Here are my top 9 ways to cut corners and save time. It was going to be 10, but it’s late and I’m tired.
1. It’s summer, they eat outside. I make up three plates of ham, corn, cheese, beetroot etc in the morning and they can chuck as much of it as they like. When dinner is over, the hose takes care of cleaning the floor and the high chairs.
2. Are they dirty? I mean really dirty? Like, can you see it? If not, then hey, a missed bath from time to time never killed anyone. Especially good when they’ve been swimming at Grandma’s house. A swim’s as good as a bath I always say.
3. Pack your stuff up the night before. Mornings are nutty enough without having to pack, find shoes, water bottle and so on and so on and on and on.
4. If you know they’ve had a hot meal at day care that day there is nothing wrong with a cheese toastie for dinner.
5. UHT milk. My cupboard is full of it. Better than constantly running out of milk for the toddlers and running down the shops for fresh milk. Seriously, what they don’t know won’t hurt ’em.
6. Make up a big pot of lovely organic brown rice on Sunday. Mix it in with everything for the rest of the week. It makes that can of Heinz ‘Beef Whatever’ for toddlers seem a little less like child neglect and it also goes nicely with yogurt and fruit!
7. I fill my glovebox with snacks that are easy to hold, eat and are not too messy. Plain biscuits, fruit bars like True Fruit (no sponsorship here I swear!) or Fruit Poles are good because toddlers can manage them without reupholstering the car seats. Keeps them settled when car trips are teetering on the brink of disaster.
8. I have to choose my battles. I used to have this thing about dirty shirts, food all over the face, sauce on the pants, etc. Now I can add rocks from the garden all over the pathway, toys all over the backyard and dirt from the potted plants everywhere but the pots. I’d spend all my time cleaning it all up. Forget it.
9. Nutrition is (a bit) negotiable. If they won’t eat dinner but will run round the backyard knocking back half a banana and a bit of yoghurt, where’s the harm?