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  #1  
Old 11-08-2012, 10:05 AM
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Default Cooking From Scratch?

I have read several people on hear say they cook from scratch.

Are you basically saying you do this for the "Main Course" of your lunch?

Do you make bread daily? Do you make homemade noodles for dishes?

Also, do you not buy any canned fruits/veggies? If not is it just fresh produce from teh grocery store.

Also, what are some of the dishes you cook?

I know should be under the menu section but this gets more posters so if you guys want to post your receipes over in the menu section please do.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:19 AM
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I don't buy canned food. I use frozen veggies & fruits for the most part. They are more nutritional & more cost effective. You can put frozen fruit in the microwave for less than 20 seconds & serve them. They are still solid & kids look at it like an ice cream treat.

A turkey or chicken can be uses throughout the week. Roll some up with cheese in a crescent & bake, make stir fry (with frozen vegges), serve ranch on the side to dip along with baby carrot & crackers, the list is endless!

(You can buy day old bread & keep it in the fridge too.)

Think outside the box..., just don't buy it in the box! lol
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:25 AM
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ps..., In the summer we plant a garden & the kids take care of it. They get to pick "lunch" & help freeze some stuff to eat later. They are more likely to eat something they helped with making!
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:34 AM
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I make all my own bread, but buy my pastas.

I do no canned fruits or veggies. We have a giant garden in the summer time so a lot ofit comes from there....beans, peas, carrots, squash, potatoes, peppers, asparagus, corn, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, melons etc. I freeze quite a bit of that to utilize through the winter. If I want something else I buy it whole and fresh from the grocery store.

I don't buy anything super processed....things like chicken nuggets, corn dogs and what have you. I realize they are allowed via my food program if I provide a nutritional number but I don't feed that stuff to my own kids so I don't even have it in my house.

Favorite homemade dishes I like making and the kids love...crepes, muffins, omelets, enchilada's, vegetable or chicken soup, chili, shepherds pie, roasts...right now they're chowing down on mini-pizzas they made themselves
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Country Kids View Post
I have read several people on hear say they cook from scratch.

Are you basically saying you do this for the "Main Course" of your lunch?

Do you make bread daily? Do you make homemade noodles for dishes?

Also, do you not buy any canned fruits/veggies? If not is it just fresh produce from teh grocery store.

Also, what are some of the dishes you cook?

I know should be under the menu section but this gets more posters so if you guys want to post your receipes over in the menu section please do.
I don't make my own pasta (I buy the organic pasta in bulk when on sale) but sometimes I do make my own bread. "From scratch" to me, means not making anything from a box (like hamburger helper) or a mix. For example, I will use fresh cheese and milk and make a roux (spelling?) out of butter and flour, to make mac and cheese.

I don't ever serve fruit or veggies from a can. Occasionally, I will serve frozen organic mixed veggies (from costco), and I serve them frozen, bc the kids for some reason love them and go nuts
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  #6  
Old 11-08-2012, 10:38 AM
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80% of what we eat is from scratch. I have 2 bread makers going, I make noodles for soups, all of our muffins, pancakes, waffles, cookies, pita, English muffins, pizza, tortillas, etc are all from scratch and ww. I grow as much of our produce as I can. What I don't grow is bought from a few farm families I have. My project as soon as my trees get big enough is to see how much of our fruit and veggies I can grow. It saves gobs of money.
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  #7  
Old 11-08-2012, 10:41 AM
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I never buy canned fruits/veggies - the quality is often poor. I only buy fresh, and frozen.

I do not serve prepacked/pre-made (at factory) meals.

All our lucnhes are Sunday dinner style.

I don't make noodles from scratch, but I only use whole wheat. I make all of my sauces (tomato, meat, alfredo, from scratch with fresh ingredients (no canned, jarred stuff).

I don't serve alot of store-bought bread... I make biscuits, scones, bannock, etc almost every day (very simple, takes very little time and is extremely inexpensive).

When we have fries/sweet potato fries/hashbrowns, they are hand-cut and baked by me from an actual potato or sweet potato.

I make any applesauce that is served. All pizzas are home-made (I make the dough, cut all the toppings), chicken "nuggets" are really cut up chicken breasts that I've breaded myself, all soups are made from scratch (no canned crap), no fishy crackers, chesse sticks, overly-processed junk food.

