Son 2 is bending over fixing his boat, on shore.
It's summer and the desire to go out for picnics is strong, but how on earth do you cope with feeding the family easily without loads of preparation and stay to the diet?
This week was a bit like a holiday, though we stayed at home, but we were travelling to the beach every day for Son 2's sailing lessons. We had to be out of the door at a set time, so it was akin to a school run morning. Hectic!
The week before that we had a day outing, a long way by train and needed easily carried food (in rucksacks), as we did also on the day we went up to London.
I have found that buying the same packed lunches boxes for us all made things a lot easier, I could just lay the boxes on the table and fill them. Once on the picnic everyone had their food all contained in one box and for the days we just had rucksacks, then we could each carry our portion.
This is our basic picnic kit. When we have the car we have the luxury of being able to take soup too (not that Sons would call that a luxury!) So for that I use our food flask and take melamine mugs too.
When you start to become grain-free, replacing sandwiches is very hard. It takes a whole new way of thinking about packed lunches. I have found that the way to fill everyone up without bread is to make sure they have plenty of meat and fat, so included cheese and a boiled egg each day. It seems a bit strange at first to be eating hunks of meat with your fingers, without bread, but it soon becomes the norm.
So we had meat, cheese, eggs, salad (including soaked nuts and raisins for those who like), sauerkraut, snack and a pot of dessert. We also bought a Nak'd bar for the journey home on a long day.
The weekend before our sailing week, when we took the car, I planned the menu and roasted 2 meals worth of chicken quarters, and froze them Husband and son 1 can manage a whole one each, son 2 and myself need less meat.
I also bought turkey and beef slices from the butchers (with no additives). I made enough soup for the week ahead and froze it in 1 litre quantities. I baked enough treats for the week. We had chocolate muffins! (see recipe here - just make the batter and put it in individual muffin cases instead of cake tins, makes about 18 - bake for 25 mins). I also boiled a weeks worth of eggs. It helped to keep the menu fairly similar each day so that I wasn't spending time I hadn't got thinking up new things.
This meant that Sons could help put the boxes together as I just told them what each box needed and it was simply an assembly job. I pulled the frozen chicken out of the freezer the same morning and didn't put it in a cool bag and it was defrosted by lunchtime. I could have defrosted it the night before. Chicken made a handy finger food. Sometimes we marinate it for extra flavour but we didn't have time for that this time.
Don't forget enough spoons and serviettes for sticky fingers and to avoid wipes and all their chemicals we always pack a damp flannel in a re-sealable bag.
Plan ahead as well for your evening meal. It's not much fun to go out all day and come back to a meal to prepare, so while the children pack the picnic, prepare the veg for tea, and put it in the slow cooker all day with the meat then you can walk back in the door to a delicious aroma!
Both Sons at sea.