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#1 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I AM SO PISSED AT MY FAMILY!

We are on a tight budget. I have successfully cut our food costs in 1/2. This week I decided to do pantry cooking, using up a bunch of stuff in the fridge/freezer and pantry.
I am dealing with schedules that conflict..baseball games and practices and Kung Fu classes 3 evenings a week.
I am dealing with a vegan teenage daughter, a picky "breatharian" and a DH who is a bit obnoxious when the budget goes over but doesn't do much cooking. Honestly, I don't mind that he doesn't cook. He does all the laundry and in general, I find cooking quite enjoyable.
I do have one kid who mostly eats what I give him.
One pot meals make sense. I am an experienced vegetarian cook so cutting expenses by decreasing meat makes the most sense.
Here's what I've prepared for dinner and the responses to it.

Monday: Burgers & Salad. Picky breatharian complained about the "brown goo seeping out" and refused to eat it. DH was hurt we didn't wait for him to come home at 7:30 to eat. He had a burger to grill when he did arrive. Vegan ate a boca burger. No one cleaned up.

Tuesday: Used up the last of some red peppers, made a dent in the Costco broccoli and bought one carrot to make a tofu/veggie stir fry...Yuck on the broccoli from vegan (made a boca burger), yuck on the tofu from breatharian (didn't eat), DH decided he wasn't hungry. Youngest DS and I ate stir fry wraps. I ate leftovers for lunch. DH did clean up.

Wednesday: Lentil/veggie soup. Breatharian gagged it down with all kinds of drama. Youngest DS, who usually eats, followed his brother's example.DH skipped dinner. Complained about no bread with soup. Vegan ate a bowl after Tai Chi class. No one cleaned up.

Thursday: Rice & Beans w/salsa and guac. I was the only one that ate. No one cleaned up.

Friday: I said F*&k it. They can cook for themselves or eat leftovers. 8:30, Dh comes in from a post game coaches' meeting and the kids cry to him that I haven't made dinner for anyone...darn right. His solution? Offer to get carry out. I say no-way. Everyone kinda fends for themselves and is pissed at me.

I will add that there have been whines about oatmeal for breakfast, home made bread, apples instead of mangoes or strawberries, and the fact that we ran out of cow-milk. We have plenty of soy and almond milk for the big jar of granola. But "eeew! I don't like soy milk" is the response from all but the vegan. They put way more on their cereal than they need and then we run out.
Get this...complaints about honey on pancakes instead of maple syrup!
I'll add that on the nights no one cleaned up, I did it the next morning or afternoon after work. Whines, complaints, drama when kids were told to do their chores.
Am I missing something here? We have plenty to eat. It is simple fare with some repetition at breakfast. I feel like I've raised a bunch of divas. I told everyone about how we were going to eat and invited help in going through our inventory and planning meals. No takers. :
I'm thinking one of 2 solutions.
1. Going on strike
2. Telling DH and the kids they get to plan, shop for and prepare the 20 meals that our family needs this week.
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#2 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 10:50 AM
 
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I'll come eat at your house!!!

No, seriously, my kids are younger than yours, but I hear you already. I am totally sick of cooking for my picky eater and I haven't cut food costs!!! What you cooked sort of sounds like what I plan.

As for your dh, though... maybe you should talk to him about how you feel about what he says and does. Assuming he is a nice and caring husband, I think he must be just clueless about how what he is saying is affecting you. I would have a good heart to heart on being supportive...
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#3 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 11:03 AM
 
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We always had the option of eating what was made or fending for ourselves, no take out aloud unless it was from our own money (what's the point in fend for yourselves otherwise?). It was usually oatmeal, leftovers, cereal, or pb&j.

Right now, my 2 1/2 year old picky eater doesn't even get a plate half the time. I'm not wasting food. She's just going to dump her plate in the garbage and then come pick off of mine. After picking of mine for a few minutes she tries to steal it and that's when she'll get her own plate, a bowl of cereal, or toast.

I think it'd be interesting to sit them down. Tell them the budget, what's on hand, and what meals are needed (don't forget breakfast & lunch). Then tell them to go for it. See what happens? Maybe a combination of your strike and them doing it idea might open their eyes.

S-d D which made them three. M grew lonely, and now there's baby D.
"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"
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#4 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 11:14 AM
 
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I live in your hell... actually I would daresay I live in a worse hell.

