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Thread: After school food on a budget?

  1. #1
    Polly Esther Guest

    Default After school food on a budget?

    Our niece is helping their neighbors by caring for 6 year-old twin boys, a 7
    year-old and a 9 after school. Their mother is terminally ill and their dad
    picks the children up after work and a hospital visit. One of niece's
    challenges, she mentioned, was trying to get those bottomless pits filled
    and happy without wrecking her tight budget.
    It seems that there aren't many cooks here with small children but
    thought it was worth a try to see if there were any suggestions that would
    comfort and fill the little folks. I don't think nutrition is an issue for
    now; just survival. Polly


  2. #2
    Mark Thorson Guest

    Default Re: After school food on a budget?

    Polly Esther wrote:
    >
    > Our niece is helping their neighbors by caring for 6 year-old twin boys, a 7
    > year-old and a 9 after school. Their mother is terminally ill and their dad
    > picks the children up after work and a hospital visit. One of niece's
    > challenges, she mentioned, was trying to get those bottomless pits filled
    > and happy without wrecking her tight budget.
    > It seems that there aren't many cooks here with small children but
    > thought it was worth a try to see if there were any suggestions that would
    > comfort and fill the little folks. I don't think nutrition is an issue for
    > now; just survival. Polly


    Unshelled seeds and nuts will slow them down
    and are cheap. Peanuts are cheap in large
    quantity. Sunflower seeds are lots of effort
    for a meager reward. Find someone who distributes
    50 lb sacks.

  3. #3
    Je▀us Guest

    Default Re: After school food on a budget?

    On Wed, 25 Jan 2012 22:29:54 -0600, "Polly Esther"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Our niece is helping their neighbors by caring for 6 year-old twin boys, a 7
    >year-old and a 9 after school. Their mother is terminally ill and their dad
    >picks the children up after work and a hospital visit. One of niece's
    >challenges, she mentioned, was trying to get those bottomless pits filled
    >and happy without wrecking her tight budget.
    > It seems that there aren't many cooks here with small children but
    >thought it was worth a try to see if there were any suggestions that would
    >comfort and fill the little folks. I don't think nutrition is an issue for
    >now; just survival. Polly


    Popcorn (I'm eating popcorn right now
    Stews... cheap, nutritious and filling.


  4. #4
    Julie Bove Guest

    Default Re: After school food on a budget?


    "Polly Esther" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]..
    > Our niece is helping their neighbors by caring for 6 year-old twin boys, a
    > 7 year-old and a 9 after school. Their mother is terminally ill and their
    > dad picks the children up after work and a hospital visit. One of niece's
    > challenges, she mentioned, was trying to get those bottomless pits filled
    > and happy without wrecking her tight budget.
    > It seems that there aren't many cooks here with small children but
    > thought it was worth a try to see if there were any suggestions that would
    > comfort and fill the little folks. I don't think nutrition is an issue
    > for now; just survival. Polly


    Pan popped popcorn is one of the cheapest and most filling snacks there is.
    When I was a kid it was one of the few things we were allowed as a snack.
    We also had apples, carrots, celery, pickles, pretzels and sometimes cheese.
    Once in a while peanut butter and crackers.



  5. #5
    Giusi Guest

    Default Re: After school food on a budget?


    "Polly Esther" <[email protected]> ha scritto nel messaggio
    > Our niece is helping their neighbors by caring for 6 year-old twin boys, a
    > 7 year-old and a 9 after school. Their mother is terminally ill and their
    > dad picks the children up after work and a hospital visit. One of niece's
    > challenges, she mentioned, was trying to get those bottomless pits filled
    > and happy without wrecking her tight budget.
    > It seems that there aren't many cooks here with small children but
    > thought it was worth a try to see if there were any suggestions that would
    > comfort and fill the little folks. I don't think nutrition is an issue
    > for now; just survival. Polly


    Popcorn comes to mind.
    >




  6. #6
    Julie Bove Guest

    Default Re: After school food on a budget?


    "Sqwertz" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:1xdfl5k0ifcte$.[email protected]..
    > On Wed, 25 Jan 2012 20:53:45 -0800, Mark Thorson wrote:
    >
    >> Unshelled seeds and nuts will slow them down
    >> and are cheap. Peanuts are cheap in large
    >> quantity. Sunflower seeds are lots of effort
    >> for a meager reward. Find someone who distributes
    >> 50 lb sacks.

    >
    > 4 kids are not going to be eating unshelled sunflower seeds in MY
    > house.


    Hehehehehe.