Some examples of typical lunches at my house:

- Stew (beef and veggie) seved with cheddar biscuit and apple slices
- Chili (beef, bean and veggie) served with whole wheat tortilla chips (cut and baked by me) and mango
- Stir-fried veggies with tofu (or chicken) and wild rice
- Spinach and Feta pitas with home-made hummus and pineapple
- Bacon tomato sammies with home-made mayo and banana
- Home-made lasagna served with garlic bisuits and pears
- Baked fish with mashed pototos and peas
- Home-made chicken/beef pot pies
- Fully loaded home-made hamburgers with hand-cut baked french fries
- Vanilla, banana and flax pancakes with home-made berry "syrup" and cottage cheese w/ fruit salad

And so on.
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  #8  
Old 11-08-2012, 10:51 AM
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The only vegetable I buy in a can is tomatoes.
Other than that, no canned veggies/fruits.

Fruits are always fresh, sometimes we have frozen to make smoothies with.
Fresh or frozen veggies.

I don't do frozen prepared meals.
Sometimes I make bread, rolls, buns, etc. But often, I buy it.
Pastas - I buy in the package.
Meats are all bought fresh.
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  #9  
Old 11-08-2012, 10:55 AM
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We eat only local, organic produce. For us, that means a farm share in the summer and fall and lots of trips to farms to pick fruit and farmers' markets to stock up. We can, freeze, dry, and store for winter. We eat seasonally--tons and tons of apples right now; no asparagus until spring.

I buy bread (local bakery) and pasta and sometimes crackers, but barely any other processed foods. I bake lots of quick breads. Dairy products are delivered by a local farm. I do buy coconut milk, as I have some dairy allergies to work around. Eggs from our chickens.

I used to do more "dishes." Now, most of my meals are pretty basic: roasted veggies, raw veggies, sauteed veggies. Raw fruit when I have it. Lots of soups in the winter. I'm not on the food program, because I have quibbles w/their idea of healthful. This week was pretty hectic, so I took some shortcuts. Our meals were:

Monday
snack: peanut-butter-and-apple-slice sandwiches
lunch: pumpkin biscuits; roasted cauliflower, red pepper, and cashews; slices of roasted butternut squash; milk
snack: plain yogurt with blueberry curd

Tuesday
snack: pumpkin biscuits w/butter; mint tea
lunch: scrambled eggs; broccoli; buttered toast; apple slices; milk
snack: popcorn w/ coconut oil, salt, and powdered kale

Wednesday:
snack: plain yogurt w/apples
lunch: peanut-squash soup; broccoli; carrot sticks; milk
snack: apple-tatsoi-coconut milk smoothies; crackers

Thursday: (we have an event this evening for families, so I'm also cooking dinner, thus easy meals today!)
snack: whole-wheat bunnies (crackers--twice in one week is unusual); apples
lunch: peanut-butter-and-jam sandwiches; carrots; celery; milk
snack: leftovers (Thursday's the last day of my school week; afternoon snack always finishes up the weeks' leftover bits)
dinner: baked-bean soup; corn bread; potluck contributions from families
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  #10  
Old 11-08-2012, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessrlee View Post
80% of what we eat is from scratch. I have 2 bread makers going, I make noodles for soups, all of our muffins, pancakes, waffles, cookies, pita, English muffins, pizza, tortillas, etc are all from scratch and ww. I grow as much of our produce as I can. What I don't grow is bought from a few farm families I have. My project as soon as my trees get big enough is to see how much of our fruit and veggies I can grow. It saves gobs of money.
You guys are awesome!! I don't do any boxed stuff but I do purchase all my own grain products...so, can you help me not? Can you share some recipes? I don't need to steal the thread, so you can pm me, but I would love to start this, it just seems rather daunting and overwhelming. I do have a breadmaker but I only do it on Sundays and of course it is gone by Tuesday. I think part of the deal is, I am not a carb person...they don't really appeal to me. If I get a breadstick with my salad at a restaurant, I'll just eat more salad and give it to my husband (why he has a belly, and I have no home made bread!).
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  #11  
Old 11-08-2012, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jen2651 View Post
You guys are awesome!! I don't do any boxed stuff but I do purchase all my own grain products...so, can you help me not? Can you share some recipes? I don't need to steal the thread, so you can pm me, but I would love to start this, it just seems rather daunting and overwhelming. I do have a breadmaker but I only do it on Sundays and of course it is gone by Tuesday. I think part of the deal is, I am not a carb person...they don't really appeal to me. If I get a breadstick with my salad at a restaurant, I'll just eat more salad and give it to my husband (why he has a belly, and I have no home made bread!).
You aren't stealing the thread at all! I don't understand how people do this as I'm not able to do anything from 6:30 in the morning till about 5:30 at night. I get up about 5:15 and on a mad dash till I go to bed.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:14 PM
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You aren't stealing the thread at all! I don't understand how people do this as I'm not able to do anything from 6:30 in the morning till about 5:30 at night. I get up about 5:15 and on a mad dash till I go to bed.
Do you do a lot of structured play and activities that are eating into your time to just breathe?