If your family are picky eaters the stuff you're making probably wouldn't be considered simple fare. It is far too exotic/ too risky (the "brown goo" etc.).

This has been my solution: ask them what they want that is cheap and easy to prepare. Then make it. (Boca burgers are not cheap, I would never have them in the house.) If you can't reach a consensus on one dish, short order cook as long as it is VERY simple.

We have finally ironed out dinner in my house. This is what it looks like (yes I know it's kind of sad, but at least we are all eating together).

A few kids eat english muffin pizzas. One DD eats plain white rice ("but it has to be squishy"). One DD eats an english muffin with cream cheese, OR homemade bread if it's available. DH has a large piece or portion of a pre-made pasta dish and eats through it each day until it's gone (his choice). One DD sometimes samples from his plate. Then there is a huge dish of vegetables/ vegetable dish that is offered to everyone (they usually refuse it) so that's what I eat. Ice water is served to everyone. Homemade bread or a roasted chicken are sometimes thrown in.

So I would make your "main dish" that you are willing to eat, and eat through it if there are leftovers. Ideally there would be a consensus between you and DH. Then have a number of alternatives that are super easy to have on the table (like the rice, or toasted muffin, or toasted muffin pizzas-- I'm not suggesting you use those things, just giving examples). Then everyone sits down and respects the dinner rules: 1) NO complaining about the food; 2) Pleasant conversation only (no talking about beheadings, how much your sister drives you crazy, what happened to you in the bathroom earlier today, etc.). And so far we have been happy. Also no one can leave the table till the last person is done eating.
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#5 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 11:32 AM
 
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You've been way more patient than I would be: "If you guys aren't hungry enough to eat what I've cooked without complaining, then we must still be spending way too much on food....I'll cut the food budget in half again!!!"

Your DH skipped dinner three days in a row?!
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#6 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 11:39 AM
 
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Oh I am so with you, our food budget isn't even tight and I still deal with it, so I don't think the money is the only factor. There are nights (most nights) that my 14 month old physically puts more dinner in her mouth and swallows it than my 8 year old.

Oh and I'm a vegetarian and your dinners sound yummy.

Mom to ds 9 dd 7 : and dd 3/08 : if I can I go to
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#7 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 12:03 PM
 
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In my opinion, as long as the kids are 18 and living under your roof, you prepare the meals and they eat what's in front of them. If they don't like it, they can fix their own PBJ sandwich. If your husband doesn't like it, he can learn to cook what he wants for himself. Chances are, if you stick to your guns on that, after a few weeks, they'd all eat what you prepare so it's not another PBJ sandwich night (kids) or cooking night (husband). Your vegan daughter is old enough to spend her own money (from baby-sitting, part time job, etc...) on her food since that's a choice she made to be vegan.

That's what I did when I became a teenager. I ate what was set in front of me. Stuff that was specific to me that wasn't to be eaten by anyone else (soda, chocolate) I spent my own b-sitting money on it. It was 'extra'. My parents fed me the basics. And I survived.

Good luck! The meals you described sound perfectly fine. I feel bad that your family isn't grateful for the effort you put into trying to save money and still cook meals each night.
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#8 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 12:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Vaske View Post
You've been way more patient than I would be: "If you guys aren't hungry enough to eat what I've cooked without complaining, then we must still be spending way too much on food....I'll cut the food budget in half again!!!"

Your DH skipped dinner three days in a row?!
I like this response. If your teen is a vegan and is making everyone else have to eat vegan(and then complaining), I would seriously make the teen cook for them self. I'm a hard-a$$ when it comes to dinner and cooking. Don't like it fine, don't eat it. The picky kid, personally I wouldn't care if they just ate PB&J as long as I don't have to hear dramatic complaining, again that's just me. I make one thing and that's it, I mean my kid is a toddler who is starving one day eating everything, the next she eats(well drinks) milk only.

The complaining about apples and no mangoes would send me over the edge. Tell the teen to get a job to buy Boca burgers(which is not a balance vegan meal-I know my best friend is vegan). Let beatharian eat whatever it is that makes him happy-with one condition you make and you clean up the mess.