  7. #7
    Leonard Blaisdell Guest

    Default Re: After school food on a budget?

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "Polly Esther" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > It seems that there aren't many cooks here with small children but
    > thought it was worth a try to see if there were any suggestions that would
    > comfort and fill the little folks. I don't think nutrition is an issue for
    > now; just survival. Polly


    Ramen and boxed Mac 'n Cheese come to mind. Both are inexpensive and
    ramen is really cheap. Grilled cheese and pb&j sandwiches aren't very
    expensive. Bulk sweet cereals with a little milk aren't either. My
    granddaughters seem to prefer this stuff over what I cook. Oh, and Chef
    Boyardee anything in the can which kicks up the price a notch or two.

    leo

  8. #8
    spamtrap1888 Guest

    Default Re: After school food on a budget?

    On Jan 25, 8:29*pm, "Polly Esther" <Polly...@cableone.net> wrote:
    > Our niece is helping their neighbors by caring for 6 year-old twin boys, a 7
    > year-old and a 9 after school. *Their mother is terminally ill and their dad
    > picks the children up after work and a hospital visit. *One of niece's
    > challenges, she mentioned, was trying to get those bottomless pits filled
    > and happy without wrecking her tight budget.
    > * * It seems that there aren't many cooks here with small children but
    > thought it was worth a try to see if there were any suggestions that would
    > comfort and fill the little folks. *I don't think nutrition is an issuefor
    > now; just survival. *Polly


    PB&J on Wonder bread. Get the dad to buy her Costco size jars of PB
    and perhaps strawberry jam. Then he can buy a loaf or two of bread
    each week.

  9. #9
    spamtrap1888 Guest

    Default Re: After school food on a budget?

    On Jan 25, 11:29*pm, spamtrap1888 <spamtrap1...@gmail.com> wrote:
    > On Jan 25, 8:29*pm, "Polly Esther" <Polly...@cableone.net> wrote:
    >
    > > Our niece is helping their neighbors by caring for 6 year-old twin boys, a 7
    > > year-old and a 9 after school. *Their mother is terminally ill and their dad
    > > picks the children up after work and a hospital visit. *One of niece's
    > > challenges, she mentioned, was trying to get those bottomless pits filled
    > > and happy without wrecking her tight budget.
    > > * * It seems that there aren't many cooks here with small children but
    > > thought it was worth a try to see if there were any suggestions that would
    > > comfort and fill the little folks. *I don't think nutrition is an issue for
    > > now; just survival. *Polly

    >
    > PB&J on Wonder bread. Get the dad to buy her Costco size jars of PB
    > and perhaps strawberry jam. Then he can buy a loaf or two of bread
    > each week.


    Sorry, better to have two or four loaves of bread each week.

  10. #10
    Janet Guest

    Default Re: After school food on a budget?

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected]
    says...
    >
    > Our niece is helping their neighbors by caring for 6 year-old twin boys, a 7
    > year-old and a 9 after school. Their mother is terminally ill and their dad
    > picks the children up after work and a hospital visit. One of niece's
    > challenges, she mentioned, was trying to get those bottomless pits filled
    > and happy without wrecking her tight budget.
    > It seems that there aren't many cooks here with small children but
    > thought it was worth a try to see if there were any suggestions that would
    > comfort and fill the little folks. I don't think nutrition is an issue for
    > now; just survival. Polly


    My sons used to come in from school at 4 and fill up with home made
    brown bread, butter, jam and cheese, washed down with milk. That would
    just about hold them until supper at 6.30 .

    Cheap suppers; macaroni cheese, cheesy omelette, frittata, sweetcorn
    fritters with bacon, baked beans on toast. A stir fry with pasta can make
    a small amount of meat and some cheap veg go a long way.

    Cheap fast pudding for four children; one apple one banana one orange,
    all cut into four and arranged on a plate as finger food.
    Longer-time cheap puddings; rice pudding baked in oven, baked apples.

    Janet

  11. #11
    Andy Guest

    Default Re: After school food on a budget?

    spamtrap1888 <[email protected]> wrote:

    > PB&J on Wonder bread. Get the dad to buy her Costco size jars of PB
    > and perhaps strawberry jam. Then he can buy a loaf or two of bread
    > each week.



    Each of these suggestions are just a daily snack each, not a smorgasbord.

    Breadless PB&J using strawberry fruit rollups with a swipe of PB or
    nutella and rolled up like taquitos? Cut in half for little fingers &
    tummys.

    Tater tots with ketchup, mayo?

    Brown 'n' serve style sausages as finger food with Log Cabin syrup for
    dipping? Cut in bite sized pieces to feed more fingers.

