or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Short order cook or you get what you get and don't throw a fit?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Short order cook or you get what you get and don't throw a fit?

post #1 of 166
Thread Starter 
I just made a turkey sandwich with sprouts and apple, a PB and J with banana, and a ham wrap with pretzels and grapes to make everyone happy for lunch. I was wondering if other moms are short order cooks as well? Do you give choices or just ask what everyone wants?

I am much more flexible at lunch than any other meal. I think breakfast I'm still waking up and try to make things easy by doing just cereal or waffles, muffins etc for everyone. Dinner I work hard on so I expect everyone to try it, but I obviously don't force food and I try to plan meals that everyone will enjoy. Lunch though seems to be ala carte...

How is it in your houses? :
post #2 of 166
Our house runs in a similar way. Breakfast is always a choice of cold cereal or whatever I make - oatmeal, waffles, french toast, eggs and toast.
Lunch is usually like your house. DD likes a sandwhich, DS doesn't like to eat the bread, so his stuff is placed on his plate. Same with the youngest. Dinner is whatever I make and if you're hungry you'll eat it. I try to always make meals that everyone likes and involve the kids in the food prep and cooking as they're a lot more likely to eat up if they help make it.
post #3 of 166
I'm pretty flexible. We cook one dinner for everybody, but I don't mind if one of the kids wants to eat something else after dinner. DH has an issue with it, though, so it is a hot spot. Breakfast and lunch is pretty open. I'll get them whatever they want, if it's not too much hassle and doesn't involve letting ds2 eat the whole container of strawberries, leaving none for anyone else.

DD is pretty picky. However, I was also picky as a child. Some things just tasted awful and/or had textures that made me want to vomit. (Gristle in meat was a particular hate.) I think there are probably reasons why some kids really dislike certain foods, and I don't think that "I felt like cooking this tonight" is a good enough reason for them to force it down.
post #4 of 166
I make what my kids like. If I'm making a dinner I know one of them won't eat, I make them something else. I may make three meals. By meals, I don't mean I spend an hour on the toddler's food - maybe she'll get a grilled cheese and honey'ed carrots instead of the chicken kiev I made the rest of the family.

But absolutely. My mother had four children, and there were many times that several different plates were put on the table - I wouldn't eat onions, for example, so if she was making a meatloaf, she made a special one just for me. Or something else altogether.

This is one battle I choose not to fight. I don't mind making everyone happy, I think mealtime fights are unnecessary.

JMO, of course!
post #5 of 166
Breakfast is the same for everyone - I have yet to meet a breakfast food my kids don't like

Lunch is usually a non-cooked food. More often than not a sandwich and raw veggies. 99.9% of the time DS wants a PB&J so that's what he gets.

Dinner, you get what you get. That's not to say I don't work their tastes into dinner (I would never serve chicken, mashed potatoes and lentils, for example, because DS hates all three) I try to always make it to where there is something on the plate for everyone, but I don't make special dinners. (different versions like the above meatloaf example isn't a problem for me, though)
post #6 of 166
Breakfast is pretty "serve yourself" in the summer months. Even the 20 month old likes to pick a yogurt container from the fridge when his big sister does and then she opens it for him. We eat a number of cereal bar type things this time of year, or cold cereal without milk (good finger food, and neither will eat it with milk), and fruit, and yogurt, and nuts. That's most of the breakfasts.

Lunches are usually either leftovers or something fast for me and the kids. It's the meal DD gets to choose most. She either agrees to the leftovers of whatever or she has a specific request and DS and I usually eat what she's eating. Grilled cheese, quesadillas, PBJ, pasta.

Dinner is more set. With dinner, I don't like to short order at all. It throws off the meal plan, the budget, and we're all tired at the end of the day. DS gets cranky early. So dinner is dinner, and I'll accomodate DD/DS whims that are easy--like set aside chickpeas, broccoli, and pasta separately instead of putting them all together as a salad. Neither kid likes sauces of any kind, so I do a lot of that, and it's just easy. It does mean that when what I set aside is gone, it's gone, so if DD wants another helping of gnocchi, she has to choose it with the sauce DH and I are eating. Otherwise she just does extra helpings of sides.

We do the "try 2 bites" rule for new foods, but it doesn't happen that much lately because I haven't been making that many wholey unfamiliar foods. I don't do it for things I just know she's entirely going to hate.

IE, we had sausage recently with friends; she is NOT going to like the texture or the spice, so it didn't get "try 2 bites" but the lentils that were separate from the grown ups lentil salad I did have her try 2 bites. And she liked it okay. She could have tried the sausage, but she touched it and found it icky. She tried and liked samosas last week for example, and was disappointed that I hadn't made more "cute little ones" to put in the freezer with the spicy big ones for DH and I. (I knew we'd eat them, hers were an experiment!). So I'll probably make a batch of small mild ones for her soon.
post #7 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandraS View Post
I make what my kids like. If I'm making a dinner I know one of them won't eat, I make them something else.
This.

