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Weaning, budgets and going back to work

A bit of a broad topic, but interlinked for me!

As I am sure most of you are experiencing, money becomes very tight when on maternity leave, particularly in the latter stages! Also, I have time to spend with my LO feeding her now, but when I go back to work in a few weeks (once I have found a job!), I know that I need to have a good selection of dishes that she is happy to eat, that are affordable.

So, I was wondering what experiences mums & dads have when it comes to going back to work, and if you have any top recipes that incorporate a good proportion of protein and carbohydrates, like Harjeet's dahl recipes (see the recipe exchange thread), and are also sensible budget dishes, and can be easily prepped of an evening once the LOs are in bed! Oh the joys of time management!



  • I am not back at work but find myself always running around sorting things, volunteering or just ensuring my LO has an active, fun and educational day. When my LO goes to bed I make all her food, do the house work and of course try to relax too. I find the easiest way to make food in bulk is to roast or bake a selection of fruit and/or vegetables then I combine them  and puree, I put in the fridge or freezer. I assume your LO is older so you won't be doing puree anymore, but try making batches of food, it takes one evening of slog but then it's done. Foods like cauliflower cheese, fish pie, mince dishes all can be made and placed into small tuber-wear tubs and frozen for up to a month.

    You can label your pots and remove from the freezer each morning. This way you can ensure that whoever looks after your LO had clear instructions as to what to feed them. You will feel like although you are not there you can still have some control over what she is getting.

    One cheap healthy option is to bake jacket potatoes and have with a variety of fillings: cheese, beans, tuna/salmon, mince meat or even just some soft cheese, Add some finger foods like carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, or even some frozen vegetable like peas/green beans to ensure that your LO is getting her veg.

  • I go shopping at times when i know food will be reduced in the supermarket (usually the evenings from 5pm, but times vary, don't be afraid to ask what times, the later it gets the cheaper the food-if you have no time during the week go at the weekend to buy for the week) I then buy veg, fruit, meat and bread I can use to whip up some meals for my LOs and freeze but also keep an eye out and other foods/ready meals for me that I can freeze, for when I'm pushed for time. A lot of the marked down veg and fruit, and a lot of other foods keep for days after,always check the quality and keep in the fridge where possible. Always keep an eye out for great offers and then work your menus around them. I always make sure my cupboard is stocked with various grains, pastas,pulses, seasonings and cartons of sweetcorn/chopped toms too, so I can always make something quick and easy, even when there isn't much in the fridge!! image

  • Thanks for your replies girls.

    I have been really inspired recently by a good friend og mine who is still cooking all her LO's food (now 26months old), and I tasted it when visiting at the weekend, and I know I need to pull my finger out!

    So, as of tomorrow I am going to start and make a few batches of stuff - I will keep you up to date with my progress, and add any top tips I come across! I have the ingredients for dahl; tomato sauce and a white/cheesy sauce, plus plenty of veggies.

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