    Bagel Bites pizzas rounds?

    Fish sticks finger food.

    Since this is supposed to be a snack to tide them over until dinner,
    little servings should be easy, fast and cheap.

    Chocolate chip and Oreo cookies and milk as a dessert snack?

    Bag of frozen breaded chicken "McNuggets" finger food, microwaves up
    quick.

    A cheap-o brand of hamburger or cheeseburger sliders. They also microwave
    quick.

    Finger food only so they can take a piece when they feel like it without
    having to sit down together, unless they want/need to.

    Or not!

    Andy

  12. #12
    Julie Bove Guest

    Default Re: After school food on a budget?


    "Andy" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]..
    > spamtrap1888 <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> PB&J on Wonder bread. Get the dad to buy her Costco size jars of PB
    >> and perhaps strawberry jam. Then he can buy a loaf or two of bread
    >> each week.

    >
    >
    > Each of these suggestions are just a daily snack each, not a smorgasbord.
    >
    > Breadless PB&J using strawberry fruit rollups with a swipe of PB or
    > nutella and rolled up like taquitos? Cut in half for little fingers &
    > tummys.
    >
    > Tater tots with ketchup, mayo?
    >
    > Brown 'n' serve style sausages as finger food with Log Cabin syrup for
    > dipping? Cut in bite sized pieces to feed more fingers.
    >
    > Bagel Bites pizzas rounds?
    >
    > Fish sticks finger food.
    >
    > Since this is supposed to be a snack to tide them over until dinner,
    > little servings should be easy, fast and cheap.
    >
    > Chocolate chip and Oreo cookies and milk as a dessert snack?
    >
    > Bag of frozen breaded chicken "McNuggets" finger food, microwaves up
    > quick.
    >
    > A cheap-o brand of hamburger or cheeseburger sliders. They also microwave
    > quick.
    >
    > Finger food only so they can take a piece when they feel like it without
    > having to sit down together, unless they want/need to.
    >
    > Or not!


    Ooooh!! The fruit rollups with peanut butter sound good!

    One of Angela's favorite snacks was a tortilla spread with peanut butter,
    jelly and rolled around a banana.



  13. #13
    Pico Rico Guest

    Default Re: After school food on a budget?



    Polly Esther wrote:
    > Our niece is helping their neighbors by caring for 6 year-old twin
    > boys, a 7 year-old and a 9 after school. Their mother is terminally
    > ill and their dad picks the children up after work and a hospital
    > visit. One of niece's challenges, she mentioned, was trying to get
    > those bottomless pits filled and happy without wrecking her tight
    > budget. It seems that there aren't many cooks here with small
    > children but thought it was worth a try to see if there were any
    > suggestions that
    > would comfort and fill the little folks. I don't think nutrition is
    > an issue for now; just survival. Polly


    have them make fresh pasta with you. Keeps them busy, and gets them fed.



  14. #14
    tert in seattle Guest

    Default Re: After school food on a budget?

    Polly Esther wrote:
    > Our niece is helping their neighbors by caring for 6 year-old twin boys, a 7
    > year-old and a 9 after school. Their mother is terminally ill and their dad
    > picks the children up after work and a hospital visit. One of niece's
    > challenges, she mentioned, was trying to get those bottomless pits filled
    > and happy without wrecking her tight budget.
    > It seems that there aren't many cooks here with small children but
    > thought it was worth a try to see if there were any suggestions that would
    > comfort and fill the little folks. I don't think nutrition is an issue for
    > now; just survival. Polly


    I live the natural experiment known as "twins" every day. There are some
    things that both my boys will eat and some that are individual favorites.
    And their tastes change over time. But you say you're trying to get the
    bottomless pits filled, and the most filling nutrient is fat, of course.
    Cheese and whole fat yogurt come to mind and these are available in all
    sorts of packaging formats that appeal to kids. Fried foods ... someone
    else mentioned tater tots etc. I don't do the frozen things but that's
    probably the only option in this case. Can't hurt to keep some corn
    chips on hand too. There are lots of possibilities and trial and error
    is the only method I know for finding what works. Good luck to your niece
    and I'm sorry to hear about the family that is losing their mother. Very
    sad indeed.


  15. #15
    Gary Guest

    Default Re: After school food on a budget?

    Sqwertz wrote:
    >
    > Take them over to their house and raid the kitchen. Offer to go
    > grocery shopping for the father (with his money).
    >
    > I'd be babysitting them at their house rather than my own anyway. But
    > taking on the responsibility of feeding them out of my own pocket
    > would tax my generosity. I'm not rich either.