I'm busy until bed but not mad dash busy. I offer a lot of free play here though. I definitely have a schedule, but very little structure within it. Most of my day is child led which affords plenty of time to cook and in general just observe my group so I can step in if needed.
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  #13  
Old 11-08-2012, 12:15 PM
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You aren't stealing the thread at all! I don't understand how people do this as I'm not able to do anything from 6:30 in the morning till about 5:30 at night. I get up about 5:15 and on a mad dash till I go to bed.
I can easily cook while I have kids in my care - but my house is set up so that I can still mostly see/hear the kids in the playroom from my kitchen. My kids are very well behaved and are taught very early how to problem solve without an adult constantly intervening - so this helps me alot as well.

I start prepping meats and veggies in the morning before kids even get here. To make a soup, stew, roast or chili takes maybe 10 minutes of prep - throw it all in a pan or pot and let it cook while I'm with the kids.


It takes me 5 minutes tops to make biscuits, bannock or muffins.

Alot of our pasta dishes and casseroles are left over from the night before's supper and reheated - but even if not, it takes maybe 15 minutes for me to make "lazy man's lasagna" (dice/grate veggies, smash tomatos, add spices, let simmer in a large pot, add lasagna noodles w/ one cup water, let simmer for 45 minutes, add 1 cup cottage cheese and 1 cup shredded mozza and voila!), and in the time it takes the water to boil for some macaroni I can make a delicious home-made cheese sauce!

Stir fries only take a few minutes as well. Cut up some fresh veggies and fry them up in a pan with some peanut oil, a little bit of oyster sauce and soy - add some pre-cooked chicken (can also be from the night before) or tofu and serve over rice!


If I wasn't able to cook/serve dishes like this for the kiddos and had to rely on prepackaged foods then I probably wouldn't do daycare.
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:19 PM
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Do you do a lot of structured play and activities that are eating into your time to just breathe?

I'm busy until bed but not mad dash busy. I offer a lot of free play here though. I definitely have a schedule, but very little structure within it. Most of my day is child led which affords plenty of time to cook and in general just observe my group so I can step in if needed.
A little of both-preschool and free play but we do more outdoor programs. My group have a hard, hard time freeplaying inside unless someone is supervising. Sad, I know but all are the baby of family or onlies. Each and everyone of them-
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:21 PM
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I can easily cook while I have kids in my care - but my house is set up so that I can still mostly see/hear the kids in the playroom from my kitchen. My kids are very well behaved and are taught very early how to problem solve without an adult constantly intervening - so this helps me alot as well.

I start prepping meats and veggies in the morning before kids even get here. To make a soup, stew, roast or chili takes maybe 10 minutes of prep - throw it all in a pan or pot and let it cook while I'm with the kids.


It takes me 5 minutes tops to make biscuits, bannock or muffins.

Alot of our pasta dishes and casseroles are left over from the night before's supper and reheated - but even if not, it takes maybe 15 minutes for me to make "lazy man's lasagna" (dice/grate veggies, smash tomatos, add spices, let simmer in a large pot, add lasagna noodles w/ one cup water, let simmer for 45 minutes, add 1 cup cottage cheese and 1 cup shredded mozza and voila!), and in the time it takes the water to boil for some macaroni I can make a delicious home-made cheese sauce!

Stir fries only take a few minutes as well. Cut up some fresh veggies and fry them up in a pan with some peanut oil, a little bit of oyster sauce and soy - add some pre-cooked chicken (can also be from the night before) or tofu and serve over rice!


If I wasn't able to cook/serve dishes like this for the kiddos and had to rely on prepackaged foods then I probably wouldn't do daycare.
My kitchen is right off my childcare room but around a corner so even though I can hear, I can't see and my group can't handle that. My group is kinda like -was it daycarediva-who posted about needing meals brought in.

They are able to only do something for like 5 min without me right there.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:17 PM
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My kitchen is right off my childcare room but around a corner so even though I can hear, I can't see and my group can't handle that. My group is kinda like -was it daycarediva-who posted about needing meals brought in.

