Making a meal one person doesn't like. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 06-25-2010, 05:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I try to make things that everyone likes but DD [6] is pretty picky recently and has gone off things she used to eat. My dilemma is do I still make a meal that everyone else likes but I know she doesn't? I can offer her an easy alternative I guess like toast or chopped up vegetables but I don't want to make her a whole different meal.

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#2 of 27 Old 06-25-2010, 05:26 AM
 
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I'd just make sure there's a side dish that she will eat, and let her make herself a sandwich.
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#3 of 27 Old 06-25-2010, 10:19 AM
 
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My kids like really different foods. If I *only* made foods that every one likes, we'd have pasta and marinara every single night.

At our house, if you don't like dinner you can grab something else, like a sandwich, yogurt, etc. No biggie.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#4 of 27 Old 06-25-2010, 10:27 AM
 
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Make sure there are things she likes on the table but everyone gets the same thing. Just try to minimize the idea that there is "special" food on the table for just her. If she eats yogurt at dinner, serve yogurt to her siblings too.

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#5 of 27 Old 06-25-2010, 10:48 AM
 
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Make sure there are things she likes on the table but everyone gets the same thing. Just try to minimize the idea that there is "special" food on the table for just her. If she eats yogurt at dinner, serve yogurt to her siblings too.
This is what I try to do, although it doesn't bother me if they also make something like a sandwich themselves, but after the meal I've prepared is done.
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#6 of 27 Old 06-25-2010, 11:04 AM
 
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Can you separate out parts of the meal? For example, I grew up vegetarian in a meat-eating household, so my mom would always put the meat to the side -- she continues to do the same thing now if we go over for dinner, i.e. if she's making mashed potatoes she'll put some aside before she adds in butter etc. or if she's making pasta she'll put some ww pasta aside for me with meat-free sauce & extra veggies... So she doesn't have to make a separate meal, just pull out some components of it. That, or like the pp suggested, make sure there's a side dish she likes (we don't do side dishes in my house really though). I would avoid the 'whole different meal' thing & continue to make her feel included rather than singled out with 'special' things etc. if that makes sense!

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#7 of 27 Old 06-25-2010, 11:15 AM
 
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I try to make meals that have at least one thing dd will eat, but occasionally I will make 2 main dishes. I recently made stuffed grape leaves for dh and I and meatloaf for dd because I knew she wouldn't want to try the grape leaves. If I didn't feel like making that I would have offered her a hot dog or something leftover. (We don't eat sandwiches, but that would be an acceptable alternative to me) I think that everyone is entitled to their own tastes and I don't want my child to be hungry. Also, sometimes dd gets sick of things, I do too, so we try to come up with some new favorites. Luckily, this usually goes along with seasonal changes in produce availability and we can find some new fun things to eat!

Emily, cooking allergen free, knitting, reading, gardening Mom to 1 beautiful girl, born in the water on July 1, 2006 Wife to 1 handsome man since September 10, 2005
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#8 of 27 Old 06-25-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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How much of the meal does she not like and how much does everyone else like it? Also, how many other people are in the house?

I don't like tuna cassarole, which is all one dish. But DH, DD1 and DD2 all like it. So, I make it and eat it anyway. Because I don't absolutely dispise it. On the other hand, DD1 LOVES sweet potatos, as a side dish. DH and I HATE them, DD2 could take them or leave them. So, making that particular side dish is a special treat just for her, because she's the only one that really eats them, and DH and I have a special dislike of them.

I never made a whole special meal for DD1. I did however take her likes and dislikes into account when I cooked. When she was younger, I was a single mom, so it was just me and her. If she really really hated something, I just didn't make it. If I really really hated something, I just didn't make it. But if it was just a part of a meal, such as she hated one side dish, but liked everything else, and I really liked that particular side dish, I might make that side dish as a special treat just for me.
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#9 of 27 Old 06-25-2010, 05:50 PM
 
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At 6, she can definitely be in the kitchen with you. Have her help make the meal and ask for input along the way. As you're making it, she can say if she wants a food raw instead of cooked, for example. But I would not make something just for her. However we're not in the "make yourself a sandwich camp" either because we don't eat processed foods and even sandwiches require some prep.
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#10 of 27 Old 06-25-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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Maybe this makes me the world's meanest mom...

Eating what we are given is a big deal for our family. It's important to us that our kids appreciate the fact that we have a meal with 3 or 4 different things available to eat, everyday. I don't go out of my way to make something that the kids don't like, and I certainly don't force them to eat something if they don't want to, but what we make for dinner is what is available for dinner, and if you're hungry you eat it. When the kids were smaller, there was more purposeful preparation of things they would eat, sure. But close to 3 for both they had to eat the same meals we did. DD1 (6) is a picky eater, and it's funny because with my mom, she will whine and complain about the food that she gets. When she is with us she eats with far less complaint, simply because she knows how it works.

