Now that the boys are almost 11 & 12 (wow!), we are working on getting them to be more independent with their food prep & assistance with meals. They've been helping with dinner here & there (making salad, making pasta, etc), but either M or I have been making their breakfast & lunch. I've been wanting to get them more involved for a while, but M is a little bit more . . . specific about what they eat for each meal. We've now reached a good place, where we're all in agreement that the boys are old enough to really plan & prep their own meals.
I spent quite a bit of time with them this weekend, shopping & buying things that would be relatively easy to prepare, helping them make a menu plan, and prepping food (muffins, cranberry bread, mini frittatas, sandwich bread, etc). We also talked a lot about nutrition, looked up protein & calorie requirements for their ages, & I think we've all learned a lot.
Our grocery bill was higher than normal this week, thanks to all of the easier prep food, but I think it's worth it in the long term. We'll be able to eventually replace some of the top favorites with more homemade options, and it's one of my goals over time to also give them a budget to work with. We're not quite there yet. :-) Our picky eater has also started to realize how challenging it is to plan meals, which is a great revelation!
Today's breakfast was: protein/berry smoothies, pineapple & 1/2 a bagel with cream cheese.
Sam's lunch: tortilla soup + empanadas, & fruit, & a treat
Nick's lunch: leftover mac & cheese + fruit, veggies & a treat
I wish they made square thermoses! The round ones are fine for liquids, but not as easy for other food (taquitos, a grilled sandwich, etc). I've searched Amazon, and the only ones they make have terrible reviews. Does anyone have a recommendation?
I know this is a state of transition, so I'm trying to dedicate an extra 10-15 minutes each morning to help the boys get everything sorted, as well as to be patient that they may not get it right all the time. But, it's a good investment of time in the long term.
What about you? At what age did your kids make their own breakfast & lunch? We'll stick to family dinners, as I'm prepping one thing for everyone. Please share any easy meal options as well!