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Short order cook or you get what you get and don't throw a fit? - Page 3

post #41 of 166
Breakfast and lunch everyone pretty much gets to pick whatever they want. I'll only make one main course for breakfast (muffins, french toast, etc.), but if I'm doing eggs I'll ask everyone how they want theirs, and the kids can choose their own fruit, or choose to have a bowl of cereal instead if they'd rather.

Same with lunch -- it's pretty much always sandwich/crackers/fruit, but they can pick whatever kind of sandwich they want, and whether they want it on bread or a tortilla, and whatever kind of crackers and fruit they want.

With dinner, we only make one meal for the family, so there's a bit of a "you get what you get" element, but each of us gets to choose 2 meals for the week, so there will definitely be something each kid likes at least that often, and the sides are always something they'll like (rice, broccoli, rolls, or whatever). If I'm making something I really feel like having that I absolutely know my kids aren't going to like, I'll give them an extra side dish like yogurt or even a PBJ.

But no, I won't get up and cook them a whole new meal if they decide they don't want to eat what's on the table. They've never asked me to, though, so I haven't really come across this. And they get a bedtime snack (a banana, or graham crackers and milk), so we all know they won't go to bed hungry even if they don't eat much dinner.
post #42 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agatha_Ann View Post
I was wondering if other moms are short order cooks as well? Do you give choices or just ask what everyone wants?
I only give choices of things that are super easy for me....ie cereal, sandwich, pre-made pancake, box of raisins, etc. Nothing I have to put any effort into is an allowable choice when I'm letting them pick. If I make something that takes effort, they both get the same thing, and it's "that's your dinner".
post #43 of 166
Quote:
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.
This is sort of what I do too.

Our problem meal, even at this age though, is breakfast. I've been more then a short order cook lately though, and since he can't tell me exactly what he needs by the time breakfast is done, my nerves are frayed.

But, the idea is that, I'll end up doing more of a I make this, and if you want something different for dinner, you can get your own dinner eventually. It won't be a "eat or don't eat" situation here. For dinner, it'll be more of a this is what we're eating, or go to the fridge and make what you like. If I have good choices, it shouldn't be an issue, and I'm not getting frustrated over multiple meal plans.

I also try hard to make sure I offer him things that I know he likes, and then some new stuff, but always healthy choices so I know that he's getting something good no matter what he eats.
post #44 of 166
I'm pretty flexible, within reason, for lunches. If I'm making sandwiches I don't have a problem making one PB&J, one ham, one with cheese, one without mayo, etc. I don't normally make completely separate things though, even for lunch.

For dinner its a you get what you get thing. I make one thing for dinner. There is always one aspect of the meal, be it a veggie or side dish, that I KNOW they will like. They get a bit of everything on their plates, are encouraged to try everything, but not forced.

I think that there are picky eater with true sensory issues out there, but honestly the vast majority of 'picky' kids I've ever personally encountered were made. I could easily see how my kids could 'go there' if I let them. My almost 5 year old is always "I don't LIIIIKKKKKE that." The same thing he had 2nds of last week. What he means is, "That isn't exactly what I feel like eating this very moment!" Too bad for you!
post #45 of 166
Quote:
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.
this is where we're at.
post #46 of 166
I'm not a short order cook. I just don't have the time to make three separate meals. I always make sure that I have sides I know DS will like, so if he doesn't like the main dish he still gets plenty to eat. I won't make him another meal though. I also don't make meals I KNOW he hates, just like I won't make meals I or DH hate.
post #47 of 166
I try to find a nice balance. We went for a while never having cabbage because dd doesn't like it. Then March 17 came around and, Dang it, I wanted cabbage. I insisted dd put some on her plate, I urged her to have a bite, saying she might change her mind. She had not changed her mind about cabbage. No biggy. She ate the carrots, though.

We do what's right for our families and for US. I will not make this a moral, judgmental issue. That's the negative vibe I get from some parents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kindmomma View Post
I am enjoying this thread. I try very hard to only plan meals that everyone will enjoy but that is not always the case, of course
I do know my Anna will NOT eat anything with white sauce so I always have a "backup" meal for her. Something easy to make and I let her know a head of time. My stepdaughter AND DH won't eat anything with chunky tomatoes or onions. They will "pick it out"
My son on the other hand will at times request a PB&J instead of the main dinner item, but I do request that he eat his veggies hehe
I know what they like and they don't like and I am pretty lucky that my kids have MAJOR compassion for me and will say things to each other like
"just eat it and quit being difficult, mom has been at work all day"

hehehe
I never have any "fits" thrown.
Awww, what a fantastic attitude! That's just wonderful.
post #48 of 166
Breakfast and snacks are serve yourself.