But - lately I'll make something that I know DS likes, and he'll not want to eat it. In that case, I do make him try it and sit with us for a while at dinner. If after all that he still didn't want to eat it, he gets a sandwich or something easy.
post #8 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaV View Post
Our house runs in a similar way. Breakfast is always a choice of cold cereal or whatever I make - oatmeal, waffles, french toast, eggs and toast.
Lunch is usually like your house. DD likes a sandwhich, DS doesn't like to eat the bread, so his stuff is placed on his plate. Same with the youngest. Dinner is whatever I make and if you're hungry you'll eat it. I try to always make meals that everyone likes and involve the kids in the food prep and cooking as they're a lot more likely to eat up if they help make it.
:
If dd doesn't like dinner she can have fresh fruit/veggies and cheese... which she chooses 99% of the time.
post #9 of 166
I have only one kid, and she'll eat pretty much anything. So this hasn't been an issue in our house.
That said, I think basically that we should enjoy our food. I think it is wonderful to consider everyone's tastes and preferences when planning meals. I think I'd do as much as I could to make sure everyone enjoys their meals, and gets plenty to eat, without breaking the bank or driving myself nuts.
I was made to eat things I didn't want, or to eat when I wasn't hungry, during a lot of my childhood. OK, we were dirt poor, and ate what we grew a lot, which sometimes meant okra every night. And you know what? I ate what was put in front of me, without complaining, and said "thank you very much for dinner, grandma." I am glad I was taught that- it has got me through many an awkward yucky dinner at my in-laws.
post #10 of 166
We provide the food and they have the option to eat it or not eat it. I am definitely not a short order cook. I know which foods they like and don't like so obviously I won't serve a meal full of stuff they hate but if I make, for example, a nice chicken/rice/vegetable stirfry they are going to eat what is served or go hungry. I know they eat those things and I am not going to cater to pickiness. When I see kids who are supposedly picky (and not for medical reasons) and they will only eat junky stuff like french fries and macaroni and cheese I just want to smack the parents and say, "Well they couldn't eat only that if you would stop serving it!" From day one my kids were raised to eat well and they all do. There are a few blips here and there where they will refuse to eat something but a night of going to bed hungry (by their choice) cures them of that pretty quickly.
post #11 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Face View Post
:
If dd doesn't like dinner she can have fresh fruit/veggies and cheese... which she chooses 99% of the time.
I was going to say that, too. I don't cook an extra dinner for dd...but I do let her eat. We have cheese, yogurt, nuts, fruit, veggies, etc. So, she can get something.
post #12 of 166
You really let them go hungry because they don't like something you made? I just can't wrap my mind around that. Same as the whole "finish your plate" thing.

And just because I'll make something special doesn't mean my kids are picky. My kids, all of them, love all kinds of foods. But, say, I like onions. A LOT of onions. I can eat an onion sandwich. No one else likes onions but me and hubby. Well tonite I want French Onion Soup for dinner, so I will make it. To expect my kids to eat it would be sad. I will make them something else. Just because I make several meals doesn't mean any of them are less healthy than the original one.

Just a little insight into those of us that will feed our kids what they will eat instead of fighting with it.
post #13 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by averlee View Post
I have only one kid, and she'll eat pretty much anything. So this hasn't been an issue in our house.
Yeah - ds1 was like that, too. DD came as a serious shock. DS2 is, if anything, even more of a walking appetite than ds1. Foods that my boys don't like are very few and far between. (DS1 isn't as welcoming of veggies as he was when he was a kid, which makes me sad, but he'll still eat them.)

Quote:
I ate what was put in front of me, without complaining, and said "thank you very much for dinner, grandma." I am glad I was taught that- it has got me through many an awkward yucky dinner at my in-laws.
I have a lot of trouble with that. I'll do it, but the things I don't like are generally things I really don't like, and that makes it hard to be a good guest sometimes.

The taste of mushrooms makes me want to be sick. The taste and texture of meat fat actually nauseate me, to the point where I've been afraid I would be sick a few times. Spices used to physically hurt my mouth and throat (I've gotten into cooking Indian and Thai dishes, which has upped my heat tolerance considerably). I guess having been there myself, I have more sympathy for pickiness than some people do.
post #14 of 166
From the first bites of solid food, we've pretty much had the rule that you get what you get and don't throw a fit. We have an only (7 yo dd), though, and dh is not American. I really think it would be different for families where there are more kids and both parents are American. I make a lot of ethnic food and dd has traveled around the world with us since she was 5 months old. She's had to learn to adapt and has a naturally diverse palate. We don't eat fast food, so there's not even a place to eat that is consistent across continents. We're never forceful with food, but what is in front of you is the meal. You don't have to eat, but nobody is going to make anything else for you. That rule is more for my VERY picky mother, who lives with us, than anyone else. If you don't want to eat what's put in front of you, make it yourself and clean up after yourself.

Lunch is more flexible because it's usually a meal of assembling things. If I'm cooking, though, and I'm a damned good cook, they eat what's in front of them. Of course, they also get a say into the meal planning, so it's not a dictatorship.

