Welcome to the second instalment of The Dinner Files. Sharing her dinner tales this week is Triona from A Little Londoner. Triona is a Kerry girl, who spent years in London before moving back to Ireland and is living in Kilkenny with her husband and two children Amelia (3.5) and Harry (1). As a working mum of young kids here’s what she has to share about dinner at her table.
Tell us about dinner time in your house- what time is it, where do you sit, who is there?
Dinner for the kids is around 5, they eat together at the kitchen table. I feed Harry. I eat with my husband when the kids have gone to bed at 7pm, unless I’m starving and can’t wait. I do find it easier to give the kids their dinner in the middle of the day, as then if they are picking throughout the day there isn’t a battle at dinner time. I would then on these days give them something lighter at 5pm.
How do you get dinner on the table in the evening?
I let the kids watch TV while I prepare dinner. I prepare and cook alone. That’s the way I like it.
Do you meal plan or do you decide on the day what’s for dinner?
No I don’t meal plan, but I generally have the same meats/veg/fruit in my shopping trolley every week. I normally decide in the morning what I’m going to cook.
I still make sure to have lots of meals in the freezer for Harry, as he has these at nursery.
What dishes regularly appear on your dinner table?
Chicken Katsu Curry, Chicken Korma, Chilli Con Carne, Shepherd’s Pie and Salmon with potato and roasted veg.
What dish is guaranteed clean plates all around?
Chicken Katsu Curry or Shepherd’s Pie
Do you tend to cook the same thing a lot or do you try to mix it up? Where do you get inspiration for different dishes?
I tend to cook the same things a lot. A few times a month I’ll try a new dish and see how it goes down.
What’s your favourite quick dinner solution?
Simple Chicken Korma with sweet potato and apricots. It’s so quick and simple or scrambled egg, spaghetti hoops, cucumber and tomato.
What’s your favourite junk-food dinner?
Tortilla Pizza and wedges with baked beans on the side
Do you eat the same as your kids?
Yes, more often than not I make enough for the four of us and some to freeze.
Are there ingredients or dishes that face complete refusals at your dinner table?
Neither child will eat regular pizza or potato waffles (quick dinners).
Are there any adventurous meals everyone at your table will eat?
Both kids will eat more or less everything, both love stuffed olives and smoked salmon, pity I couldn’t say the same about my husband. He is the fussy one in our family.
What is your own, all time favourite dinner?
Mine is and always will be a traditional Irish meal of bacon, cabbage and floury potatoes – delicious!
Have you any tips to share on getting the family fed?
Don’t let them get past the point of hunger where they are starving. This is when tempers and tiredness kick in. I introduced spices and different flavours from the very beginning and I think that’s what credits my children in being adventurous eaters. Talk to your children at mealtimes. I usually talk about the day, ask them if they enjoyed whatever they did that day etc.anything to keep them engaged at the table. If you have younger kids like me, I usually pull out a picture book and we go through what is on the pages between each spoonful.
Who’s washing up?
My husband and the dishwasher.
Thanks Triona. Your kids seem to have really adventurous palettes, olives are a no no in our house, although my five-year-old’s favourite is calamari! I agree on not letting them get too hungry too, if they do you’ve lost your window I find. My eldest tasted Katsu curry in Yamamori and has been pestering me for it, so you’ve reminded me to finally make it. Chili con carne is one of our regulars too. Thanks so much for taking part!
We’ll have another Dinner Files interview next Tuesday. In the meantime if you need dinner inspiration check out the Week in Dinner Series .
And if you’re interested in sharing your own “dinner files” drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you the information.