite lunches to feed the kids is "Salad Wraps." I toast whole-wheat tortillas spread with just a little butter in a frying pan (takes about 10 seconds per side per tortilla), then I slice up a variety of vegetables like carrots, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, tomato, avocado, etc. The kids get to pick what they want in their wrap. A few slices of cheese, ranch dressing/mayo, and the wraps are ready to go. They are super yummy, healthy, and hands-on, which the kids like.

Yes, I serve up my children's plates. but they are 3 and 1, and I sometimes worry about it being too hot; therefore, I serve dinner up and spread it out. The person I really serve though is my husband. He forgets to eat his veggies if I don't. :)

Our rule is always that we eat what mommy makes for dinner, and we try everything. As kids get older I think they should definitely try a few bites of everything you prepare before having dessert/treats. But of course, be wary of forcing food on children. A lot of parents encourage their kids to overeat, which is very detrimental. A few bites, and watching out to make sure kids aren't filling up on sweet treats, and that is good.

Wow, what IS it with me and long comments? sheesh!

Lisa said...

and just in case my previous comment wasn't long enough...I have lots more lunch ideas. I have a food blog:, which has my recipes, and if you want, I'll put up a post on kid-friendly lunches. Just say the word. ;)

Feywriter said...

I have no advice for you, but I do have a blog award for you!

Sherilee said...

Yes I serve but sometimes have them come over to get there plate then that way they get practice.

I usually serve fruits during the day and veges at dinner but they do have to eat the majority of there plate( 90% roughly)before getting a treat.

menu: dino cutout PB&J, grapes or sliced apples( you will see this often. They haven't gotten to liking oranges all that much yet still working on it)
Hot dog or corndog,ketchup, slice of bread, apples or grapes
mac and cheese, applesauce or yogurt, sometimes peas if I remember to grab a can from downstairs
sandwich meat rolled up,string cheese or sliced cheese, crackers, apples,grapes, applesauce, or yogurt.
Usually I ask them which side they would like for that meal that day and on occasion I will add a few animal crackers or teddy grahams to there yogurt for fun. Hope this helps somewhat. Oh I also put peanut butter in the middle of celery sticks or on there apple slices. They like that.


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