Lunch Menu

I provide home-cooked lunches and encourage a positive attitude towards healthy eating. Here is a taste of what the children eat. I take portions from our family meals, refrigerate or freeze them and then reheat them thoroughly.

  Spaghetti Bolognaise

  Roast Dinner

  Tuna Pasta Bake

  Mince and Dumpling

  Quiche and Baked Beans

(The children made this one themselves – see our blog of 23 March)

  Creamy Bacon Penne

 Lancashire Hotpot

 Fish Pie (salmon and haddock)

Other typical meals include stew, casserole, cottage pie, chilli. Sometimes the children make their own lunch, eg. pizza or quiche and if we go out for the day, we may take a picnic lunch with us instead.

Snacks

In addition to a hot lunch, I also provide snacks mid-morning and after the school run. At least one snack is fresh fruit (apple, banana, pear, grapes, melon, satsuma – occasionally pineapple, berries, kiwi). Typical non-fruit snacks are toast, breadsticks, cheese and crackers, hot cross buns, malt loaf, fruit toast. Biscuits are provided at some toddler groups.

Fresh drinking water is always available and I also provide 200ml of milk per day for children over 12 months. Juice may be available at some toddler groups. Infant formula and bottles (if required) should be provided by you and I am happy to either refrigerate pre-prepared bottles or make up bottles on demand.

Lunchtime!

A few weeks ago, the children made their own ham and pineapple pizzas for lunch. It was a great hit and they wanted to do this again – soon! So today we made quiche for lunch. They loved the experience, it was a great opportunity to talk about different food groups and healthy eating and their plates were clean at the end.

 

First of all, we made the pastry. Rubbing the fat into the flour was tricky (but good for our fine motor skills) and then we stirred in the water.

Next, we kneaded the dough. Lots of squashing, squeezing and pounding!

Followed by rolling. We looked at the quiche dishes, which were round and we tried to roll our pastry into round circles.

We added our fillings: (cooked and cooled) bacon, onion, brocolli, sweetcorn and cheese.

We cracked then whisked our eggs and milk together before pouring the mixture on.

Ta daa!

Yummy yummy :-) :-)

Oatmeal Biscuits

Today we made oatmeal biscuits and talked about Halloween as we cut them out using our spooky biscuit cutters.

 

F worked his upper arm muscles as he stirred the ingredients and rolled the dough out.

    

We made pumpkin and bat biscuits with half of the dough.

Together, we rolled the rest of the dough into a long sausage and then I marked lines where I wanted F to cut. He felt very grown up and responsible using the knife and concentrated hard to cut along the lines I marked.

After that, we rolled each piece into a ball and F flattened it with the palm of his hand to make oatmeal splats.

Rock Buns

Today we had fun making rock buns:

Pizza

Today we made pizza for lunch. First we kneaded the pizza dough:

Then we rolled it out flat:

Next we spread on some tomato puree and added some herbs and black pepper:

Now for the toppings – tuna:

Sweetcorn and grated cheese:

There was a slight quandary about what to do while the pizzas were in the oven so the boys decided to help clean the trays up:

They’re ready!

Yum Yum! When can we make pizza again?!

 

Chocolate Easter Nests

Well, you can’t have Easter without chocolate nests – twice! Here are some pictures of the boys’ baking exploits:

 

We counted out the cake cases and sampled combined the different ingredients:

  

Then we set about transferring the mixture to our mouths cake cases:

 

Finally, we ate added some eggs:

  

And the main culprit was:

 

St. David’s Day

We celebrated St. David’s Day on 1st March with:

 

The obligatory daffodil craft activity (although N preferred to paint his plastic duck!)

  

 

A lunch of home-made potato and leek soup

 

And a snack of Welsh Cakes after the school run – these were yummy!

 

 

Be My Valentine

To mark St. Valentine’s Day, we made cards with pink paint, heart stampers and glitter:

 

 

And we made heart-shaped gingerbread:

     

The gingerbread was great fun – A (3.5 years) delighted in making the dough and J (15m) loved this new scented playdough substitute. Gingerbread is so malleable and perfect for a first baking experience!

 

Bananas!

A (3y) is very much into baking at the moment and I thought I would share a couple of  recipes that he has enjoyed making recently. They both have one thing in common: they provide a great way to use up those overripe bananas that usually end up in the compost.

 

Fruity Flapjack (makes 12-16)

5oz (150g) margarine

5oz (150g) soft brown sugar

4 tblsp clear honey/golden syrup

12oz (350g) porridge oats

2oz (50g) sultanas

2oz (50g) glace cherries

2oz (50g) sunflower seeds

2 small ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

 

Method

1. Weigh out the butter, sugar and honey into a bowl and melt in the microwave. This is a great opportunity to introduce some early number work and also to talk about weight.

  

2. Mash your bananas – you can use a fork, a potato masher or simply squeeze with little fingers! Very satisfying…

4. Add the banana, oats, sultanas, cherries and sunflower seeds to the melted ingredients and mix well. Ask lots of questions: what does it feel like? what does it smell like?

  

5. Press into a baking tray and bake for about 25 minutes @ 170C/Gas Mark 5. Involve your toddler in timing the baking.

6. Mark into 12-16 pieces with a blunt knife while warm and then leave in the tin to cool.

 

 

Monkey Buns (makes 24)

4oz margarine

8oz SR flour

4oz soft brown sugar

6oz raisins

2 eggs

2 tblsp syrup/honey (we omitted this because our bananas were VERY ripe!)

3 mashed bananas

 

Method

1. Line bun tins with cases (don’t forget to count!), weigh out ingredients (a bit more, a bit less, just right) and mash your bananas.

  

2. Rub margarine and flour to breadcrumbs and stir in the sugar and raisins. Talk about the different textures and smells.

4. Add the eggs, honey/syrup and mashed banana and stir. Top tip: get your toddler to break the eggs into a separate bowl – this makes it a lot easier to fish any shell out!

  

5. Spoon into bun cases. Top tip: if your toddler gets a lot of mixture on the top of the trays, it’s easier to wipe it off now with a damp cloth than allow it to bake on.

 

6. Bake @ 180C for 15 minutes and enjoy!

 

Baking provides a great sensory experience for children: they get to feel all the wonderful textures, smell it baking in the oven and then taste the finished product!

 

 

A Week in the Life…

We have been up to all sorts over the past week and time is short, so here are some of the highlights:

 

On Monday H (5) wanted to help with tea and made pizza for all of us. She chose ham, pineapple, grapes, spinach and lots of cheese! Yum!

On Wednesday, we went to Astley Park for the morning with friends. We fed the ducks and animals and had a wander. N (1yr) loved the freedom to toddle around and did a lot of walking to and fro, picking up sticks, leaves and anything of interest.

On Saturday, the girls made fairy gardens with some playdough, imitation flowers, stones, pine cones, shells etc.

On Sunday, we spent the day with friends and took along some playdough in various flavours: chocolate, marzipan and pink glittery. Everybody joined in as we created sweets, cakes and goodies for our sweet shop. They smelt delicious. The girls made little paper signs with prices on and then we took it in turns visiting the 2 sweet shops and purchasing bags full of (unfortunately non-edible!)treats.

Busy busy! I wonder what this week will bring… The playdough is still very popular. H (5) immediately got it out again today, as soon as she got back from school.