Confession: I DO NOT like cooking dinner!!!! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 02-23-2005, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, I need some help! Big time! I used to love to cook, but my kids have sort of squashed some of my love with their finicky, picky, eating habits. Its just not fun to prepare a meal that DH and I love and have 2 kids whine and complain the whole time we are trying to eat. I have many times offered something else to them, but I don't like doing that every night. So, we end up eating a lot of the same things.....

I don't have a problem with my kids eating habits, I refuse to force them to eat something they don't want to. I ask them to atleast try things, and that usually works. My 6 yo is a great eater. Eats all kids of things and doesn't have a problem trying new things, but my 3 yo is a different story.

anyway, i am just looking for a little support and some menu ideas. I am sooo darn sick of noodles!!!!
Please help!
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#2 of 20 Old 02-23-2005, 01:43 PM
 
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What do they like?

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#3 of 20 Old 02-23-2005, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, lets see....

The little one like noodles - pretty much just plain or w/ butter and parm. He eats PB&J sand, toast, rice, and canned great beans.... and any type of fruit. Yet he follows me around constantly telling me he is hungry. i make him protein smoothies every couple of days to try and get some extra protein in him. He also eats string cheese and yogurt.

The older one likes lots of stuff, he is much easier to feed.
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#4 of 20 Old 02-23-2005, 03:51 PM
 
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Do they drink a lot of milk or juice?

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#5 of 20 Old 02-23-2005, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st
Do they drink a lot of milk or juice?
Not really. Juice is a treat around here. We only have it occasionally - maybe 1 or 2 x a week - and thats a good week (to the kids). As for milk, maybe a small cup (6 oz.) of soy or cow milk per day.

Is that too much?
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#6 of 20 Old 02-23-2005, 04:30 PM
 
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Okay, so your youngest sounds like my child. We’ve started eating family style (just :LOL ).

What helps for us is that I have some easy foods that she’ll eat that I make along with our food. Would it be an option to serve pasta for him along with the other meal? Or, throw some fruit on the table with dinner?

Or, is this not what you’re looking for?

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#7 of 20 Old 02-23-2005, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thats a great idea, ICM - I do that from time to time. I guess I am just burnt out on the whole thing and need some fresh ideas. I see threads about meal planning where people say they have 20 - 30 meals that their family will eat and thats just so far from reality here. We have about 7 and they are just getting boring for me and dh.

Thanks so much for your input - whats your current favorites?
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#8 of 20 Old 02-23-2005, 05:10 PM
 
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I’ve been doing smaller cooked meals with fresh sides and goodies and it’s been fitting it really well with Aya’s picky eating habits.

We’ll have maybe one thing that we all like (pizza, pasta), one freash thing for me and DH (like a salad, or meat, or vegetables/olives, or cheese), I might pull out whatever’s left over, I put some fruit out, and/or something specifically for Aya.

For me, this takes tremendous pressure off cooking but it may seem like more of a hassle for another type person.

Honestly, nothing is really inspiring to me right now. We don’t get many good veggies and I’m sick of hearty winter food. I’m really excited for spring.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#9 of 20 Old 02-23-2005, 05:13 PM
 
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Tell me what kind of foods you like and what your family eats (any restrictions) and I’ll try to give you some ideas.

Soups! Do you make soups?

Salads with lots of good stuff like nuts and cheese.

Maybe take a break and start shopping at some new shops for cheeses, prepared foods and specialty sauces. That might help inspire you. My local Asian shop makes house made curry paste.

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#10 of 20 Old 02-23-2005, 06:10 PM
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Brookley,

Check out the recipe I left for RuthLa on the frugal board (it's under the post "Help Me".) It's really easy, yummy and my toddler loves it. It's Thai Peanut Sauce (can be made with other nut or seed butters, too).

My son goes through the occasional picky phase and I finally started cooking what DH and I wanted (within reason). If DS didn't like it, I gave him fruit, yogurt, toast, avocado, cheese or Cheerios etc. Healthful things I could just throw together for him. Most of the time now he will eat what I cook, or at least some of it.

I just decided I couldn't possible survive happily on strictly toddler fare (cheesy casseroles etc.) and that he would never expand his palate if I did. So I branched out and have been pleasantly surprised to find that he has come along with us. He now likes spicier things, tacos, enjoys Italian dishes, etc. Fortunately his favorite is meatloaf and that is one of ours, too! I stuff it with cheese and it's so good!

I also agree with many PPs from other threads who have reminded us that a healthy child will not starve herself...if you are offering one thing she likes at dinner she can at least eat that. You're not a short-order cook, nor should you be expected to cook a bunch of different meals to please everyone!

Good luck!
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#11 of 20 Old 02-23-2005, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You have good ideas, ICM! I love your idea of something fresh for you and dh. I have the extraoirdinay (sp?) luck of working in an organic produce warehouse. Meaning that I have access to TONS of fresh, mostly local super good fruits and veggies at a really good price. But, until recently, I never really liked veggies. I am learning to appreciate things more, but my skills for cooking have not caught up and like I said, its so dissapointing to make food and have everyone turn their nose up to it. I try not to take it personally, but its hard sometimes.

So, as for things we like, lets see.... We are open to lots of things. I routinely cook stir fry, misc. pasta w/ different sauces, pizza (sadly, usually frozen), chili, taco's, qusadilla, chicken/rice/grn bns, black bns and rice, but you see, its all pretty boring, typical stuff.

