A while back we offered to care for our friends’ 7 kids while the parents went on a short trip out of state. For this mom of two, this was quite an undertaking. I’ve never had more than 2 kids and really had no idea what it would be like to have a large family for a few days.
We not only survived it, we had a great time. The kids were good sports, behaved beautifully and pitched in to help all the time. It was wonderful.
One of the challenges, of course, was meal time and in particular, breakfast. We could have done the standard cereal every morning, but at least once we wanted to have something special.
Enter the Oatmeal “Bar”. Talk about a hit. I made a big (no… HUGE) pot of oatmeal and while it was cooking I put a bunch of toppings and mix ins into small containers to set on the table.
Here’s what I put out:
Mix ins and toppings
The kids loved it. Seriously. They asked for it the next morning too and after they were home when their oldest sister dared to put oatmeal out one Sunday morning for breakfast WITHOUT the mix ins … well, let’s just say there was a little oatmeal deprogramming that had to be done.
So, in light of that, pull this one out for special occasions only. Make the most of it by setting a pretty table and putting the mix ins in fancy bowls with spoons, etc. Or serve the kids like a waiter with all the mix ins on a tray and you walking from child to child and spooning in their favorites at their request (this will also help when a few too many chocolate chips are getting poured into the bowls).
Oh, and by the way, this makes a fabulous “Dad’s out for the night so we don’t have to make a “real” dinner” dinner, too.