COVID19 Weekend

Day 42: Lockdown Eating

April 26, 2020

Well, quasi-lockdown anyway. We still go to the grocery store weekly (I usually do this, with mask of course) and order takeout one weekly. Last night we even ventured out in the car as a family to do curbside pickup!

Since I am running out of ideas trying to really paint a picture of this time, I figured I would show a day of eating. Remember when there were hundreds of blogs featuring just this, and many of them earned actual $$$!? Craziness. But not that crazy because I totally read them.

Anyway. Yesterday turned out to be less healthy example of eating (duh, takeout night) but I am proud to feature it nonetheless. Perhaps I will balance it out with a more normal day of weekday food in our house.

First, a few other food notes:

1- I am happy about how well we have been doing with avoiding food waste. Our fridge is nearly empty (today is grocery shopping day).

2- I mentioned this before, but I am pleasantly surprised that our grocery budget hasn’t gone through the roof as much as I thought (probably b/c of #1). That said, we are NOT budget grocery shoppers. I think I once mentioned wanting to save in this arena, but I’m not sure that’s actually true. I feel like it is a reasonable thing to spend $$$ on. We do buy organic for a lot of things.

3- No one in our family minds leftovers. SO happy about this b/c leftovers are the most efficient way to eat! Lately dinners are cooked just 3x/week in the house to serve 6 meals (and sometimes bonus lunch leftovers too – see below). Since there are 5 of us, that means big batches. It’s so much more efficient that way.

I know some people like to mix up when the eat leftovers, but in the interest in preserving freshness, we usually eat them twice in a row. Like this:

Sunday – I cook a big batch of something

Monday – leftovers from Sunday

Tuesday – our nanny cooks a big batch of something (while kids napping or otherwise occupied)

Weds – leftovers from Tuesday

Thursday – our nanny cooks again (yes I know we are incredibly lucky)

Friday – leftovers from Thursday

Saturday – takeout (previously was “out” but things have obviously changed!)

We rotate meals enough on a larger scale so eating the same thing twice in a row just isn’t a big deal.

YES sometimes the kids are picky and hate something. I think they are less picky (or if you prefer the term “selective”) than average. Actually, Annabel & Cameron are less picky than average. G is at least an average level of selective.

She likes: dairy products, sauces of various kinds, random fruits/veg (but only certain ones), and more dairy products. She looooves to lick the topping off of whatever the actual food is. Even pizza she just eats the cheese . . . she appears to be thriving though so I am not concerned. I am sure things will evolve over time. The other two were not like that, though, so it goes to show that some of kids’ eating habits have more to do with the KID than the environment!

Okay. That was a lot! Here are pix from yesterday’s day of (weekend) eating:

BREAKFAST: Van’s multigrain waffle with almond butter, raisins, and a little honey. Clementine (or something resembling one, I can never keep all the small-orange varieties straight!). Black coffee (always).

G had cereal but she really only drank the milk and then proceeded to lick the peanut butter off of a waffle.

LUNCH: Leftover vegetable pasta (was dinner Weds & Thurs). Recipe from Dinner Illustrated (one of my favorite and most-used cookbooks; I learned about it from The Frugal Girl). Sauteed some chicken sausage to put on the side & also put out celery and hummus because Annabel and Genevieve were not huge fans of the pasta. (C liked it.)

SNACK: I don’t always eat a snack in the afternoon but I often do. Yesterday: cheese cracker sandwiches, La Croix, and The Flatshare. Usually I prefer something like nuts or fruit/cheese but we were running low on all of those things.

DINNER: Soooo, we told the kids they could take turns (with the adults) in choosing our weekly takeout. C (and Josh) chose . . . burgers. Which was fine with me.

We do not eat a lot of red meat in our house mostly for environmental reasons. I’d say that on average, we usually do one chicken meal, one seafood meal, and one vegetarian meal weekly (out of our “6 night” rotation). So last night was not super-typical, but it was pretty delicious.

Burger Fi burgers, parmesan fries, and very few vegetables. I guess there were pickles & tomatoes in the burgers! I also had a Funky Buddha Floridian (fave local beer) which HIT THE SPOT.

MMM. The end. Meals for this week:

  • Sunday/Monday – minestrone soup (recipe I took straight from LagLiv’s meal plan). Need some vegetables to balance out last night, and the kids usually like soup.
  • Tuesday/Weds – curry chicken with naan & green beans. Family staple
  • Thurs/Fri – rice & bean burrito bowl. From Dinner Illustrated.

OK G is up! More tomorrow.


  • Reply Grateful Kae April 26, 2020 at 8:34 am

    Just commenting to say that those fries look amazing!!! Is that place a local place or a chain in your area? Never heard of it but looks super yummy! I usually only ever get burgers when “out” at a restaurant, never usually for take out, but that sounds really good.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 26, 2020 at 12:00 pm

      It’s a national chain but (I just looked it up!) it originated in FL and about 20 states have locations. FL appears to have the most though! Josh likes it better than Five Guys, Shake Shack, and the like. They do have veggie burgers and beyond burgers too.

  • Reply Lori C April 26, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Thank you for sharing this! I love reading other people’s meal plans, what they eat, etc.! I think it is hard for all of us right now to keep things fresh. Yesterday for our family-

    Breakfast – Entennman’s Chocolate Dipped Donuts – yeah, I had two. 2 yo had a bite of one, and then a bowl of Cheerios. 4 year old had a package of chocolate chip mini muffins.