Lunch and dinner are 'you get what you get.'
post #49 of 166
For breakfast and lunch, usually all of us will have something different (including DH and myself)
post #50 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
Breakfast and lunch everyone pretty much gets to pick whatever they want. I'll only make one main course for breakfast (muffins, french toast, etc.), but if I'm doing eggs I'll ask everyone how they want theirs, and the kids can choose their own fruit, or choose to have a bowl of cereal instead if they'd rather.

Same with lunch -- it's pretty much always sandwich/crackers/fruit, but they can pick whatever kind of sandwich they want, and whether they want it on bread or a tortilla, and whatever kind of crackers and fruit they want.

With dinner, we only make one meal for the family, so there's a bit of a "you get what you get" element, but each of us gets to choose 2 meals for the week, so there will definitely be something each kid likes at least that often, and the sides are always something they'll like (rice, broccoli, rolls, or whatever). If I'm making something I really feel like having that I absolutely know my kids aren't going to like, I'll give them an extra side dish like yogurt or even a PBJ.

But no, I won't get up and cook them a whole new meal if they decide they don't want to eat what's on the table. They've never asked me to, though, so I haven't really come across this. And they get a bedtime snack (a banana, or graham crackers and milk), so we all know they won't go to bed hungry even if they don't eat much dinner.

This is exactly what I do too!!
post #51 of 166
Somewhere in between. I believe I would NOT make three different lunches, but to be fair, I only have one kid, so maybe I'd cave. My older brother and I started packing our own lunches when I was 5 because dad was sick of us complaining. (Doing our own laundry started when I was 6 or 7 for the same reason. We were slow learners!)

I allow my son to have input on what we eat and meal planning, especially now that he's old enough to do some of the cooking. We've always allowed a short list of "won't eats" because he's so good about trying new things. He eats sushi and pakistani food, so if he hates eggs, I'm still ahead of the game. Given the choice he'd eat no veggies, but we're not going for that, so we eat the ones he does like fairly often. (Y'all, I am so sick of broccoli, you just don't know.) If I want something spicy for dinner I'll let him make himself soup or whatever.
post #52 of 166
I was a short order cook...but then Kincaid had SEVERE eating issues, like needing to be rehydrated and within hours of resorting to a feeding tube severe, so we ended up in feeding therapy and seeing a bunch of nutritionists. After all of that, and finally getting him to eat, we are a you get what you get family...they don't have to eat what we offer, but they don't get anything else. This was the suggestion of every single therapist and nutritionist we saw, and it worked (along with some other things), he is no longer going days without eating/drinking anything at all.

We do do meal planning and grocery shopping together, all of us. We plan for 15 meals at a time, and each of us 4 pick 2 meals a piece, then the other 7 meals are comprised of easy go to things that we can make in a hurry. They can pick anything for their 2 meals from any cookbook, show, or website they want. And we shop for it all together, and they help us cook.

eta: Kincaid STILL throws a huge fit about everything except raw fish or peanut butter on a spoon...he still doesn't want to eat anything we serve, but no one can live off only 2 things ever, so it's just not an option to let him pick, we tried that, it led to a very very unhealthy child.
post #53 of 166
We short order cook for breakfast because we all like different things. Ds1 likes scrambled or fried eggs, ds2 likes omelets, I like granola.

I don't really do a formal lunch, so I just make the kids whatever they want to eat when they're hungry. If one kid asks for something they both like I tend to just make that for both of them unless one of them really doesn't want it.

For dinner I make a main meal, and if it's something I know the kids won't eat, I'll keep some of it plain or make something easy like pasta or quesdillas with baby carrots or apples.

I don't feel like I short order cook, but I do take what they are in the mood for into consideration. I myself have a delicate stomach, and while I love a wide variety of healthy foods, I can only eat what I am in the mood for at that time. So I am not one to say to anyone else that we're having turkey sandwiches whether they like it or not. But they also know where the fridge is and are welcome to make themselves a bowl of cereal or pb&j or whatever they are capable of making without me.
post #54 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amylcd View Post
For breakfast and lunch, usually all of us will have something different (including DH and myself)
This too...breakfast and lunch except on weekends are usually fend for yourself...the kids can have yogurt, cereal, eggs, frozen stuff if we have any (like if I make french toast for dinner I triple it and freeze the rest), and/or oatmeal...for lunch they can have all of that, or a sandwich, leftovers, whatever.

