Once you've successfully lured your lively little recruits to Grandma Camp, take note that you've got to feed them! Each day. Multiple times each day! I'd grown accustomed to filling a kitty bowl or two every morning in our empty-of-kids-but-not-pets nest, watching six cats follow up one meal with an 18 hour nap. (18 hours? Really? Yep!) Kids, in contrast, like to graze for that amount of time, not sleep! Be ready!
One solution for round-the-clock munching is self-service snack boxes. Here's what mine look like. They're from Pottery Barn Kids.
I fill 'em up each morning with fruit, veggies, crackers and cheese. The kids know that in between meals they are welcome to munch on whatever they want. It's in the fridge, inside their own color coded box.
That leaves grandma responsible for only breakfast, lunch, dinner and a bedtime snack. Assign grandpa a few mornings of home made pancakes and a grilled dinner of organic hot dogs and you've cut your work in half. Works for me!
But not everything "worked for me." I had individual fish pot pies planned. A charming little salad bar. Home made veggie burgers. Gourmet mac and cheese....Foolish! No time for those delicacies, especially when kids only want grilled cheese or peanut butter sandwiches! So I succumbed to the basics, just inserting cutesy little touches to make ordinary eating a little more appealing.
Mini sized hot cheese bagels move down
the hatch at a faster pace than "grown-up" ones sliced in half!
Grandma's salad challenge: "Get it before that hungry caterpillar does!"
On our last evening together, we revisited an adventure from the past. When they were "little kids," these campers loved to play beneath our second story deck. I would surprise them by lowering a basket filled with snacks, drinks and hand wipes. They were delighted. Oh, the anticipation watching that basket of mysterious contents bump its way slowly downward to meet them! But this time it was dinner. Individually boxed, hot, and ready to dig into!
I had set up a picnic style table at the edge of the woods. They scampered away with their meals to enjoy themselves. I suspect it was one of the week's highlights because Bree animatedly described the experience to mommy later. "The basket was looooowered down to us very carefully!"
Three boxed dinners to-go, and three hungry kids to gobble them down! Grilled cheese, steamed veggies and a handful of grapes - GONE! All of it!
But wait! What about dessert? You never mentioned dessert!
Not to worry. Of course we had dessert!.....Every day. Once each day. In an official "grandma camping" sort of way!
Each day, one camper was "kid of the day."
We rotated, automatically assigning first, second and third choices, assuring that grandma would never have to sit in "time out" again for forgetting whose turn it was to flip the popcorn maker switch. (Happened once. Lesson learned!)
Here's Nick, enjoying alpha male status on his day. His dessert choice was Star Wars brownies.
"Kid of the day" could also choose from home made ice cream, popcorn, cookies, or mini donuts. He or she supervised the process and grabbed the first sample bite.
Sae chose mini-donuts in this nifty little appliance. Grandma is happy with unadorned treats, but a generous, multi-colored icing and over-the-top sprinkle bar was well utilized by the kids!
We didn't forget the "folks back home" either. An assortment of samples from each day's dessert was packed inside small bakery boxes and brought home for siblings and mommy and daddy.
So there! I fed them all. Each day. Multiple times each day.
Indeed, I did!
But where did all this stuff come from?
Bakery boxes, 6" square, in sets of three, are from Michael's.
Silicone caterpillar mold (use Jell-o jiggler recipe) for salad visitors are here, along with the mini donut maker. Star Wars cookbook is on page 11, also in my Amazon gift shop.
Grandma Camping series concludes here with Part 8!