I had an interesting conversation yesterday afternoon with my youngest, Tom. I randomly asked him what he would do if left to his own devices for a day in the house and had to sort out his own meals. His eyes lit up, and I imagined his mind to be racing with thoughts of Kevin in Home Alone and just how exciting that scenario might be! I was very pleasantly surprised though when he put together a brilliantly thought out day of meals, which was nicely balanced and took into account which cupboards he could reach and what equipment he might need!
Breakfast was his favourite cereal, easy peasy, “with plenty of extra raisins added”. For some reason he said he’d pour himself a “massive portion” – just because he could! He considered whether he might be able to manage to make a banana berry smoothie and immediately reeled off the list of ingredients, but decided, on balance that the hand blender might be just that bit too dangerous for him to operate completely on his own (phew!).
For lunch, he decided that sweetcorn was easy because he knows where we keep the tin opener, he added carrot sticks and houmous because he “really enjoys peeling carrots” and “houmous doesn’t need to be cooked”.
For dinner he wondered whether a jacket potato might be a good idea filled with cheese, grated of course (what is it about a cheese grater that makes every child’s eyes light up, that is of course, until they succumb to their first grating injury!) and some more sweetcorn, because “it would already be open from earlier!” I wondered how he was planning to cook the potato, since we don’t have a microwave, yet he assured me that “the potatoes at school are served raw”, and that all would be fine! Fortunately, I managed to persuade him that the potatoes at school probably are in fact cooked but have maybe just been left out to cool for a bit too long so he settled on a cheese sandwich and a yoghurt instead. He then added some of his Easter chocolate as a dessert.
He seemed to really enjoy the thought of sorting out his own meals for the day and I found his answers both hilarious and also pretty rewarding. So we’ve decided that we’ll do a trial run on Saturday, whereby Tom and his big sister, Amelie will plan and make their own lunch, completely on their own. Of course, I’ll be keeping a keen watchful eye on them for safety reasons but will do my best to leave it completely up to them. Watch this space to see how we get on!
Why not get involved and let your children (safely) take control over a meal – you might be surprised what they come up with – I’d love to hear (and see!) how you get on!