X is for eXtra

A-Z of family mealtimes X

I’ve reached the tricky end of the alphabet so please allow me to use the X sound rather than the letter!

You can make more efficient use of your time and energy in the kitchen if you think about cooking extra when you’re at the stove.

When you sit down to do your planning, think not only about what you’re going to make on a given night but also whether there is anything within that meal, or the whole meal, that you can cook extra of to make preparing, breakfast, lunch or dinner on another day quicker and easier. You might be very grateful for having done so on a busy night or an evening of working late.

Preparing extra of your child’s safe foods (those foods they’re happy to eat most of the time) will also mean you can offer these along with new and unfamiliar foods each mealtime without much effort. You can have enough for two or three days, or even more if there is something which will store well in the freezer.

Then there are extra bits and pieces that you can bring to the table to make a meal more fun and satisfying to eat (some can also add to the nutritional content of the meal). These are things like nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, pickles and ferments, sauces, dressings and other condiments.

And, don’t forget to regularly allow some extra time for cooking with your child. It does take a bit longer, and is definitely a lot messier, but involving them in some food preparation is a great way to build their comfort around new foods. You never know, they may also be willing to nibble on some different ingredients as you work because it’s fun and there’s no pressure to eat.

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