They are able to only do something for like 5 min without me right there.
Yikes. I'm pretty sure I would have to quit daycare if I had any groups like this. Even though all my kids but one (who is now 3) are under 2, they are just awesome and I have very few behvaioral issues. I can turn my back, leave the room and so on with very few to no issues.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:12 PM
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I suppose I do a mix of everything. Here is what I do:
  1. Breakfast is 99% made completely from scratch, with the exception of bagels, tortillas for breakfast burritos and toast.
  2. Approximately 80% of my carbohydrates are either whole grain or whole wheat. The only exception would be white rice instead of brown because I never take the time to make the brown rice.
  3. My fruits and vegetables are always fresh, not canned or frozen. I serve a ton of berries too, which I think really sets me apart from many other child cares. I also make my own applesauce from fresh apples.
  4. All of my meats are lean, fresh (or previously frozen) and all natural. The only exceptions I can think of (because they are processed) are sandwich meats (served twice a month), breakfast turkey sausage (which is mostly all natural, but does contain some preservatives), and turkey sausage (which I use to make red beans and rice once per month).
  5. I do cook with some canned products. Mostly, this includes all natural tomatoes, beans, and corn.
  6. I do not make regular sliced bread or tortillas, but I do use whole wheat products that contains a good amount of fiber. All other bread products are made from scratch (including rolls, biscuits, breads, muffins, pizza dough) and are made with whole wheat flour.
  7. I also do not make pasta from scratch, but I only use whole wheat products.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:12 PM
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ok...so some of these bread recipes...I can do it while I watch my 'housewives of....' shows in the evenings...sad, but true.

I too:

Use only WW (pasta, bread, tortillas - in fact, one of my school agers asked me why we had chocolate bread?!)
Breakfast is 9 out of 10 days made from scratch - one day every 2 weeks we have cereal
No boxed/packaged/premade foods
All meat (except chicken but that will change next year) comes from our farm
75% of veges are from the garden (all in the summer, then until I run out of of the frozen stuff I have done)
HM applesauce

BUT, I would love to replace some of the breads for HM...that would be great!
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:13 PM
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I also wanted to mention that I make most of my food either during nap time for the next day, at night, or first thing in the morning. This makes meal preparation very quick and easy, which is essential because we do a lot of scheduled activities.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Willow View Post
I make all my own bread, but buy my pastas.

I do no canned fruits or veggies. We have a giant garden in the summer time so a lot ofit comes from there....beans, peas, carrots, squash, potatoes, peppers, asparagus, corn, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, melons etc. I freeze quite a bit of that to utilize through the winter. If I want something else I buy it whole and fresh from the grocery store.

I don't buy anything super processed....things like chicken nuggets, corn dogs and what have you. I realize they are allowed via my food program if I provide a nutritional number but I don't feed that stuff to my own kids so I don't even have it in my house.

Favorite homemade dishes I like making and the kids love...crepes, muffins, omelets, enchilada's, vegetable or chicken soup, chili, shepherds pie, roasts...right now they're chowing down on mini-pizzas they made themselves
what she said. ^^^

We also make a lot of meals in bulk and freeze for later so when there is a night that we need a quick but healthy meal we have it at our finger tips. For example, my DH made 84 wild rice meatballs, a brisket, 3 racks of ribs and 2 pork butts in the smoker as well as made 3 batches of french onion soup on Sunday afternoon. ALL of it went into meal size packages and were froze for later use.

He does this often and it makes life after work and on weeks ends much less hectic.

I do the same with frequently used daycare items such as waffles, pancakes, bread and muffins and of course hotdishes. My mom always told me never ever make a hot dish for only one meal. Make it at least double and you will appreciate it later when needed.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:57 PM
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For example, my DH made 84 wild rice meatballs, a brisket, 3 racks of ribs and 2 pork butts in the smoker as well as made 3 batches of french onion soup on Sunday afternoon. ALL of it went into meal size packages and were froze for later use.

He does this often and it makes life after work and on weeks ends much less hectic.
Does he offer tutorials for other's spouses?


I have dozens of bags of HM pancakes, belgian waffles and french toast in the freezer!!! They are fantastic for my older kids to just pop into the toaster as I usually don't manage to knock out breakfast before they have to get on the bus in the morning. Makes me not feel so guilty about that when they're at least getting a warm meal
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:34 PM
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about the babies and onlies..same here country kids!! all 6 of my dck's.. man its challenging dealing with the princes and princesses of the families.. LOL
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:40 PM
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All our lunches are Sunday dinner style.