Oh, and did I mention that I work 3 days a week and those days are especially difficult for me to find the energy to cook. Dh is happy to help, but he lacks fresh ideas too.

So, I think I will go to a new store and see what they have. That is a wonderful idea!

and, THANKS!!!!
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#12 of 20 Old 02-23-2005, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Rainbowbird - thanks! I will go check out that thread. I love peanut sauce, i just never thought to make it myself....

I totally aggree that it is not ok for me to eat toddler food only. Way too boring... plus it won't encourage my kids to try new things either. And its also not ok for me to cook 2-3 different meals a night. NO WAY!!

I am feeling some inspiration already!

And, ICM - we don't really have any restrictions. We try to limit dairy and find alternatives to meat, but nothing set in stone.
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#13 of 20 Old 02-23-2005, 06:38 PM
 
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Your diet doesn’t seem boring to me. But, yea, maybe on the days you eat you could find a nice deli and pick up some food. I don’t know your food budget.

Easy meals that I forget sometimes are:

Roasted veggies with lots of garlic and olive oil
Nice cheese with fresh bread
Salads (tomato & mozzarella, spinach, Caesar)

I also like a rotisserie chicken (available at some organic groceries). That makes a really quick easy meal and a yummy chicken soup for the next day.

I love stews but I’m sick of them.


To cook veggies, experiment a little.

I love roasted veggies:

Asparagus is really nice dry roasted and sprinkled with a little salt, pepper and olive oil ~ experiment by marinating in lime juice or adding a little balsamic.

Roast root veggies for ever with some garlic. Stir occasionally and let get really brown and soft.

Grilled veggies are great ~ carrots…yum.

Sauteed green beans are so good. I like them to get a little burned in the pan with sesame oil.

Or, better yet, just eat them raw. They’re most healthy that way anyway.

Good luck! Come spring we’ll all be inspired to try some nice light foods, cooked outside with the farm fresh local ingredients…yum!

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#14 of 20 Old 02-23-2005, 06:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brookely ash
So, I think I will go to a new store and see what they have.
Yea, try to really branch out. Go to some local farms or specialty stores. If you eat in restaurants talk to them about ideas and fresh local ingredients. Maybe go to the shore and try to find local, fresh fish. Consider growing some new indigenous herbs and veggies. Befriend your local baker!


What type community do you live in, btw?

Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#15 of 20 Old 02-23-2005, 09:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brookely ash
Not really. Juice is a treat around here. We only have it occasionally - maybe 1 or 2 x a week - and thats a good week (to the kids). As for milk, maybe a small cup (6 oz.) of soy or cow milk per day.

Is that too much?
No, that blows my theory. Sometimes if kids drink too much juice or milk, it ruins their appetite. Been there done that.

But my dd will try almost anything and eat most things. But since shes barely 3 her choices are still limited. We usually include with what we are eating some things on the table she will like such as what another post had said

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#16 of 20 Old 02-24-2005, 12:00 PM
 
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One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet...let THEM help preparing the meal. My kids were always more likely to eat something that THEY fixed (even if it's the same thing they refused at an earlier time!)
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#17 of 20 Old 02-24-2005, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Update...

I was very much inspired last night when making dinner. I made chili, a normal meal for us (during the winter) and rather than let the little guy just eat a plain tortilla, I made him a peanut butter and jelly "quesadilla" and then I decided to take ICM's advice and made a fruit salad on the side. It was a major hit! Everyone ate it, even the little guy. He picked out the fruit he didn't like, but he ate the stuff he did like and he helped me prepare it so I think that increased his interest level.

Now, for tonight? who knows!!! I work today, so maybe I will stop at a deli and order something on my way home....

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#18 of 20 Old 02-24-2005, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
Yea, try to really branch out. Go to some local farms or specialty stores. If you eat in restaurants talk to them about ideas and fresh local ingredients. Maybe go to the shore and try to find local, fresh fish. Consider growing some new indigenous herbs and veggies. Befriend your local baker!


What type community do you live in, btw?
I missed this post yesterday : I don't know how, but I did....

I live in Oregon, so we have access to quite a bit around here. The coast is a little far for me to, and I am not really a fish eater. Unfortunatley, I am on quite a budget, but I think I can make some changes that will help a lot. I find myself, lately, unable to make it to the stores I really love because my kids have been sick, dh has to work extra, etc. etc. Those weeks, where I don't get the good stuff, really suck! So, I am making it a goal that this week I go to my favorite store (new seasons!) and get the items we really love. I think I will try a pesto one night, w/ chicken and I really want to try the peanut sauce that rainbowbird posted. Sounds super yummy!

Thanks again, ladies, for all of your help. Food should be a source of energy and love, not frustration and temper tantrums!

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#19 of 20 Old 09-03-2005, 07:52 PM
 
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Maybe I am too strict, but I do not see why you should adapt your menu to your toddler - my son eats what I eat(and unfortunately what my husband eats - he sometimes likes to bring junk food to the house) from the beggining and if he is not hungry, he doesn't eat or eats less. And he is not very skinny at all.
I can tell you that once when we were visiting relatives he got the candy. I brought a salad, and he actually put down the candy and started aeting a salad with big joy!
If your diet is healthy let kids adapt to yours- how they will get junk if you won't buy it?
In restaurants I never order from kids menu - their menu is 10 times worse than adult one.
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#20 of 20 Old 09-19-2005, 12:09 AM
 
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