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#11 of 27 Old 06-25-2010, 06:00 PM
 
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At six years old ... she's perfectly capable of making her own bowl of cereal or her own peanut butter sandwich. Don't make it for her.... a few minutes before dinner announce the menu and tell her she can eat what the family is eating or go make herself one of the above choices. Walk away. A few minutes later, sit down to the family dinner together. No drama allowed.
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#12 of 27 Old 06-25-2010, 06:05 PM
 
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One more thing... if you do meal planning, let her get involved with that, too. Dd loves to sit down with me and go through recipes and a monthly calendar.
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#13 of 27 Old 06-25-2010, 07:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by daytripper75 View Post
Make sure there are things she likes on the table but everyone gets the same thing. Just try to minimize the idea that there is "special" food on the table for just her. If she eats yogurt at dinner, serve yogurt to her siblings too.
That's what I would do too. I usually serve several foods, so there's bound to be something everybody likes. They don't have to eat everything. We have a main dish, but we also have fruit, vegies and bread or pasta.

If it's something like a casserole, and I didn't plan to have anything else, I'd probably say "make yourself a sandwich instead". But... I've actually never made a casserole in my life.
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#14 of 27 Old 06-25-2010, 08:00 PM
 
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Wow reading everyone's responses has me really curious, do you all really make meals with several different things??? I cannot imagine cooking more than 1 thing, and everything's mixed together. I thought that's what everyone did!!! We just put all the ingredients in a pot and mix it together... and now I hear you all have fancy meals with several different dishes.

sorry to siderail, just has me curious how everyone's meals look...

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#15 of 27 Old 06-25-2010, 08:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
Wow reading everyone's responses has me really curious, do you all really make meals with several different things??? I cannot imagine cooking more than 1 thing, and everything's mixed together. I thought that's what everyone did!!! We just put all the ingredients in a pot and mix it together... and now I hear you all have fancy meals with several different dishes.

sorry to siderail, just has me curious how everyone's meals look...
you might try more separates with her. My picky eater will eat chicken and pasta, but not a casserole with pasta and chicken and sauce. I tend to keep little bits of things out for her as I cook.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#16 of 27 Old 06-25-2010, 08:25 PM
 
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Wow reading everyone's responses has me really curious, do you all really make meals with several different things??? I cannot imagine cooking more than 1 thing, and everything's mixed together. I thought that's what everyone did!!! We just put all the ingredients in a pot and mix it together... and now I hear you all have fancy meals with several different dishes.

sorry to siderail, just has me curious how everyone's meals look...
Bahaha!! I don't even know HOW to cook in one pot. Seriously. Maybe it's regional. I was looking at a crockpot the other day in the store and though "This would be neat to have.... if I had any idea how to use it".
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#17 of 27 Old 06-25-2010, 08:53 PM
 
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Wow reading everyone's responses has me really curious, do you all really make meals with several different things??? I cannot imagine cooking more than 1 thing, and everything's mixed together. I thought that's what everyone did!!! We just put all the ingredients in a pot and mix it together... and now I hear you all have fancy meals with several different dishes.

sorry to siderail, just has me curious how everyone's meals look...
I do separates, crockpot meals, and casseroles, one-pot meals. A pretty wide variety. Casseroles are not kid favorites, typically...

Banana, doula wife to Papa Banana and mother to Banana One, Banana Two, Banana Three, Banana Four...

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#18 of 27 Old 06-25-2010, 10:50 PM
 
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My 6 year old is the picky one too. She eats what she wants of most of our meals. I will leave the sauce off of noodles or something like that for her.

I'm trying super hard to make the complaining stop. I don't like cooking anyway so cooking for people who whine and act disgusted by what is being served gets on my last nerve.

I allow the modifications (like no sauce) or skipping a particular part of a meal or she can eat a PB&J.

I was forced to eat food that made me gag as a kid (still won't eat fish because of that) so I won't do that. I do ask that they try a bite and every now and again the grimace turns into a smile.
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#19 of 27 Old 06-26-2010, 01:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
Wow reading everyone's responses has me really curious, do you all really make meals with several different things??? I cannot imagine cooking more than 1 thing, and everything's mixed together. I thought that's what everyone did!!! We just put all the ingredients in a pot and mix it together... and now I hear you all have fancy meals with several different dishes.

sorry to siderail, just has me curious how everyone's meals look...
We never do casserole type things b/c my oldest is super picky and won't eat one bit of it. He won't even eat lasagna.

