October 12, 2011

Messy Meals and Rules to Avoid Kitchen Annihilation

This post is sponsored by Finish Quantum and Nuffnang.

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As we Woogs have gotten older and our gross motor skills have developed to the point that we can actually manoeuvrer a fork from a plate into our mouths, meal times have less about cleaning the floors and more focused on consumption.

But that was not always the case.

Old family standby meals include ANYTHING with mashed potato and tomato sauce,  spaghetti bolognaise, lasagne, anything with tomato sauce, a variety of Hungarian stews and of course our National Family Dish, tuna mornay. But never with tomato sauce, That is just wrong.
My Mum used to make (note I do not say cook) tuna Mornay for us when we were little kids because it was quick, cheap and always got eaten.  It is a family dish that has been passed down from generation…..  Well only one generation really, but my sisters and I still make it for our kids and it is still a fave.  It is basically a cheese sauce, chuck in a tin of tuna and a tin of corn and you were good to go with some rice on the side.
Do not make that face….  It is delicious!
But the problem with Tuna Mornay is it’s propensity to create havoc on your interiors, and in the same way that you do not rinse a weeetbix plate, it sticks like rubber to glue. Anywhere it lands.  And when you have little ones, who knows where it might end up.
It is what we call a messy meal.  We tend to really only have messy meals when we are dog sitting or it is the day before Lilly comes to clean.
Back when the Woogettes were small, every meal was a messy meal and I would like to share a few tips I learnt from my years wrangling toddlers.
Containment is key.  Letting them out of highchairs too early is a total disaster.  Try and keep them in for as long as possible. May I suggest 5 is a good age to let them free range?
Moving on from kitchen containment, I can recommend cooping up still, but with the freedom to roam on natural pastures.  They can be fed through the bars when required and you need not mop up afterwards.  You can just release the hounds.

Finally, look to see where you can multi-task.  Here I am training Harry to feed Jack and when they are done, I simply strip them both off, add some bubble bath and chuck in the hose.  And we can call that dinner and bath.
These simple tips and tricks come with experience and I hope you can implement one or all of these ideas into your daily life, to make it a little less messy.
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