    Lunch- I made a Spring Fritatta and had a slice with a bowl of organic tomato/red pepper soup. Kids had crackers with peanut butter, strawberries, and yogurt.

    Dinner- Mediterranean shrimp for me, salmon for the hubby. Served with a sweet potato medly that had shallots and seasoning as well as a tomato/feta couscous. All courtesy of Green Chef and quite tasty!

    Dessert- ice cream from our local shop that is doing curbside pick up! Graham Central Station flavor for me and the kids.

    Today going to work on adding some more veggies for all of us!

  • Reply Lori C April 26, 2020 at 9:11 am

    Oh… and kids for dinner last night was more strawberries, and Cinnamon Toast Waffles. I cringe writing it, but also recognize this is survival time and I need to just be grateful we have food in our home!

    • Reply Irene April 26, 2020 at 9:55 am

      Lori – yesterday my 5 year old had a chocolate child muffin for breakfast and pancakes for lunch with a LOT of syrup. There were healthy snacks and some fruit too but I didn’t feel great about myself as a parent. I ate some what better but definitely not as well as Sarah. Oh well! We are surviving. I am typically ok with kids eating a couple bites of some things and then waiting for the next meal if they don’t like the healthy options (I generally put out something they like for every meal, even if it’s just the fruit or whatever) but I feel like we are all too fragile right now to handle multiple hunger induced tantrums so I’ve been allowing more crap meals than usual.

      • Reply Lori C April 26, 2020 at 1:25 pm

        @irene – yes, same here. I think the normal resiliency I have for tantrums is waaaaay down, so similar to you I am giving them at least one thing they like with each meal, usually a couple, and allowing a lot more unhealthy choices than I normally would. I am going to work on this the best I can though!

  • Reply Lucy April 26, 2020 at 9:52 am

    Funny, nannies that are cooks 🙂 I think its different in different countries. In some countries in Europe we would call them a housekeeper, as they do a bit of everything, or whatever tasks were agreed upon employment. But nannies would only take care of children and don’t do any house chores.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 27, 2020 at 6:43 am

      Yep! Fairly common here. Esp if you have a nanny employed full time and kids that are (normally) in school all day!

  • Reply J April 26, 2020 at 11:35 am

    If you like red meat but want to avoid the environmental ramifications, I would definitely recommend impossible burger!! They have a locator of where you can buy it, so I buy it from a local grocery store and cook it myself. I honestly think it’s as good or better than ground beef! 🙂

  • Reply Daphna April 26, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    We are all about the leftovers here too! I was wondering what books Annabel is enjoying reading these days? My 6 yr old daughter absolutely loved Dory Fantasmagory (which I bought b/c it was one of your loves of the week), and she needs new reading material. She also likes the Rainbow Magic Series and the Magic Treehouse. Thanks!!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 27, 2020 at 6:43 am

      Ooh! Great question and perhaps I should ask everyone here!! Annabel has enjoyed Boxcar children though I don’t particularly love them 🙂 Nothing has reached the level of Dory unfortunately but I will think about what she has enjoyed lately and perhaps do a post!

      • Reply Daphna April 27, 2020 at 11:31 pm

        Thanks, that would be great! Never imagined I’d be at the point that my kids would complain that they were getting too much screen time, ha ha. They’ve read most of their books.

  • Reply Alyce April 26, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Totally unrelated guest recommendation for the podcast – Celeste Headlee.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 27, 2020 at 6:41 am

      I will look her up!!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 27, 2020 at 7:42 am

      okay looked her up and she sounds amazing! Did you read her most recent book?

  • Reply Dominique April 26, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    Love that G drank the milk and licked off the peanut butter. My kids eat bananas and peanut butter in the mornings, but often the 4 year old just eats the peanut butter.

  • Reply Suzanne D'Cruz April 26, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    Hi Sarah, do you not meal plan for lunches? I use a lot of your idea.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 26, 2020 at 8:20 pm

      Nope 🙂 we just keep sandwich stuff on hand, or boil some eggs, or do smoothies or yogurt/granola/fruit for lunch. Or leftovers!

  • Reply Sara B. April 26, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    My two-year old does the same thing with toppings! She pulls her grilled cheese sandwiches apart just to pull off and eat the cheese. (You could give her a similarly grilled piece of bread alone and she’d happily eat it, but if she has the chance to eat just the cheese she’ll ignore the bread entirely.) And she LOVES sugar – she’ll bite the icing off a donut and decide she’s uninterested in the rest of it.

  • Reply Katie D May 5, 2020 at 9:49 am

    So I actually had a chance to catch the news some this morning, which rarely happens because all my boys are early risers…..still 🙂 Over the past 7 years, I have adapted. Anyhow, they ran a quick segment on the re-opening of restaurants over in South Korea and stated only parties of 4 were allowed dine in. This got me thinking, sadly, if this same guideline were to take place, our family of 5 would not be able to venture out of the house for a dinner out. I know there are several factors that play into this decision, however I am struggling with the idea, especially if it is a “new normal.”.

    I think eating out is one way children in particular learn social boundaries and manners, ie. not talking in a loud voice to your siblings, sitting properly at the table, not making an unacceptable mess in your seat. We enforce manners at the dinner table and honestly do not eat out much because, well, three young kids and eating out can be quite daunting at times and being at home is almost easier. I know you can identify. I realize there are some many layers in this statement to peel back, but could make for good conversation.

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