I think all the dinner sounded good and if I had that much complaining-I'd be on strike too.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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#9 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 12:06 PM
 
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Honestly, in your shoes I think I'd tell them that if they don't like what you're preparing, they're more than welcome to make dinner themselves the next day.
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#10 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 12:37 PM
 
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I have been known to use the phrase "you'll get what you get and you won't throw a fit". It's kind of a joke, but my family gets that complaints can be put in the suggestion box for management review. Loosely translated, you don't like dinner? Kiss my grits! Given how many people go hungry on this planet each day, I can not, will not accept any complaints about the good, healthy, clean food that fills our plates. Seriously.

Honestly, it might be time to sit everyone down and explain how this is making you feel. You are working very hard to meet everyone's needs, and they aren't contributing to the workload or even feeling/demonstrating appreciation. Perhaps they need their horizons broadened a bit to help them understand how fortunate they are to have food, shelter, and a mother who works so hard to provide a comfortable home life for them. (This isn't about food, mama - it's about how much your family respects your contribution.) Time to skip all those extracurricular activities in order to spend time as a family doing volunteer work for a local hunger relief organization???

Good luck.

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#11 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 01:24 PM
 
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I feel for you. I used to serve a rotating menu of "Yuck, I hate that", "Gross", and "I'm not really hungry tonight". Now I serve one sure-fire, everyone likes it meal a week, and the rest is take it or leave it. I told my family that it was extremely rude to criticize food that someone else prepared for you, so I assumed they wanted a chance to cook dinner (my husband NEVER complains about dinner). After they each took a turn, the complaints stopped and if they don't like what I fix, they warm up leftovers, make a sandwich, or make a meal out of the side dishes I offer with dinner. It certainly is a respect issue, and a previous poster is right - we should all be ashamed about complaining when so many people go hungry (a line I have had to use myself many times).
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#12 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 01:40 PM
 
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Your DH skipped dinner three days in a row?!
Yeah, is he picking up prepared food for himself during the day?

I do the simple short order cook thing for ds. Then I make a dinner for me and dh. He takes dinner leftovers for lunch. If your dh is buying lunch and will switch to bringing it, you might be able to up your grocery budget and get food more appealing to everyone.

Maybe you can have a family meeting, have people give menu ideas. I imagine it can be hard to just be presented with a meal of food that may or may not be appealing. Some people don't do well with the surprise of it, ya know? I do like one pot meals but with a variety of eaters, that might not be the best option. If things are separate and plain, people can pick and choose which parts they want.

But I can relate . I find feeding ds and dh to be annoying at times, especially when I'm trying to keep costs down! I'll get ds something expensive (like chicken nuggets) because he has such a limited diet and I sometimes need easy foods for him. Then dh will snitch them because he gets a craving. So I have to be a bit tuned into what dh tends to crave and give him enough variety to head that off.

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#13 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 01:40 PM
 
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I think in part it's your DH's attitude that's giving them a bad example and undermining your efforts (offering takout?). Kids will go through phases but he should be supporting you. If he really doesn't like what you're cooking, how about taking on cooking dinner a couple of times per week? Can you get the kids involved in some food prep or even cooking a meal (for the teen)? I've found as a kid that I was much more appreciative of what my mom did once I realized how much effort it takes.

I also agree with the PP about all the kids' activities. It sounds like having such a busy schedule is making everyone a little frantic and stressed, which is not helping matters any.
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#14 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 01:41 PM
 
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Oh this sounds like my Aunt right now. She is supporting her ungreatful son and his Gf and her niece half the time. Not one of them do housework but her husband. Not any of them have jobs either. Her husband does all the house work and when she gets off work she has to cook dinner. They all gripe about what she fixes!!!! Then she has to clean it all up ( her husband does most of it) but they are mad because she cooked beans one night because she had no $ to buy groceries!! But not one of them will buy food to help out.

Kim: Wife To Colby. Mommy To DS1 Christopher and DS2 Bradly. :
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#15 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 02:13 PM
 
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feel like I've raised a bunch of divas. I told everyone about how we were going to eat and invited help in going through our inventory and planning meals. No takers.
It sounds like you're making a drastic change all at once. Of course you're going to have pushback. If I were going to make drastic changes all at once, I'd try to get everyone's cooperation with as little drama as possible. A mama sh*t-fit isn't going to create good vibes about meal-time, I'm afraid. Not that you're not entitled to your frustrated feelings, but I think there's got to be an easier way to get cooperation. Can you do a family meeting?

I agree with the poster who said your DH is creating a bad example. Can you talk to him privately about why you need him to help you present a united front?