    I have to agree with Steve here. Babysit them at their house, so they have
    their own rooms and stuff available. Also feed them there with fathers
    food. I'm sure they all have their favorite snacks.

    Sounds like not just snacks though. If the dad works then visits the mom in
    hospital before picking up the kids, it might be late and would be nice if
    they ate dinner too. Frozen or homemade pizza is good. Homemade fries are
    a cheap snack. Even hamburger helper for a dinner is cheap. Those 4 kids
    aren't going to be too happy with only a 50lb bag of sunflower seeds for
    snacks (unless their last name is Byrd?)

    Best to ask Dad what to feed them for snacks and dinner...and let him buy
    the stuff

  16. #16
    jmcquown Guest

    Default Re: After school food on a budget?


    "Gary" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]..
    > Sqwertz wrote:
    >>
    >> Take them over to their house and raid the kitchen. Offer to go
    >> grocery shopping for the father (with his money).
    >>
    >> I'd be babysitting them at their house rather than my own anyway. But
    >> taking on the responsibility of feeding them out of my own pocket
    >> would tax my generosity. I'm not rich either.

    >
    > I have to agree with Steve here. Babysit them at their house, so they
    > have
    > their own rooms and stuff available. Also feed them there with fathers
    > food. I'm sure they all have their favorite snacks.
    >
    > Sounds like not just snacks though. If the dad works then visits the mom
    > in
    > hospital before picking up the kids, it might be late and would be nice if
    > they ate dinner too. Frozen or homemade pizza is good. Homemade fries
    > are
    > a cheap snack. Even hamburger helper for a dinner is cheap. Those 4 kids
    > aren't going to be too happy with only a 50lb bag of sunflower seeds for
    > snacks (unless their last name is Byrd?)
    >
    > Best to ask Dad what to feed them for snacks and dinner...and let him buy
    > the stuff



    I agree wholeheartedly. Although there may be a good reason the kids are at
    the niece's house, she shouldn't have to pay to feed them. Having a wife
    with a terminal illness could be wreaking havoc on the father's finances;
    thank goodness he has a job and hopefully health insurance. But the fact
    is, when his wife dies he's still going to have to feed those children.
    He's also eventually going to have to arrange for permanent after-school
    care (and pay for it). You can bet a regular babysitter isn't going to pay
    for their food out of his/her pocket so he may as well get used to it.

    I can understand the father doesn't have time to shop. So he needs to hand
    her a few bucks so she can buy food for them. I agree about the frozen
    pizzas. Red Baron makes individual sized pan pizzas that are pretty good if
    you top them with extra shredded cheese. Someone else mentioned Chef
    Boyardee. Sure, spaghetti, ravioli. Then there are frozen microwavable
    burritos and mac & cheese "cups". If the niece doesn't feel like making
    french fries from scratch, I believe Ore-Ida still makes microwavable french
    fries. They come in a lined container which magically "crisps" them.
    (Things like this are a lot cheaper if the niece has a Dollar General or
    Family Dollar in the area.) There's also nothing wrong with a good old
    fashioned grilled cheese sandwich

    Normally I wouldn't suggest this since I have no idea of the price, but does
    Oscar Mayer still make "lunchables"? (I have a feeling they're probably
    waaay expensive for what you get.) How about hot dogs? There's also
    nothing wrong with a good old fashioned grilled cheese sandwich There's
    a notable lack of vegetables but, as Polly stated, nutrition isn't the
    primary goal at the moment.

    Jill


  17. #17
    Steve Freides Guest

    Default Re: After school food on a budget?

    Gary wrote:

    > Babysit them at their house, so they have their own rooms
    > and stuff available.


    In terms of the kid's mental health, I agree with this 110%. What
    they're going through is tough enough; familiar surroundings will help.
    You can bring things over with you.

    Mac and cheese is a great idea - the oldest one can help you "cook" it
    (by stirring the pot into which you've added the requisite bit of
    butter, the cheese packet, and milk). It's not as cheap but TJ's sells
    this frozen and kids seem to still like it.

    Brown and serve sausages would have been a big hit with my kids. Bacon
    is another one - you can make an entire package, or even two packages,
    of bacon, then store it in the refrigerator. It keeps easily a week,
    and around here closer to two weeks.

    Grilled cheese sandwiches are another one - you can keep yourself
    occupied cooking making these, and the ingredients are just white bread,
    some sort of butter or oil, and here we use extra sharp cheddar cheese
    plus a little bit of garlic powder and a little bit of black pepper -
    the garlic and pepper, both in small quantities, seem to really make
    these a winner with kids around here.