Breakfast on the weekends is eaten out 95% of the time...lunch is usually a picnic or also eaten at a restaurant.
post #55 of 166
We make all the meals in our home. We know the things our kids don't like (DS hates tomatoes, corn, peas; DD isn't a big meat eater, doesn't like sweet sauces, doesn't eat a lot of Japanese foods). We try to make meals with these things in mind. If we are making a spicy dish and know the kids won't like it then we make them something different usually with the same basic ingredients. If the kids don't like what we've made, they can look in the fridge and make themselves something else. Last night DD didn't like what DH made for dinner. We told her she could make herself a pb&j or could find something healthy in the fridge (she chose carrot sticks and almond butter with a spoon). I don't want meal times to be sad times. We do like our children to at least taste what we've made if we have made it with ingredients they like. . .at least one bite then they can choose something else. We also have a rule in our home that none of us say "I don't like . . ." or "I hate. . ." or "yucky". . .instead we have taught our children to say "This is not for me". We are also trying to teach our children that when we are guests in someone else's home we try everything (which can be tough even for DH and I sometimes) which is the polite thing to do. If they still don't like the item, DH or I will usually choke it down (being wasteful is really bad in this culture) and try to find them something they like on the plate (usually rice).
post #56 of 166
That sounds like our house. And when they are old enough to make their own pb&j, they are so thrilled. And, really, lunch is the only meal that kids get a real choice about. I do keep everyone's tastes in mind when I make dinner. Especially since Erica and Angela were vegetarians when they were at home. There was always a vegetarian side dish that could double as a protein entree. Even now I will cook fish when Angela comes to visit and chicken when Erica eats over.
post #57 of 166
Since I'm feeding 7 or 8 people at every mealtime, I pretty much am adamant not to be a short order cook! I have a menu and I am on a budget, so I cook good nutritious food and I actually expect people to eat it.

If it sounds harsh, so be it!

We rotate breakfasts: Mon: Cereal; Tues: Oats; Wed: Muffins; Thurs: Cream of Wheat; Friday: Waffles; Saturday: Pancakes; Sunday: Eggs in one form or another.

For Lunch I bake bread: Wholewheat seed loaf 4 times a week; Cinnamon and Raisin bread twice a week and Herb Bread once a week. Everyone can choose their own toppings.

For Supper, I try and cook what I know everyone will eat, but sometimes this isn't possible.
post #58 of 166
We don't do a sit-down dinner meal. We each eat at a general late evening, it's getting to be close to bedtime, I'm-getting-hungry time. So yes, I ask around and see who wants what for dinner. It is no skin off my nose to make a sandwich or vegetarian 'chicken' nuggets and microwave mashed potatoes for dd, and a bowlful of turkey or yogurt for ds. And then DH or I either cook something for the 2 of us, or we forage for ourselves.

I really, really do get tired of hearing the judgment about 'picky eaters'. My kids have a VERY limited array of things they will eat. We're constantly trying to find new things they'll eat, but I won't force them to go hungry and you can't beg, bribe or threaten them into trying something they don't want. I tried everything before I decided to freaking relax, and we are all happier.

DH and I are adventurous eaters, but neither of the kids are, even with our encouragement and example. And I'm really not going to tell a child from the time s/he starts solids (which is when their 'picky' natures were revealed) that they will eat it or get nothing, and they'll learn after going to bed hungry.

I'm not sure why it matters to people- strangers, even- how our family deals with food. It almost seems like a badge of honor to say "hell no, I make one thing only- and you're wrong if you make different things for everyone." Honestly I think it's lovely if your kids eat whatever you make, but *we are different and I feel fine about that*.

We do our best to see that our kids get an adequate intake of nutrients throughout the day within the parameters of the food they like. It's simply not one of the battles I care to fight (perhaps because I remember that I was extremely picky as a child, but I eat almost anything now). I care about their manners and picking up after themselves much more than I do about this, and some people care more about the food issue.
post #59 of 166
Breakfast is the meal we have that's varied. DH eats a granola bar. I have an apple and boiled egg. The kids have an "always available" menu of options: omelet, pancakes, cereal, scrambled eggs. On weekends, I usually make something a bit more involved for breakfast - French toast, breakfast burritos, etc., and then we all eat together. Sometimes DD asks for a plate of fruit, which is fine, too.

For lunch, we're a basic carb and protein usually with a veggie thrown in. For dinner, we all eat the same thing. If we have something new that the kids try and really, really dislike, then I'll let them have something else that's easy - sandwiches, cheese and crackers, etc.
post #60 of 166
Lula's mom, funny how perceptions are different from person to person! I have very much felt in this thread that it was almost a badge of honour to say: "I make whatever my kids like - and you're wroong if you make different things for everyone"... and you perceive it as the opposite side of the coin!

I think, ultimately, the truth is that each one of us does what works for us and that is okay! I'm comfortable with how we do things... works for us and that is fine! Sounds like you are in the same place!
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