One thing that jumped out at me is all the extracurricular activities. At our house, we spend a little more money than absolutely necessary on groceries, but do very few extracurriculars. If all the kung fu and little league cost $x per month, that's $x fewer that can be spent on groceries. So maybe the kids need to choose. They get the special privilege of their extras, so they need to help you figure out some low-cost meals they will eat. Or if they'll only eat expensive Boca burgers, maybe they need to cut back on extra activities. Maybe by being upfront about the budget, they'll see what you're struggling with, rather than thinking you're just arbitrarily being crabby about mealtimes.

Then if the "reasonable" approach doesn't work, then maybe it's time for a sh*t-fit.

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#16 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 02:15 PM
 
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In our house everyone eats what is prepared or they have the option to prepare an alternative (for the older ones) themselves. The little ones have two choices, typically.

I also make sure to vary the offerings so we avoid "food fatigue" by eating the same dishes over and over again.

I keep refried beans and tortillas on hand for a quick and easy alternate for the little girls. DS, who is 17, can make himself an alternative meal on the rare occasions he doesn't like what was prepared for the meal.

Your menu looks GREAT and I love the variety.

The only thing I can recommend (if you're not doing it already) is discussing the meal plan with the family in advance to try and gain more consensus in advance of meal prep.
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#17 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 02:35 PM
 
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I have been known to use the phrase "you'll get what you get and you won't throw a fit". It's kind of a joke, but my family gets that complaints can be put in the suggestion box for management review. Loosely translated, you don't like dinner? Kiss my grits! Given how many people go hungry on this planet each day, I can not, will not accept any complaints about the good, healthy, clean food that fills our plates. Seriously.

Honestly, it might be time to sit everyone down and explain how this is making you feel. You are working very hard to meet everyone's needs, and they aren't contributing to the workload or even feeling/demonstrating appreciation. Perhaps they need their horizons broadened a bit to help them understand how fortunate they are to have food, shelter, and a mother who works so hard to provide a comfortable home life for them. (This isn't about food, mama - it's about how much your family respects your contribution.) Time to skip all those extracurricular activities in order to spend time as a family doing volunteer work for a local hunger relief organization???

Good luck.
Great post!
It does take a while...but they will finally "get it" when you STOP catering to the pickiness. Honestly, I get zero complaints anymore. An occasional eye-roll or scrunched nose---but that's tolerable. We also suscribe to the "you get whatcha get and don't throw a fit" rule. If someone truly cannot stomache my choice of menu for the evening, then they are free to make themselves something else. Works for us and we can still enjoy and happy sit-down dinner time together. It's now my very favorite part of the day.

me-45, DH-46, ds1-23, ds2-18, dd1-17, dd2-14, dd3-4....hoping for #6.....

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#18 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 03:39 PM
 
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I finally told my family that they could either thank me for preparing the meal (which I will likely take to mean: don't cook it again!) or tell me the food was good. While I care about my family and want them to be happy, there is not much I can do to change things once food is prepared and on the table. I wouldn't let them complain about any one else's cooking, why should they treat me like I don't have feelings?
I work hard at home and I can't please everyone all of the time. Ever since I had my little heart to heart with them over dinner things have improved. They all know that I am open to menu suggestions and to help from them.

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#19 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 04:07 PM
 
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DH is a very non-picky omni, but both dd and I are vegetarians...everything i cook is pretty much vegan.

I think your meals sound perfectly fine! If your family doesn't want to eat it...tough! Your on a budget - and the meals yummy, nutritious, and cheap! You're NOT a short order cook. I would've said "f" it too...let them fend for themselves...i'm sure that you had leftovers anyway, considering all the meals they skipped.

We're totally broke right now. I have $8 in food stamps and i need to use it to get DH stuff for lunch next week. His birthday is on Tuesday too, so i don't know what i'm going to do for a "special" dinner. I do get FS on the 2nd - but we wont be able to go grocery shopping until next saturday or sunday - ugh. But you know, i have plenty of stuff around here i can make, i just need to get creative. It may not be glamorous, but it will be healthy and fill our bellies

Just keep it up...eventually they'll be hungry enough...
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#20 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you! Thank you!

