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12 January 2009


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yummy - looks good! I know what you mean about the toxic hour, so often I'm looking forward to seeing Amy and yet within 10 minutes of her being home I could quite cheerfully drop her back at school!


Your lunch looks very tempting and I am all for eating lunch properly, you must do it more often!. I know just what you mean about the adult bit of the day nearing its end so I try to make lunch-time my totally indulgent, 'me' part of the day. I always sit down, even if it is a real dregs of the fridge type lunch,and I usually flick through lovely books or a newspaper (usually the Sunday newspaper which it takes me all week to read even a tiny part of). I'm afraid I can still be pretty ratty on occasion though. Hmmm, must be the kids then!


Looks like a yummy lunch. Know what you mean about the toxic hour too. We find a snack and a chat when he first gets in, to top up the blood sugar levels before dinner, then actually a little bit of time on our own each of us - him watching TV/playing etc, me reading - we're around each other but not actively engaging, then before tea, we do something together - jigsaw/read/play game, once we've each had time to get over the getting home part of the day. Seems to work at the moment. Although it will probably be one of 'those' evenings now, and I will come back tomorrow and erase everything I say!

Hope your lunch does the trick - let us know how you get on.


Oh Ali, this is so true. I'm often run ragged at this time with little patience with the children. The witching hour with babies used to be 5 to 7 (um, make that witching hours) but now its definitely 3 -5 in our house. I find this a very dangerous time of the day when it comes to my calorie intake. Tired children = tired irritable mama who eats out of frustration!


I hope it helps, but if not it is still sensible to stop for lunch - especially such a tasty looking lunch. Today I tried a brisk (short) walk after lunch to help prevent that afternoon dip.


Oh this post has really touched me, I can SO identify. Today I found myself missing lunch, then realising I was starving around 1.30 I grabbed from the fridge:
1 slice ham
1 cherry tomato
1 wedge cucumber
1 slice bread and jam
1 clementine
1 thorntons chocolate.

And now I am ravenous again and ratty. And can't be bothered with the children who are sat in front of the tv. Such a waste of a good hour I could spend with them.
I REALLY need to plan my lunch menus and make time for it instead of grabbing a hurried bite in between doing other things. Very inspiring.



Between my boys wanting to use up their computer time as soon as they get home from school and me being pooped from various excursions and chores and usually not getting enough sleep the night before, the late afternoon hours are not typically great family time for us, either. Every once in awhile I'll try to plan some activity, but usually we're all in disarray.

Sometimes it seems to me that most of my time with the boys is in service to one thing or another--getting them to school, taking them to various friends' homes, picking them up, getting them to pick up their stuff, etc.--and I don't feel I have much play time with them at all. My husband spends time doing fun things with them on the weekends, and I fear they'll remember him in later years as the fun one. It doesn't seem fair, but that seems how it's worked out so far.

Let us know if a good lunch helps!


Lucy Locket-Pocket

What a sensible idea! And such a delicious sounding lunch too. But it may not be your fault that you feel ratty after school. I find that my three inevitably spark off each other the minute they are all back together which invariably winds me up! They are usually hungry and tired and I always try to remember to take a snack with me when I go to pick the youngest two up from school.

Hope your lovely lunch did the trick!

Lucy x


Such a great idea.I used to get to about ".30 and feel so tired that I had a cup of coffee and a chocolate bar. Then I read an article that says you should always have protein midday to stop you flagging mid afternoon. Now I always have some form of protein with my lunch and it really does work. Cashew nuts or houmous are my favourites! Easy to prepare and eat.


I meant 2.30!

French Knots

We didn't even make it out of the playground before one of mine had a melt down today! So I came home and had a few leftover Christmas chocs! Your lunch looks very tasty and much better than the usual leftovers.

janet clare

this is so true! Try as i might these precious few hours with them is always hard work. I am impressed that you bothered to make yourself such a lovely lunch. I can never be bothered 'just for me'. Today I had marmite on toast and the last slice of christmas cake!


Oh the Witching Hour! When our kids were babies, that was the time I was trying to wrap up my day, welcome the Hubster home, and rustle up a meal that didn't come prepackaged. I failed miserably.

