Meal Planner.

I pride myself on being really organised at school and every piece of paper that I have to read and digest has a place. Most times  I can put my hands on something I need in seconds.  I  have good systems in place and very rarely miss deadlines. The same cannot be said for my domestic goddess organisation…until now.

When I was last at St Pancras Station I wandered into a lovely stationery shop and there I discovered a meal planner with a tear off slip for a shopping list and a pen. I decided to get myself organised and plan our meals for the week instead of filling a trolley every weekend and then leaving a lot of the food to perish in the fridge because I couldn’t decide what to do with it. I always had good intentions of making a home cooked meal every night but after very long days at school I often hit speed dial and ordered take away. It is embarrassing when you don’t have to place your order because they recognise your voice isn’t it.

This is our second week of using the meal planner and it is going quite well, but tonight Mr O and I had a stab and ding (a microwave meal) because I was very late home and couldn’t face even opening the freezer. It’s not too bad though because I didn’t waste any food.  On the menu tonight was egg and chips.  It was good enough for Shirley Valentine so it is good enough for us! I bet the Queen is partial to an egg occasionally. I will be back on the meal planner tomorrow though because the salmon is defrosting as I type. If I don’t cook it, it will be wasted and I’m not wasting food anymore.

Tomorrow is our Harvest Festival and you have donated so much food for the Foodbank, you should be really proud. I will be talking to the children and explaining in simple terms what the Foodbank is and how it helps families in Fleet, not on the other side of the World,  who don’t have enough food.  I am sure they will be amazed when they see all the bags of food across the front of the hall. I will be asking them how many bags of shopping mummy or daddy bring home from the supermarket each week and whether they ever waste food. I wonder what stories they will tell me?

Our Eat Up challenge is going well at school and lots of children are eating up all their lunch. Some children are trying foods that they say they don’t like and being surprised that they do like them after all. No-one is forced to eat everything, this is isn’t the 60’s when I was at school gagging at the sight of tapioca and being made to eat it by a dinner lady with a beard, but Tavistock children are encouraged to not waste food.

Seeing the children battle with their peas and sweetcorn today warmed my heart. Some children do make me feel sad though because they hardly eat any of the main course and just want the pudding. We try to persuade the children to ‘eat a bit more’ and explain that they need a balanced diet but it is hard when they just won’t eat their vegetables! If you have the answer please let me know. Until then,  I will keep encouraging the children not to waste food and I am sure you will do the same.