Attempted a discussion with DH this morning. It was a little charged but he says he didn't eat because he got home late from the office those nights and doesn't like to eat late. OK. He did point out that if he weren't having extended office hours, 6 days a week he'd be up for doing some cooking.
Not thrilled by his lack of enthusiasm but I get it.
As bizarre as it sounds, DS 1 (picky breatharian) loves to cook and created a reasonable menu plan for all three meals for the next 7 days. He alternated inexpensive meat dishes with vegetarian dishes. He and his siblings need to create a grocery list from the menu plans, come shopping with me and add up everything as it goes into the cart. It just may squeeze into the budget. Family meeting tonight, gaining buy-in from everyone. They also need to figure out who cooks when.
I support DD's vegan diet because she's become so concientious about what she puts into her body and honestly, vegetarian is a cheaper way to feed a family. The bocas were bought with a coupon at Costco and she knows how long they have to last.

The poster who said I made too drastic a change is probably right. I love cooking and typically prepare 1 or 2 new dishes a week. I just really need to make due with what we have sometimes and not run out for this and that when we run out mid-week.
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#21 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 07:19 PM
 
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1. I think your menu sounds lovely. I would be frustrated, too.

2. Could you have your family look at "What the World Eats" or check out the new National Geographic, which has a big article on feeding a hungry world? This helps put things into perspective sometimes. That is to say, gratitude.

3. Not even neccesarily for money reasons, but I'd stop buying boca burgers and the like for your vegan teen. I'm a vegetarian (for 14 years), became one as a teen, and "forcing" me to learn to cook for myself was seriously the best, most supportive thing my mom could have done for me. (She was always very supportive, and she actually gave up meat a few years after I did- she's been veggie for 10 years now.) We talked about it a good bit, and I was fine with it at the time, as well as in retrospect. And I did not have the best, most stable relationship with my mom as teenager.

DH and I and a couple we are friends with spent about $12 and made 50 homemade, delicious veggie burgers today. (That works out to about 25c each, and they are BIG.) They freeze and reheat just as easy as the storebought kind. I'll give the recipe if you are interested.

4. I would certainly try to involve your family more in the cooking and menu planning. That sounds like a great plan, especially for your "breatharian" DS 1. When DSS was in his picky stage, he was far, far more likely to eat if he had part in the making of the food.

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#22 of 68 Old 05-30-2009, 11:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Vaske View Post
You've been way more patient than I would be: "If you guys aren't hungry enough to eat what I've cooked without complaining, then we must still be spending way too much on food....I'll cut the food budget in half again!!!"

Your DH skipped dinner three days in a row?!
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Originally Posted by RunAround View Post
I have been known to use the phrase "you'll get what you get and you won't throw a fit". It's kind of a joke, but my family gets that complaints can be put in the suggestion box for management review. Loosely translated, you don't like dinner? Kiss my grits! Given how many people go hungry on this planet each day, I can not, will not accept any complaints about the good, healthy, clean food that fills our plates. Seriously.

Honestly, it might be time to sit everyone down and explain how this is making you feel. You are working very hard to meet everyone's needs, and they aren't contributing to the workload or even feeling/demonstrating appreciation. Perhaps they need their horizons broadened a bit to help them understand how fortunate they are to have food, shelter, and a mother who works so hard to provide a comfortable home life for them. (This isn't about food, mama - it's about how much your family respects your contribution.) Time to skip all those extracurricular activities in order to spend time as a family doing volunteer work for a local hunger relief organization???

Good luck.
These both express my thoughts well. I wanted to recommend an excellent book called How to Get Your Kid to Eat by Ellyn Satter.

Good luck - please keep us updated.

Oh, one idea I got from the book that is working well for us is that saying yuck, ew, etc., are not permitted. A simple "no thank you" will suffice (and in our house there are no alternative meals permitted, whether or not you are willing to make it yourself).

Analisa, Mama to Meg 12/12/01, Patrick 12/24/03, Catherine 12/24/03, Ben 2/26/06
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#23 of 68 Old 05-31-2009, 12:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Leta View Post
3. Not even neccesarily for money reasons, but I'd stop buying boca burgers and the like for your vegan teen.

DH and I and a couple we are friends with spent about $12 and made 50 homemade, delicious veggie burgers today. (That works out to about 25c each, and they are BIG.) They freeze and reheat just as easy as the storebought kind. I'll give the recipe if you are interested.


