I am trying to cut our grocery bills and be more organized about our meals but I am feeling hopeless.
I am a SAHM with a 1.5 yr old (R) and a 3.5 yr old.(L)
Dinner is really the main problem. My kids are ready to eat by 5:00, maybe even earlier. R goes to bed around 6-6:30. My DH doesn't get home from work till around 6. Both kids are very picky. Neither eats much meat at all unless it's hidden or chicken nuggets. They both love cheese and yogurt though. L seems like he will eat almost nothing. He'll eat spaghetti one night and love it so I'll cook up a big batch of hidden veggie spaghetti sauce and stock pile pasta and then he won't eat it again. He only wants yogurt, applesauce, watermelon, American cheese slices (grilled cheese without the bread), and various unhealthy snack foods. R is also picky and I have to make sure he gets enough nutrition because he apparently needs tons of calories to grow. He basically stopped growing when we started solids and was found to be low in iron and protein (was and is still breastfed) and when I make sure to give him plenty of fat and protein he grows and his eczema clears up.
With all this I am preparing 4 different dinners most nights and wasting tons of food. I don't know the best way to handle this. Any advice?
This was a hard stage for us. Luckily, my kids are a little older now (2.5 and 4.5), dh gets home earlier, and we can eat together.
But, what I did at this stage was flip their lunch and supper. Well, my mindset for them anyway. So, I fed them supper at 5pm when they were hungry. I made it kid-friendly "lunch food" for the most part. Usually a plate of nibbly bits--yogurt, fruit, carrot sticks, a couple of crackers, whatever. I cooked a meal meal for me and dh, which we ate after they went to bed. (So, our schedule was feed the boys, daddy home and play for a while, boys to bed, parents eat supper).
Then, at lunch time, I fed them leftovers from the night before. This worked well, cause they were hungrier at lunch, so more willing to try more grown up foods, and less hungry at supper, so happier to see more familier kiddie foods.
For us, it was a stage. They grew, could go longer in the afternoons, stay up later, we moved and dh's commute was cut in half, nad we're back to family dinners. But, you do what you have to do at those ages. It'll pass. It'll pass.
That is a great idea! I think I will try a tweaked version of this. My only problem is that L is not a very good sleeper and takes forever to get to bed. Often by the time he is finally settled in it's 9:00 or so and I don't know if I can wait that long for dinner. Maybe I could do play time with L when I would normally make dinner then when daddy comes home he can play with L and I can get R bathed and to bed. Then L can have some TV time and me and DH can eat in peace!