When our daily lives are becoming repetitively the same due to COVI-19, to keep the family family it is importance to create some variety over the things we can control.
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Creating variety amongst the sameness
Good morning

In Victoria (my home state in Australia), it was announced that children who could stay at home for term two of school need to do so. We are lucky that both myself and my husband are able to work from home and we can be at home with the kids.

We have currently all been at home for well over two weeks now and we have at least another 11 weeks of it. Overall we are all doing really well given the number of people we have in our space! But there has been one very noticeable change I have seen with the kids and even me.

The kids have always been happy to eat the same thing for lunch for a number of days in a row, have last night's dinner for breakfast etc and I have always been someone who is very happy to have the same thing for breakfast or lunch every single day.

But since we have been under "stay at home" restrictions this has changed. The kids and even I have been seeking more variety in what we eat. Initially, I was a little frustrated when there were complaints about "nothing to eat" especially because I knew there was plenty of good food in the fridge that they usually would eat.

Late last week though after chatting to one of the kids about what items they would like me to get when I was out food shopping on the weekend, I began to realise, that the food we are eating is one of the few things we can create variety in. It wasn't that they didn't like the food I had available, they just wanted something different.

Our days may be turning into GroundHog day, but at least we can mix up what we have to eat!
With this revelation I have changed a few things about the food I am making for the family:

  • I am making sure I am cooking their favourites but in smaller quantities than I usually would. I am not factoring in they will want to have it for lunch the next couple of days.
  • I am doing more combo style meals to cater to differing needs. For example the other night I made chicken wings and vegetables, but two of the kids don't really like chicken wings, so I cooked fewer chicken wings and cooked some chicken sausages as well.
  • I am making sure there is more variety in their lunch options. This has meant an occasional walk to the local bakery as part of daily exercise for the younger kids and we will get some pizza rolls or the like for lunch.
  • I am baking in smaller amounts but baking bi-weekly to have more diversity in snacks for morning tea.
  • I am not making one of our evening meals meatless at this stage. This was a habit I wanted to establish this year, but I am giving up on it temporarily. Dinner time at the moment is a time where we all come together and we play card games afterward which has been so much fun. The older kids are resistant to the idea of having a vegetarian meal and while I could push this with them, I am choosing not to. I don't want to get dinner started off with a battle. They are all missing their friends, their social lives, their uni and school lives. I have decided for the sake of family harmony, now is not the time for me to push this one.

I do really feel for the kids at the moment and making these small changes isn't really that much extra work for me. And the reality is that I benefit from the extra work. If the kids are well fed and have some variety in this aspect of their daily life, they are happier kids. Happier kids fight and complain less which equals a happier mum 😊.

What changes have you noticed in your family since you have been staying at home and what have changes have you made to accommodate them?

I would love it if you would hit reply and let me know and then I can collate the responses and share on the blog - most parents are looking for all the tips they can get at the moment!

Take care and stay well,

PS. A shout out to the lovely Joyce from the excellent Tot: Hot or Not who suggested I write this topic up for my newsletter this week when I was discussing it with her and the other members of the Power Up Performance Group on our fortnightly call on Monday!

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Thanks for reading!
Nicole Avery
Planning with Kids
Surrey Hills Victoria 3127

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