I haven't been here in awhile because I lost my password and also the password to my email but anyway I finally found them. And I just wanted to stop in to at least try to offer this suggestions for your daughter. Boca burgers are so hard to do on a tight budget, I can't do it myself! It's cheap and easy to make good vegan burgers at home. I just 2 different batches for myself today, basically just using black beans/chickpeas, herbs and spices, bread crumbs.


I think I am missing something really obvious, what is breatharian?
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#24 of 68 Old 05-31-2009, 12:55 AM
 
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You are waaaay more patient than i am.. in our house its eat what i make or starve or you cook and clean up after what you have made.. i don't run a restaurant...

Sorry your family is making it hard on ya...

Seperated, Cape Dress Wearing, Covered, Conservative Mennonite Mama to big girl K.
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#25 of 68 Old 05-31-2009, 01:01 AM
 
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Then everyone sits down and respects the dinner rules: 1) NO complaining about the food; 2) Pleasant conversation only (no talking about beheadings, how much your sister drives you crazy, what happened to you in the bathroom earlier today, etc.). And so far we have been happy. Also no one can leave the table till the last person is done eating.
I LOVE your dinner rules! Tell me, does everyone comply...dinner rules are a nagging issue in my house!

OP, I agree, let them do the shopping and meal planning. You can tell them you will even do the prep if they do that part, since the planning is the hardest part IMO. My bet is it will be an excellent learning experience for all!!

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#26 of 68 Old 05-31-2009, 01:20 AM
 
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i geet this exact same thing rom my....................... mother, i am the cook fot the family. my DS is way easier to cook for.finally i told her told he i am cooking and ik wiling to do easy swaps like leaving noodles with out sauce but im not going to cook only for you we all eat here and the net meal you may like better but when yuo say yuckor eww you hurt my feelings.
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#27 of 68 Old 05-31-2009, 01:21 AM
 
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I just wanted to throw my support your way, even though mine are only 3 and 2 and I don't have many of these issues yet.

I think your menu rocks, and I want to come and eat at your house. I'm sorry they're being ridiculous.

Mama to A 8/05 and S 11/06
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#28 of 68 Old 05-31-2009, 01:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Leta View Post
1. I think your menu sounds lovely. I would be frustrated, too.

DH and I and a couple we are friends with spent about $12 and made 50 homemade, delicious veggie burgers today. (That works out to about 25c each, and they are BIG.) They freeze and reheat just as easy as the storebought kind. I'll give the recipe if you are interested.
I agree with Leta, Chiromama, your menu sounds so good! However, I feel your pain as I can totally see my picky kids not appreciating much of it at all.

Leta, my older dd is a vegetarian and I would love to have your recipe.
So far, she does not like things like boca burgers or other "fake meat", which I am fine with because I don't love the idea of a bunch of processed soy, especially since she is only 10. She loved the recipe I found for a bulgur wheat burger, but I have only made it once, last week. (She's been a vegetarian since last November and she's not a huge fan of many veggies ).
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#29 of 68 Old 05-31-2009, 02:13 AM
 
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1. Going on strike
2. Telling DH and the kids they get to plan, shop for and prepare the 20 meals that our family needs this week.[/QUOTE]

This~both of them. Tell husband that he is in charge and you aren't lifting a finger for shopping or cooking and that they can't go over your necessary budget. That you will eat whatever they make (you can't complain).

In my house there are literally two options. Take it or leave it. Husband hates to cook and is bad at it. Kids too young to take charge. I shop, I cook, they eat or wait for the next meal. I am NOT a short order cook. I also wouldn't be humoring the vegan. Any of mine want to go vegan, they can do so after they move out and pay their own food bills.
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#30 of 68 Old 05-31-2009, 02:23 AM
 
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If all the kung fu and little league cost $x per month, that's $x fewer that can be spent on groceries. So maybe the kids need to choose. They get the special privilege of their extras, so they need to help you figure out some low-cost meals they will eat. Or if they'll only eat expensive Boca burgers, maybe they need to cut back on extra activities. Maybe by being upfront about the budget, they'll see what you're struggling with, rather than thinking you're just arbitrarily being crabby about mealtimes.
This is an excellent idea. Dollars added to one budget category mean that those dollars have got to come from somewhere else. It's simple addition and subtraction.

You may also want to cancel activities one night a month and have a family activity serving dinner at a shelter or mission. Nothing like a little real life perspective to silence the "poor me" whine.

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