Might I suggest "tea time"? It only need be a minor snack and a beverage to refuel everyone for the night ahead. The English have it so right. The kids can use cookie cutters to make decorative sandwiches which you make tea or hot chocolate or a flavored water. This gives the kiddos a creative break before hitting the homework, and shoudl help stabilize blood sugar levels for everyone. Afterward, everyone can go their seperate way to do what must be done.


I'm terrible for not eating properly when the kids aren't here. I just seem to 'forget'. That pre-teatime hour is the one when I am most likely to scoff chocolate - just to give myself a little lift.

How did your toxic hour go today?



Having children completely changed the way I reacted to people's moods at work; suddenly you can spot the person who is hungry and grumpy, or overtired, or overstimulated and needing a bit of quiet time, or desperately trying to stave off a tantrum. It doesn't mean, of course, that I go to bed at a sensible hour or eat properly, but it is an interesting pastime!


It must be the day of the days, because it does not happen very often that I actually sit down at the table for lunch. But today, witha fresh salad topped with chicken breast and toast. Often I am still hungry by the time the kids come home.


I find myself yawning every afternoon when I go to pick up the kids. I could easily nap then.

It would be because of my lunch intake. You have inspired me to revisit that ... and to make sure I have some protein then too.


your lunch looks delicious. i find that what i eat definitely plays to my mood. the lack of protein is most noticeable so now i try to eat nutritious breakfasts and lunches. so far, so good!

UK lass in US

I was quite happy with my lunch of 4 cheese sandwiches, then a large dairy milk bar (yes, my second this morning), 'til I saw that...


sounds tasty

there is also something to be said about the ritual and rhythm of sitting yourself down to eat a meal. it's calming and purposeful when you allow yourself the time


Ooh yum - I hope it makes a difference. I always feel better if I sit down and eat and have a little rest.


Oh I do so hate that time between getting home and tea. Ugh. Always resolve to make it better but fail miserably.

Have to say though I always have a good lunch. If I end up with a sandwich I feel a bit hard done by! Jacket pots, baked beans on toast, lovely soup, this scrummy sweet potato dish, couscous and roasted veg.....Yes, I am a pig!


yep, I'm the same. I tend to eat lots and lots of wheaty product and not enough fruit and veg. so that is my mission this year...

hey, It might help with wrinkles too, all those antioxidants...

Keep me posted if the cunning plan works!


The Toxic Hour - perfect description! I could just sleep with my head on the kitchen table at exactly that time.
I will watch with interest if your theory works, then try and buck myself up to follow suit.

The Coffee Lady

oh, I completely agree. If I have the time I make a big vat of soup, something with a bit of protein in it like carrot and lentil, and freeze it in me-size portions. But often I don't, and end up stuffing down a bagel 10 minutes before I have to fetch the Littlest Latte from preschool.

My lunch is, sadly, often like Lucy's, but with a hell of a lot more than one chocolate.

Alice C

Did it work?


I'm right there with you! I put so much thought into what everyone else is eating that I grab whatever is easiest for me. I'm making a concerted effort to have a healthy lunch this week and my afternoons have felt much brighter!

Your salad looks delish. I'll have to try it :-)


Suzie sews

I relate to every word... might have to try that one... interested to know if it helped...


I love my lunch! Yours looks scrummy!


I used to be exactly the same (mind you, I had been teaching 30 odd of the little b*****s all day too) Beware of white bread..makes blood sugar soar..in a bad way.


Well I cannot believe it I was just thinking as I was putting the kids to bed I need a change in the mealtime routine as giving them a big cooked dinner when we get back from the school run is just not working as neither of them really want it and they are playing up as they are hungry the moment we get in the door. I was thinking that I need to rethink what I and Mister T eat for lunch so that they can have a light tea to avoid all those mealtime hassles and getting more time to play or get involved in their activities.
Thanks for posting this - I am not alone in my thoughts!


I'm glad you posted this - it has really made me think. I am so ratty when I get in from work at 4 and really tired. But about an hour later I am fine. I am really struggling with it so maybe a different lunch will help.

Did it help you?


Just seen this.....such a good post. Often I'll skip breakfast AND lunch...then grab something silly at about 3 when I can suddenly realise how tired I'm feeling, despite the coffees ! I found that porridge for breakfast really amkes a difference to my mood (and the children too). Must work on lunch now :) Silly thing is - i really go out of my way to ake sure the girls are eating healthily and totally neglect myself.
Thanks for making me think about this....

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