Food is a big part of every day living and I feel as though our days revolve around food. By the time one meal is over, the next meal is just around the corner and the line up for snacks in between has already started. I have food on my mind all day and I am always thinking of what is next. It is crucial to plan ahead and know what we are having for the day to make things easier. I try to go out with Emily and the triplets each day, whether it is for a walk outside, a trip to the mall or to pick up a few groceries from the store. With food taking up so much of our day, it becomes a challenge to go out because I know I will have 4 hungry kids to deal with. There is a lot of planning that goes into my day to make sure I coordinate going out with feeding time and to give myself enough time for everything.
Breakfast would have to be the easiest meal of the day. With so much variety available, I can change it up each day and most things are pretty quick to make. I have my go to meals for breakfast and Emily, Jackson, Olivia and Levi love each and every one of them. Oatmeal mixed with banana and yogurt is the simplest, yet most filling meal for them and only takes me about 5 minutes to make. I use steel cut oats and make a huge pot, which lasts about 3 or 4 days, depending on how much they eat. I also make scrambled eggs for everyone and add in spinach or cheese. I usually try to have breakfast ready by 9, so that gives me plenty of time to get ready for the day.
Lunch is also easy, but it is hard to sometimes fit it into the day. It is the meal that just sneaks up on me. After breakfast, the triplets go for their nap and the time just flies by. The next thing I know they are awake, it’s 12:30 / 1 pm and they are ready to eat. If I stay home it’s not too bad and I usually have something prepared, but if I take them all out in the morning, it’s a crazy rush trying to get home, make something and feed them. I try to give them a variety of veggies and fruit and some kind of grain and now that the triplets are eating better on their own I can just cut up different foods and they eat themselves. I am looking forward to the day I can give them each a sandwich cut in 4 and they sit and enjoy all by themselves.
Snacks are pretty straight forward and a very simply thing to give them. I often use their morning snack as a way for me to eat my breakfast and their afternoon snack as a way to buy me more time before dinner. Their snacks are not very complicated and most times they just enjoy eating Cheerios and drinking some water.
Dinner is by far the hardest meal because it is usually the biggest meal and takes the most time to prepare. Even after everything is cooked, I still have to cut it all up for the triplets and Emily. I know I still prepare and cut up everything for breakfast and lunch, but there never seems to be as much food involved. On top of that, I always feel as though there needs to be an overwhelmingly large variety in what we actually eat for dinner, compared to breakfast and lunch. I cannot serve spaghetti every night for dinner (mind you they would eat spaghetti every night), but I can serve oatmeal or eggs every morning for breakfast. I don’t know what it is about dinner and why there needs to be such a big variety, but I always find myself looking for something new to make. I want to be creative with dinner and also make sure it is something Dan and I can eat. It does make it easy in a sense, knowing I just have to think of one type of meal to make, rather than 3 different kinds. Chicken is always good and I have noticed that Jackson and Levi really love sweet potatoes, so I am trying to incorporate them more into their dinner. I think my trick is to find something they absolutely love and will always eat, then base my dinners on that and try to change a basic ingredient around.
Knowing that dinner is the most challenging meal of the day and that I need to plan ahead with every meal, I have found it very helpful to make extra of everything. If I can double or even triple the amount of something I make for dinner, I can then save it and have dinner ready for the next couple days. To know that I have dinner already made and just have to heat it up for everyone, allows me to go out with everyone and not stress about getting home with enough time to cook before there is chaos.
I know there will always be challenges when it comes to eating, but if I can at least be a little prepared in knowing what I am making then I can focus on the other challenges as they come. What I am not looking forward to, are the days when no one wants to eat what I make and they all become so picky. I hope I can always give them a wide variety of foods to eat to avoid that problem. I know it is inevitable, but I can always hope!