.
A few people have referred to "Sunday Dinner style" meals. At the risk of sounding dumb, what does this mean exactly? Can you give complete examples of what you serve? Or is it more about place settings, manners, etc.? I don't mean to hijack, but I am working on improving our meals and would love LOTS of examples of CACFP friendly breakfasts, lunches, and snacks!
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:46 PM
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I cook extra dinner most of the time and serve that for lunch.

I buy bread, pastas, and crackers. I make pancakes, waffles, muffins, french toast, crescent rolls etc.

I but LOTS of in-season stuff, but when it's not in season...

I buy canned tomatoes, beans, peaches, pears, pineapple, and fruit cocktail. Occasionally mandarin oranges.

I buy frozen veggies. I buy frozen fruit for smoothies, frozen blueberries for pancakes/muffins and sometimes for snack.

I'm trying to start making double batches of things and freezing them.
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:49 PM
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I cook extra dinner most of the time and serve that for lunch.

I buy bread, pastas, and crackers. I make pancakes, waffles, muffins, french toast, crescent rolls etc.

I but LOTS of in-season stuff, but when it's not in season...

I buy canned tomatoes, beans, peaches, pears, pineapple, and fruit cocktail. Occasionally mandarin oranges.

I buy frozen veggies. I buy frozen fruit for smoothies, frozen blueberries for pancakes/muffins and sometimes for snack.

I'm trying to start making double batches of things and freezing them.
I buy lots during the summer fresh but after that the selection is terrable.
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  #26  
Old 11-09-2012, 05:00 AM
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I do homemade and very few convenience foods but many of you outshine me This has been a VERY interesting thread. Thanks!

I stay away from anything canned. I use fresh and frozen fruit and veggies. I buy pkg. pasta, bread, tortillas and crackers. I do buy whole grain frozen waffles. I usually serve the more involved breakfasts at noon instead of for breakfast.

I have a garden and buy local also. I buy/serve organic milk, yogurt, frozen veggies,apples, raw carrots, butter, baby greens, some cereals and oats because that's what's available in my area. My state does not allow home-canned food to be served. I like to freeze garden produce any way. I make my own applesauce and freeze it or make it the day we have it in a crockpot.

I don't use boxed mixes and make homemade macaroni and cheese and casseroles. I do buy tomato sauce in jars not cans. I do use canned pumpkin and olives. I soak and cook dried beans in my crock pot and freeze the extra. I make hash browns ahead and freeze them. I make my own pancake mix and try to use oat flour in lots of recipes. I use real maple syrup...no I don't make my own! No pkg. muffins, quick breads, cookies. I make my own pizza dough.

I do buy Kashi fruit and grain bars and Organic Valley yogurt in the tube. I make my own biscuits and scones. I don't buy ground beef. I don't do chicken nuggets, etc. We eat real turkey breast, chicken, shredded beef.
I make my own soups.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:19 AM
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I serve a hot lunch daily.

I use store bought breads, pasta, crackers. I do make my own bread once a week or so but I save that for my own family to use. I make my own biscuits, pancakes, muffins and most baked goods regularly for both family and daycare.

I buy fresh or frozen produce only. Dry beans. I will buy canned tomatoes if the low sodium are on sale.

We grow a large garden and eggs. We can our own tomatoes, apple sauce, peaches, jam, etc.

I don't serve processed foods...fish sticks, chicken nuggets, KD, kraft singles, etc.

I make all my family's meals from scratch (aside from pasta) and double the recipe to use for daycare lunches.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:44 AM
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I commend those of you who grow your own garden. I have a special ability with plants that results in death. I can kill any plant in a matter of weeks. No matter how much I'm on top of watering them and keeping up with it, everything dies for me. I have tried to grow a garden soooo many times and it never works out. Grow the plants from seeds? They never make it past the sprout stage. Grow the plants from the pots? They usually die within a few weeks. Grrr, I wish so badly that I could just keep a plant alive for long enough to get some use (or beauty) out of it!
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:24 PM
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mema mema is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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I do my own pizza dough, breadsticks, muffins, pancakes, waffles, but not bread (with the exception of banana bread...mmmmm!) or pitas and such. I would love to tho if it is not super time consuming. We love tortillas, pitas, biscuits, crescents. If anyone has any go to recipes for these that they are willing to share, that would be great! I look them up online and never know which one to choose. I will pick one and it either doesn't turn out or no one likes it.

I don't use can fruits/veggies normally. I do keep a few cans on hand tho for emergencies (power goes out, snowstorms, etc). I try to do fresh only, but there are somethings that I buy frozen because of season.

Anyone have any alternatives to cream soups???
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