Breakfast is DIY.
post #15 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandraS View Post
You really let them go hungry because they don't like something you made? I just can't wrap my mind around that. Same as the whole "finish your plate" thing.

And just because I'll make something special doesn't mean my kids are picky. My kids, all of them, love all kinds of foods. But, say, I like onions. A LOT of onions. I can eat an onion sandwich. No one else likes onions but me and hubby. Well tonite I want French Onion Soup for dinner, so I will make it. To expect my kids to eat it would be sad. I will make them something else. Just because I make several meals doesn't mean any of them are less healthy than the original one.

Just a little insight into those of us that will feed our kids what they will eat instead of fighting with it.
Read what I wrote please. I said I know what they like so obviously I won't serve stuff I know they hate. If I wanted French Onion Soup I would make a kid meal and an adult meal. Simple. But if DS decided he didn't want the kid meal I made and wanted something different and then DD1 decided she wanted hers cooked a different way and DD2 decided she wanted cereal instead - uh uh, ain't going to happen. They get served one meal and they eat. Sorry if that blows your mind. I find kids live up to what you expect of them (aka my kids are great eaters who will try anything).
post #16 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
I find kids live up to what you expect of them (aka my kids are great eaters who will try anything).
That's kind of funny. I fully expected ds1 to be a bit picky, as I was, and his dad was (his dad wasn't as picky as me, but still picky). DS1 would eat anything. I honestly don't think he tried anything he didn't like until he was about 10 or 12.

When I had dd, I fully expected her to be like ds1 had been. It was 10 years later, and I wasn't as picky as I had been. DH isn't really picky at all. He has quite a few things he doesn't like, but he'll eat them, anyway (except turnips/rutabagas and broccoli). DD is probably the most picky eater I've ever met. It's amazing how many foods she doesn't like.

So...after having dd, I kind of expected ds2 to be at least a bit picky. Nope. He's about as picky as ds1 used to be. I think the only thing he's really resistant to is rice (odd, as he loved it until about a year ago).

I have no idea what baby-under-construction will be like, but I certainly don't expect him/her to live up to anything. All three of the ones I've got have completely thrown me for a loop.
post #17 of 166
Quote:
I make what my kids like. If I'm making a dinner I know one of them won't eat, I make them something else. I may make three meals. By meals, I don't mean I spend an hour on the toddler's food - maybe she'll get a grilled cheese and honey'ed carrots instead of the chicken kiev I made the rest of the family.
That. My kids can't have dairy though and sometimes, dh and I need some cheese. I'll at least make a side they like and ask them to try what we're having, but if its something they've tried multiple times and hate, I certainly won't force it. There's things I don't like, I'd be quite upset if I was forced to eat them.

Breakfast and lunch (when we're home for them) are pretty much whatever they want.
post #18 of 166
I'm not consistent about it, and I need to pick one and stick with it. Right now my son is constantly asking for "something else" but he can't/won't name what. He had a few weight gain/reflux issues as a baby and young toddler, so I'm still stuck in the rut of doing whatever gets him to eat, even though he's at an ok weight-for-height now.

I often find myself just making what he likes for the whole family, which is fine sometimes but I think it's ridiculous long term. For one thing it means that none of us is getting enough veggies, and for another how can he ever learn to like different things if I never expose him to them?
post #19 of 166
Quote:
I find kids live up to what you expect of them (aka my kids are great eaters who will try anything).
Not to be rude, but I think that's what parents of kids who eat anything say. Mine aren't terribly picky, but they have tastes and if they don't like something, why would I make them eat it? I know adults who will eat anything and I know adults who are extremely picky no matter how they were raised.
post #20 of 166
In my house, I plan meals based on what's available in the garden and CSA box, or in the pantry and freezer in the winter. I take everyone's tastes into account, and try and plan several side dishes into the meal so everybody has options I know they like. We will have each person's favorites from time to time, and try new things sometimes.

But once the meal is planned, and cooked, it's the only one I'll serve. My kids are welcome to come to the table or not, as it pleases them, and they can choose from whatever's on offer. They can eat as much or as little as they please, and get down when they decide they're finished. What I won't do is get up from the table once I've sat down, to get something different for somebody who's not happy with their choices.

There is always milk and home-baked bread on the table, and there's always always fresh fruit after a meal, so whoever's not into what I cooked can have that.

So I guess I'm somewhere in between. I'm not going to serve up mac and cheese and hot dogs night after night, because it's "all they'll eat," like my MIL did for DH his whole childhood. But I do take everybody's tastes into account, and I do have options like bread, fruit, milk, yogurt, etc. available so nobody's going hungry if they don't like what's served.

FWIW, though, the meals I serve are the only meals my kids have ever been served-- they've really only rarely encountered what's usually thought of as "kid-appropriate" food. Since they could sit up and pick up food, they've been eating the same stuff DH and I eat. So they really actually like just about everything I cook, with rare exceptions. Even DD1, my pickiest child, has branched out a LOT since I stopped catering to her unpredictable preferences.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Short order cook or you get what you get and don't throw a fit?