What do you serve for meals when you are alone with your grandchildren visiting for a few days?
If you are like me, you want to make the meals for the most part healthy. But you also want the children to enjoy fun food at the same time. Easy is a definite plus and no hassles are a must.
Hassles could be Sean wants hot dogs, Mia wants a hamburger and Cameron wants a peanut butter sandwich. Mom and dad even though they are not there, want nutritious.
What is a grandma to do?
One idea would be to print out a menu and let each child pick from that what is to be lunch and supper. This offers children a variety of food. If you plan it carefully all the food can be done using the same pan at the same time, which saves you time and energy.
If it can all be done on the BBQ, set it up and cook 2 hot dogs a couple burgers. For the peanut butter lover you could compromise and make some peanut butter cookies for desert along with ice cream. A bag of potato chips and a burger or hot dog with pickles and carrot sticks is quite a respectable meal.
Another meal choice could be individual pizzas. Use an English muffin or flat bread crust, put on the sauce and let each child choose what toppings to put on their own pizza.
This is good because you get to talk with them as they make them up, and they can even make one for you. Who knows you might like mustard and pepperoni as a change. You are also teaching them to choose things that taste good, yet are also healthy, and how to make a meal. When they get older they can do it entirely without supervision.
As an older and wiser person, you know that there will be times when they will just say I don’t know. When that happens every suggestion from you will get a ho hum response. So be prepared.
Emergency Food Kit for Kids
Have an emergency kit in the freezer.
This could be a package of chicken nuggets, tater tots or french fries. Fish sticks are also good if they do not have an aversion to fish like some people do. Hard to disguise fish no matter the packaging. Wieners and frozen burgers are also good.
Actually any food that can be eaten with the fingers are great for children.
They also like anything they can dip. So fresh vegetables and fruit, cut up finger size with a fancy dip or salad dressing is good for a snack or for a meal. If they’ll be there for a short visit, you can cut up all the vegetables before they get there and store them in ziplock bags in the fridge. These can be your emergency kit for immediate and healthy snacks.
If you’re making pancakes, make coin size ones. These can be picked up and dipped and giving 4 little ones is better than really big ones. You can also make a lot of them and have them as part of your emergency food kit. Save the leftovers and put peanut butter or honey on them later for a cold snack. Most children I’ve given these to love them.
Introducing New Foods
Something else when dealing with grandchildren who aren’t too picky, try introducing new foods to them. My go to line for new foods is “Did you know your dad and uncle Dan really liked this when they were little.” another is “Your dad loved this, but your Uncle Dan never did. So try it and let me know who is right.” Most little ones enjoy doing things their parents did when they were the same age. What better place to learn about things like that than at grandpa and grandma’s.
One visit all three of my eldest grandchildren wanted french toast that you could dip. A fairly new product, totally new to me and the small town we live in. So new in fact that the stores didn’t have any.
So I decided to try making it from scratch. Not a huge success because it wouldn’t crisp up enough for good dripping. After the attempt we all decided that pancakes were a better idea for the next day. Fortunately they did eat the toast, and gave me a kiss on the cheek for trying.
Now you have a few ideas that may help with the feeding of your little visitors, but keep in mind that there will be meals that just do not go over well. Don’t panic! They are there for a week or two and they will not starve or die of malnutrition. This is a holiday, they want to have fun and so do you. So relax and if a couple meals get saved as leftovers for later, big deal.
Just have good snacks for when they are hungry. Peanut butter, Kraft dinner and hot dogs are also good for a meal or two. Canned pasta in funny shapes seem to be tasty to youngsters. So have them on hand for those picky meal times.
Keep it fun for all of you and enjoy your visitors you are grandpa and grandma so you don’t have to enforce all the rules.
That is one of the main rules for being a grandma.