Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cooking for Picky Eaters

I enjoy cooking. BUT. I often find myself dragging my feet about meals for my family. I think it's because I put so much into the cooking and then sit down to a table full of "I don't like this!" or "I don't want to eat this." or "I'm not hungry." or "You put ___ in this!?" I'm sick of it! So. What are my options?
  1. Eat the same three bland meals twice every week.
  2. Make what I like, get zero appreciation, and eat most of it myself while starving my family?
  3. Yell, scream, and issue threats at each dinner.
  4. Make four different plates of food at every meal.

I go round and round with this. Actually, while cleaning out some old notebooks today I found a list I made in Arizona titled "foods the boys LOVE to eat"... so, obviously I've been working with and struggling over this for a while. Today I was thinking, "what if I make sure to make at least one dish that each person likes at each meal, and I rotate them to make certain everyone's eating a balanced diet..." Then I thought, "that sounds like a lot of work!"

I've never been one for making lots of special foods, I've always thought they should "eat what I fix". I also think it's my responsibility as a wife and mother to cook foods that are healthy, economical, and satisfying for the whole family.

I always have struggled to plan menus. For some reason, that's just a hard thing for me to sit down and do. I've been doing better at it, but as I do better with planning a menu and shopping for it, it feels like my family does worse for the eating of it.

I'm just not sure what to do. Any bright ideas?

On a related note, here's a super-simple treat I came up with a few years back. I call them my "cheater smores". You take whatever vanilla frosting you like (homemade or store bought) and spread it on two graham crackers. Then, sprinkle a generous layer of M&M's on one of the crackers. Top it with the second cracker and enjoy with a glass of milk. Mmm, yum! Here are a few pictures.

Like I said, super-simple and totally yumilicous!

Suzy :D


Becky said...

I like the you will eat what I fix or go hungry method myself...

:) Heather said...

I agree with Becky - Anna has pulled "I don't want to eat that" once, and the next time she got a chance to eat was breakfast - she now makes an effort to at least eat half of what is made without complaint - that way she can "earn" a fruitbar. Tom also needs to be backing you up and eating his dinner without complaining as well or all he is doing is teaching the boys its ok to complain

SuzyQSparkles said...

I do wonder about their examples at the table... it's not just the little boys who complain about what I fix. It's disheartening (to say the least) when NO ONE seems to appreciate the whole meal! :P