This is what I say at the I start of every single meal with my kids. With three very distinct taste buds under one roof finding meals that everyone likes and are quasi-healthy is almost impossible. I know I sound like most moms when I say that it is beyond frustrating when you spend time (be it 5 minutes or 55 minutes) cooking only to have a few pint-sized food critics turn up their noses at what you’ve prepared and request nuggets.
The food battle in my house is exacerbated by my husband. When he is home, he walks into the pantry, grabs a snack, and feeds them to the kids who are trained like Pavlov’s dogs. My kids have gone as far as to run down the driveway while my husband is pulling his car out just to ask for snacks (even when I am standing in the kitchen) because they know that daddy will say yes to anything and that mommy offers up fruit as a suitable snack.
Snacks aside, long ago I decided that I would not cook for the kids because they are so fickle. Even if I cook something that I know that they like, there is still no guarantee that they will eat it. So now I cook for me and my husband, and if the kids happen to want to eat it, that’s a bonus. I menu plan each week, and I do ask for their input (and it is not like I am cooking chitlins and beets) but if they don’t like what I cook, they don’t have to eat it. They can help themselves to a fruit or vegetable. This approach to dealing with my pint-sized food critics has been beyond liberating. If I had a bra that was decent enough to show in public, I would probably burn it in a public display of freedom in front of Harris Teeter.
My kids are well fed and healthy without me catering to their picky-ness. Well-balanced meals are a luxury that not all kids can afford and having confirmed with my pediatrician, I know that kids can go several days without eating before suffering any major ailments so I don’t feel the least bit guilty if the kids are not feeling the whole wheat pasta bake that I made.
So, on the menu tonight: slow cooker bbq chicken on whole wheat hamburger buns, homemade baked fries, and steamed broccoli. No likey? No problem – don’t eat it. That leaves more for me. I feel as free as a bird I tell you. How do you deal with the picky eaters at your house?