'7 things I've learned from feeding three young kids at once, every day.'

Rafferty's Garden
Thanks to our brand partner, Rafferty's Garden

I often wonder what I would be paid if a ‘mum’ was broken down into duty-based wages.

Between the hours I put in “babysitting” (as my husband likes to call it), cleaning, washing, poo analysing (I’m sure that’s a job), mediating, schedule co-ordinating, personal shopping, event planning, taxi driving them to and from activities and not to mention cooking for them… I assume I would be making some pretty good coin at the end of each day if I added all my imaginary pennies all together.

The one time that I find that a lot of these ‘jobs’ collide is when it’s meal time. And to help parents navigate their job hats at meal time, here is my list of seven things I’ve learned from feeding three young kids (all under two) at once, every day.

1. Kids get hangry.

I thought my pregnancy hormones were bad, but they have nothing on fire-breathing, hungry kids. I literally know what time of day it is based on their moods.

Come 4.30pm in the lead up to a 5pm dinner (even if I’ve been trying to buy time with some sneaky snacks) it’s like they haven’t been fed since birth.

The behaviour can vary between a needy sloth…or a possessed monkey. Either way, they are hangry and ready for me to serve the food banquet which they probably won’t even eat.

2. The more effort you make, the less they’ll eat.

I’m sure every parent can relate to mourning the hours they have slaved away in the kitchen creating gourmet banquets for their hungry hyenas.

The truth is, I think they are born with “meal effort radars”. Generally speaking, the more effort you put in, the less they eat.

After going to the shops, sourcing the wholesome ingredients, cooking it, baking it, steaming it, frying it, you will just about be ready to declare yourself Jamie Oliver and then none of your fussy fingered kids will eat it. And often, they will look at it in disgust.

However they won’t hesitate to scoff down a Rafferty’s Garden Nothing Else fruit or veggie pouch which not only costs under $2, has no preservatives, artificial colours or flavours, added sugar or salt, and is often a better option than most of my meal menus. Which leads me to my next point.

3. You are just a seagull living off their scraps.

raffertys garden
It's telling what they'll eat and what they'll leave... for your scraps. Image: Supplied.

You would probably never go to such an effort when making meals for yourself as you do for your kids. And sometimes, when our kids are as fussy as ever… I’m glad, because I have become a seagull in my own home and the only meals I really ever get a chance to eat are their leftovers.

Whether its the bruised part of a banana or a few cold corn kernels, this is living. Parents everywhere rejoice over bread crusts and stale crackers. Why? because we hate waste, especially if we’ve gone to the effort of making something and the only proper meal we’ve eaten is something someone else made us or something we ordered so we just get what we’re given (or left).

4. You haven’t figured it out.

Just when you think you think you’ve found a winner, a “go to”, before you know it, it will all change. What once was a cherished meal option gets frowned upon like it’s peasants' food served for a king! How silly of us to think what they enjoyed and ate all of yesterday, they would equally like today.

They insist on more bananas so I buy a monstrous amount of bananas chuffed that my kids are basically begging for such a nutritious snack and then all of a sudden they can’t stand the sight, smell or taste of bananas, and the flavour of the day is now apples.

The wolf pack. Image: Supplied.

5. There is an exchange program.

It’s not all doom and gloom. The one benefit of having three babies in 13 months is that they are like a wolf pack come meal time. On the days where one child decides they don’t like something in particular, another one decides its their favourite so they swap. Winning.

6. Highchairs are like a mini holiday.

Having three little ones on the move can sometimes feel like I’m standing in an ants' nest. So I’ve discovered that meal time is a fabulous chance for parents to contain their kids to one area - The Highchair! You know where they are and don’t have to wonder what they’re getting stuck into and it basically frees your hands from a needy sloth or possessed monkey. Enjoy, have a coffee, take a mental holiday.

7. Mess cannot be avoided.

As a parent, I feel like most of my days are spent picking up after kids and cleaning and within a short time of doing that, it’s all messed up again. Meal time is not about trying to avoid the mess, it's about how efficiently you can clean it up because it’s going to happen regardless (another reason why I love a Rafferty’s Garden pouch).

Some people love to put one of those mess mats down under their highchairs (there is no mess mat that would be big enough for my kids' mess perimeters) but a good old dust pan and broom or dust buster will always come in handy. I recently discovered a spray mop which has been a game changer and you can never have too many disinfectant wipes.

What have you learned from feeding your little humans?

Feature image: Supplied.

Rafferty's Garden

We believe that real food tastes best. The Rafferty's Garden NOTHNG ELSE range is made from delicious, premium, pureed fruit & vegetables. Proudly made in Australia with NOTHING ELSE except for the real ingredients in the name, it has a smooth texture making it the perfect first food for babies trying solid food for the first time.