I'm good until it's time to make dinner - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 04-09-2008, 08:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you ladies help me? My girls are pretty little and they tend to be tired and cranky by dinner time. Their TV-free way of occupying themselves tends to be wrestling or stealing each other's things.

It's just too easy to turn on the TV to keep them out of my (and each other's) hair so I can make dinner!
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#2 of 10 Old 04-10-2008, 03:21 AM
 
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I start making dinner after breakfast, this way I have less time to be in the kitchen in the evening.

Go Green I don't vax either, why mess with perfect?
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#3 of 10 Old 04-10-2008, 07:37 AM
 
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I also try to prep as much as I can in advance in addition to having my daughter help out.

We also usually listen to music, she gets to pick and dances around if not helping.

Alternatively, how do you feel about audio books? There are some lovely ones with classic stories on them.
We are completely screen free and I am only just now trying to decide if I am comfortable with audio books myself so I have got a couple to see how that goes. My daughter seems to enjoy them and listens quite intently. We've got Winnie the Pooh (with Stephen Fry and Judi Dench) and a Grimms fairytales.
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#4 of 10 Old 04-10-2008, 09:31 AM
 
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DH uses that time to read books with DS or, now that it's warm, take him out to play.

If that's not an option, can they "help" you cook? Give them each of bowl of dried pasta and a spoon, or a crank-style sifter, some flour and a scoop (done on top of an old table cloth for easier clean-up) or give them a pile of green beans and have them break off the ends for you. Maybe pull out some play-dough and have them see what shapes different utensils make (potato masher, forks, etc.)

Good luck! I know how difficult it can be to make dinner when everyone is cranky and under foot!

Julie - Wife to Louis, Mamma to Ben (11/06) and 2
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#5 of 10 Old 04-10-2008, 10:08 AM
 
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I've also been pepping dinner in the mornings lately. DD seems to always be in meltdown mode right about the time I need to start cooking.
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#6 of 10 Old 04-13-2008, 01:03 PM
 
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My kids are 3.5 and I try to involve them in cooking as much as possible. With some dishes, there's just not that much for them to do right now (although peeling an onion or a few cloves of garlic can interest them for a while...) but with other dishes -- cornbread to go with chili, for example -- there's so much measuring and pouring and mixing...

Yes, it takes a lot longer to do it this way and there is substantially more clean-up. It might not be practical for WOHParents who need to get dinner on the table fast. But right now it's working for us!

I'm also looking for a set of child-safe knives that really cut. I think that there are some available through Pampered Chef but I'm looking for another source.

FWIW, I don't really find that my kids are more interested in eating meals they've helped prepare. I've often seen that cited as a reason to get kids involved in food prep, but it hasn't borne out for us. They do love helping, though.

Decluttering SAHM of three. Going for 2011 items in 2011.
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#7 of 10 Old 04-14-2008, 12:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
My kids are 3.5 and I try to involve them in cooking as much as possible. With some dishes, there's just not that much for them to do right now (although peeling an onion or a few cloves of garlic can interest them for a while...) but with other dishes -- cornbread to go with chili, for example -- there's so much measuring and pouring and mixing...

Yes, it takes a lot longer to do it this way and there is substantially more clean-up. It might not be practical for WOHParents who need to get dinner on the table fast. But right now it's working for us!

I'm also looking for a set of child-safe knives that really cut. I think that there are some available through Pampered Chef but I'm looking for another source.

FWIW, I don't really find that my kids are more interested in eating meals they've helped prepare. I've often seen that cited as a reason to get kids involved in food prep, but it hasn't borne out for us. They do love helping, though.
I do this too. My DS started helping with dinner at 12 months by crushing crackers in a bowl. The mess can be unimaginable sometimes, but now I've taught him how to use the broom and we sweep afterward. Also, doing the dishes is the biggest thrill for him. I can only hope it always will be! I give him some soapy water in the sink, some non-breakable cups and he goes to town. It usually involves a change of clothes when he's done.

I haven't noticed any increased desire to eat certain things that he's helped with either. Except for cookies.

B.
Mama to : July '06
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#8 of 10 Old 04-14-2008, 01:05 AM
 
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I WOH and only have one, so I don't really run into this myself (we prepare food the night before for dinner so it's quick when we get home), but I have a fellow TV-free SAHM friend who made the dinner preparation time a "quiet" time at home. She puts on classical music which is calming. Each of the kids has a quiet time place, and they go and read their books or color or play quietly during the quiet time.

It probably depends a lot of the personalities of the kids, though.
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#9 of 10 Old 04-14-2008, 05:01 PM
 
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right there with you honey!It's my kids cracky time to. Then daddy comes home and it's like all heck breaks loose. Yes, I do break down and put it on! I am trying not to though!

My husband loves classical music and usually puts in on when he get home and it seems to work well.

My kitchen looks right out into the backyard so usually I send them outside. I try to include them in the helping.

I make alot of "from scratch " stuff so it's not always easy.

I was thinking of Europeans and they eat alot of "fresh, bought from the market today food". So, I am adopting this in a way. Different kinds of cheeses an crackers set out. A bowl of fruit. Fresh veggies cut up with dip.
The crock pot is nice if you start it earlier in the day.
I also tend to cook a heck of alot at one time. I will cook alot of chicken breasts all at once and then just season them different for each meal. Cook alot of ground beef at once and season it for either spaghetti or tacos.
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#10 of 10 Old 04-14-2008, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do WOH. And I'm a single mom. Two potential strikes against my TV free stamina.

Thanks for your suggestions. I do try to let older DD help but then I end up with the mess problem
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