Hi there! Do you know where your meals are?
A very important part of both La Leche League, Attachment Parenting and Waldorf is a focus on nutrition derived from whole foods. Waldorf also brings in the concept of warmth through food.
I don’t like to dwell specifically on HOW one should each – that really does make me bonkers and you can see my post when I was ranting about this here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/04/05/the-mini-rant-discussing-food-with-children-under-the-age-of-7/ , but I do think no matter how one chooses to eat, it should involve mindfulness.
I will at some point post some things about an anthroposophic view of eating, just for fun, but here are a few things to ponder to help you get organized:
First, do you have a menu plan each week? If you abhor making your own and making the grocery lists that go with it, here are a few options for dinner:
- One involves meat: www.cookingTF.com
- This one is for people with food allergies and there is a vegetarian one: http://www.heartofcooking.com/sidebar/seafoodvegetarian-nightshade-free-menu-planner/
- Flylady’s Leanne Ely also has menu mailers with different options, vegetarian. Try here:http://savingdinner.com/
Do you have a plan for breakfasts, lunches and snacks? If you say that the first snack of the day always involves the grain of the day or is always cut-up vegetables with a homemade dip, this simplifies meal planning. If you are searching for the grain of the day and trying to incorporate that into your week, try this back post: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2008/11/23/steiners-grain-of-the-day/
Melisa Nielsen has a lovely post about her “Snack Tray” here: http://waldorfjourney.typepad.com/a_journey_through_waldorf/2009/03/behold-the-wisdom-of-the-snack-tray.html
Do have a rhythm as to what day of the week you shop and what you buy when?
For the way we eat, and for those of you who want to eat with whole foods, many times there are no cost-savings coupons available. I suggest connecting with your local farmers or farmers market and eating what is in season. I have farmers now to supply any meat my family would eat in bulk, eggs, cheese, raw milk, vegetables and there is a farmer’s market (granted 41 miles away!) where I can buy cases of organic oranges and young coconuts, for example. Sometimes smaller ethnic grocery stores also have good deals.
If you do shop in a store or at a farm, don’t rush. This is a great opportunity for your small children to learn in life. Make a morning of your “market day.” Too often I see parents rushing through shopping and I wonder why. Nourishing our families in warmth and love should be important enough to teach our children about it in an unhurried manner.
Third, do you have a daily rhythm to how you cook? I think with small children as much preparation ahead of time is good as many children are not happy around meal time – that witching hour!
Here are some suggestions for dealing with the dinner hour:
- For those of you who are not eating raw and are cooking things, I suggest using a crock pot for wonderful bean soups and other warm meals.
- Try feeding the children a small snack whilst you cook.
- Involve the little ones in your cooking as much as possible – keep your gestures light, warm and loving. Start dinner early so you have time.
- Give your children some leftover spices or dough or whathave you to make their own concoctions!
- Try also setting up a small play scenario near the kitchen so your little ones can weave in and out of work and play.
Please don’t forget that an integral part of cooking is the tender way you wipe the counters down, clean off the cabinets, dry dishes – sing, hum, immerse yourself in the task and your children will see the revernce and love one can find in the ordinary.