Christmas with little ones really can be the most wonderful time of the year. Still, with so much to do and so much going on, it can so easily become the most stressful time of the year too.
Regardless of whether you have one, two, three or more children that you’re weaning, read on for some top tips to help you navigate the meals of the festive season and beyond so that you can relax as much as possible.
If you’ve got more than one child, particularly at the same age, you’ll need to be organised. Whip up some easy meals and snacks so you have enough to feed each one when the busy season hits. Ensure a variety – savoury and sweet muffins are great as these can be taken out and about with little mess compared to a Bolognese for example. Stash them in
Muffins and egg cups are easy recipes to make in double batches so you’ve got a decent amount stored away – they require minimal prep and can produce a large yield with little time. Slow cookers are also useful for batch cooking other kinds of meals if you do want to prepare curries, pasta sauces or other meals. You don’t have to be stood over a hot stove for a long time to build your stash, and when you’ve got multiples the time to do so is definitely reduced so maximise any time you do have by doubling up ingredients for muffins, soups, pasta sauces and anything else you’re putting together. And if you don’t already have one: treat yourself to a slow cooker to reduce your cooking time even further!
Rather than taking food out on the morning you want it, do this the night before – a small job before bed means that by morning you can quickly cut the food up and pop it into your Mini EasyMat so you’re ready for the day. I’d recommend doing this whether you’re going out to a restaurant, someone’s home or even hosting yourself. By portioning up and organising a meal into the Mini EasyMat, you can pop the lid on and know that whenever you need it, there is food ready to pop in front of your little ones. This is especially helpful when you’re heading to a restaurant or loved one’s home and are not sure about the salt content, allergies or amount of food being served.
With twins and triplets, this also means that each will be served immediately. Instead of you sat at a table cutting up food for each one, you can whip out the mats, pop the lids off and you’re good to go – and you have a much higher chance of getting onto your own meal whilst it’s still deliciously hot!
Equally, it’s also worth pointing out that your little ones may have naps that don’t fit around meals out over the festive season and you may want to cause as little disruption to their routine as possible. I’m sure we’ve all been told that lunch will be around 1pm and by 3pm we are still sat waiting for those roast potatoes to crisp up! Having food stored ready in Mini EasyMats means that you can serve your little one whenever you and they are ready so that they can eat and nap at times convenient to you, without waiting on food being served.
Our Mini EasyMats
A nice tip for anyone dealing with more than one child and allergies is that you can get different coloured mats, so pick a different colour for each child so you know which one contains the allergy-free food (or just cook the same for each one if you prefer!).
You know your little ones best so think carefully about their positioning at tables, particularly when you have more than one. Will they eat better if your familiar face is nearby, or are they a social butterfly and like to be around different people? If the latter, then make the most of the opportunity for doting loved ones to sit with your little one and let your little one enjoy their company whilst tucking into their festive fare.
If you have more than one little one to consider, you’ll also want to consider whether you keep them together or spread them out. When you’re at home and it’s just you and your little ones, having them positioned close by so you can reach each one easily is key – and angling them towards each other so they can learn from each other is also useful. Many mums of twins or triplets find that organising the seating arrangement in a triangle layout can help as each of you can see each other and interact easily. But over the festive season when there are more people around, you’ll need to consider whether you want to mix this up a bit.
If you’re eating at the homes of family members over Christmas, once you’ve decided on positioning, you may also want to think about the flooring where you’ll be dining. Some parents find that taking a small roll of cheap wipe-clean material or cut up shower curtain helps them relax in the homes of relatives as they know the carpets are protected.
If you’ve thought carefully about the foods you’ll be taking, you may not have chosen anything saucy that could damage a new cream carpet, but it’s always worth bearing in mind that your little one may be offered something from the table anyway!
Those are our top tips for making festive meals easier
Follow our top tips for making meals easier and your Christmas season should go much smoother.
What are your top tips for navigating meal times with little ones during the festive season?