    Cheese toast is even easier than grilled cheese sandwiches - just white
    bread, the cheddar plus optional seasonings above, and broil in the
    toaster oven two slices at a time until golden brown. I serve it
    quartered - each "load" yields 8 bite-sized pieces, and the kids just
    keep bringing the plate back for more.

    Hope that helps and best of luck to you and everyone involved in this.

    -S-



  18. #18
    Janet Guest

    Default Re: After school food on a budget?

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    > Sqwertz wrote:
    > >
    > > Take them over to their house and raid the kitchen. Offer to go
    > > grocery shopping for the father (with his money).
    > >
    > > I'd be babysitting them at their house rather than my own anyway. But
    > > taking on the responsibility of feeding them out of my own pocket
    > > would tax my generosity. I'm not rich either.

    >
    > I have to agree with Steve here. Babysit them at their house, so they have
    > their own rooms and stuff available.


    The snag with that is that then she can't get on with her own stuff at
    home; and cooking or doing anything in someone else's home with their
    tools etc is always more hassle. I'd keep them in my house (where my rules
    reign) but make sure they had some of their own toys/games there to play
    with.

    I keep a stash of toys and books here for visiting children; either left
    overs from my own kids or cheap and cheerful from charity shops. Paper and
    crayons don't cost much.
    >
    > Best to ask Dad what to feed them for snacks and dinner...and let him buy
    > the stuff


    If he's running between work/hospital/home he probably struggles to even
    think about shopping (or, eat properly himself). Poor man. If the money is
    tight and this is ongoing, just say upfront "They certainly are a hungry
    lot, let's work out a weekly figure to cover the shopping then you can
    leave it all to me and won't have to think about feeding them supper."

    Janet


  19. #19
    jmcquown Guest

    Default Re: After school food on a budget?


    "Steve Freides" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:jfrm8q$jvj$[email protected]..
    > Gary wrote:
    >
    >> Babysit them at their house, so they have their own rooms
    >> and stuff available.

    >
    > In terms of the kid's mental health, I agree with this 110%. What they're
    > going through is tough enough; familiar surroundings will help. You can
    > bring things over with you.
    >
    > Mac and cheese is a great idea - the oldest one can help you "cook" it (by
    > stirring the pot into which you've added the requisite bit of butter, the
    > cheese packet, and milk).


    I don't know what's up with the cheese packet. Just make a white sauce,
    you've already got butter and milk. Add some flour, S&P then melt some
    cheese in the resultant white sauce. It doesn't take any more time to cook
    than boxed stuff with cheese powder.

    > It's not as cheap but TJ's sells this frozen and kids seem to still like
    > it.
    >

    Stouffer's makes a decent frozen mac & cheese "entree". A couple of those
    would feed four kids easily.

    > Brown and serve sausages would have been a big hit with my kids. Bacon is
    > another one - you can make an entire package, or even two packages, of
    > bacon, then store it in the refrigerator. It keeps easily a week, and
    > around here closer to two weeks.
    >

    I like to bake bacon on a broiler rack in the oven. Line the broiler pan
    with foil for easy clean-up. Bacon egg & cheese sandwiches are good. I
    still love occasionally having "breakfast foods" for dinner.

    > Grilled cheese sandwiches are another one - you can keep yourself occupied
    > cooking making these, and the ingredients are just white bread,


    I don't know why you keep mentioning white bread. I was eating whole wheat
    bread by the time I was 8, which is younger than the oldest child in this
    scenario. It won't hurt them to have whole wheat. If they won't eat it,
    she can always buy some white bread. Assuming the father has given her
    shopping money.

    > Cheese toast is even easier than grilled cheese sandwiches - just white
    > bread,


    There you go with the white bread, again. LOL

    the cheddar plus optional seasonings above, and broil in the
    > toaster oven two slices at a time until golden brown. I serve it
    > quartered - each "load" yields 8 bite-sized pieces, and the kids just keep
    > bringing the plate back for more.
    >

    That's a nice kid-style snack! But we don't know if the father owns a
    toaster oven. It could certainly be done under an oven broiler. But
    watching 4 kids while attempting to broil cheese toast could be a bit of a
    challenge. I hope, at least, they are well-behaved kids.

    Jill



  20. #20
    Kalmia Guest

    Default Re: After school food on a budget?




    Make up a batch of waffles, then toast and spread with peanut butter.
    These can be made up ahead and stuck in the fridge.

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