I tend to do a meat, 1-2 veggies, maybe 1 fruit, and a carb. The littlest 2 aren't picky much but my oldest has issues, lol, and won't eat most things so I always try to have something on his plate that he will eat. If he doesn't like what is offered then he can make himself a sandwich-which he does a lot!

Cassie, mom to Alex(4/7/05), Aidan(7/12/07), and Andrew(8/18/08)

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#20 of 27 Old 06-26-2010, 01:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
Wow reading everyone's responses has me really curious, do you all really make meals with several different things??? I cannot imagine cooking more than 1 thing, and everything's mixed together. I thought that's what everyone did!!! We just put all the ingredients in a pot and mix it together... and now I hear you all have fancy meals with several different dishes.

sorry to siderail, just has me curious how everyone's meals look...
Meat, couple veggies or veg and salad, maybe a carb or some bread, sometimes fruit - DD especially likes components but will not eat items mixed together - she likes carrots and she likes peas but she doesn't like peas & carrots together. I'd love to just serve one pot meals.

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#21 of 27 Old 06-26-2010, 07:56 AM
 
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there are a few meals i make and love, but ds ( 4) just doesn't like. on those nights ds can have someting else healthy that requires no cooking ( usually hummos and bread)

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#22 of 27 Old 06-28-2010, 12:51 PM
 
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I make one meal for everyone. There's five of us so it's often somebody doesn't like it when someone else loves it. I make a big green salad with every meal and have my kids' whole life, so if someone doesn't like what I've made they eat as much salad as they want.

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#23 of 27 Old 06-29-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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My son is four...we have the same problem. He can make himself a sandwich or eat cereal if he's got a problem with what I've made.

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#24 of 27 Old 06-30-2010, 02:40 PM
 
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I am not a short order cook--one meal per night is all I can handle! You have to eat whats on the table--no cereal or PB&J. DD doesn't like broccoli, so there is always a second veggie she can choose. If we have a casserole with something she doesn't like, she's free to pick it out and place it (nicely!) on the side of her plate.

We do lots of 'components' to avoid rejection of the entire meal. For example-- on taco night, kids get meat, beans, tomato, cheese in little piles with shell on the side. I don't think it's the food they don't like, it's the 'all mixed together' aspect. HTH
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#25 of 27 Old 06-30-2010, 03:04 PM
 
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I have been struggling with this for a couple of years now with my almost 5yo. The things he likes are extremely healthy and he likes a wide variety, however he will not eat meat. He also will not eat foods that are "mixed" and all of the sudden he will not eat veggies that are cooked. So it sort of limits things, but I try to make things that everyone likes, but I've also gotten tired of never having a casserole or never having asian food because it's all mixed up. I understand why people say go ahead and make yourself a sandwich or grab a yogurt, but I really don't want to create a kid who will choose to make pbj every night rather than consider what's on the table...that's totally what he would do.

I'm not sure how you serve up your meals, but I used to dish up everyone's plates and bring them to the table. I would put a little of everything on everyone's plates. And I KNEW on some of those nights, ds would cringe as I brought his plate. This would cause me to sometimes make something extra for him and his brother. BUT, I have had great success with changing our system to family style dinner. I make everything that I want to make and put everything out on the table in the pot/serving dish, and if I know my picky one won't eat it, what I do is I will add things like cut veggies and dip, applesauce, fruit salad. All things that would naturally compliment any meal, but that I am SURE he will eat. Then we start our meal by passing around every single bowl and the rule is, you take what you want, no thank you to what you don't, and there is NO COMPLAINING because they have the power to choose and I am determined not to be nagging about trying stuff. It has even worked that my picky one will take a scoop of something he's never had and said he was going to be BRAVE! It's slightly more work to put everything out, but on the other hand, it's all ready to be put in the fridge after dinner because it's in a bowl. But it has dramatically decreased my tension and the kids LOVE passing the food!

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#26 of 27 Old 06-30-2010, 05:09 PM
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For me, making a meal everyone likes is actually impossible. So, I make what I make. Usually, there is something that everyone likes. If not, they eat raw veggies and a piece of toast with pb.

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#27 of 27 Old 07-01-2010, 07:25 PM
 
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We have to kids that are gluten and dairy free so for us making something a bit different is just second nature. If you could give some examples of the meals you are talking about I might be able to offer some tips. We also have one (the non-allergic one actually) who is picky with vegetables so we compromise. Tonight for supper we are having chicken parmesan (goat cheese on the allergic kids portions), mashed potatoes and peas. The picky one won't eat cooked peas so I give her frozen peas out of the bag. Same thing really. If we do a roast with potatoes and veggies all in the crock pot I will serve the picky one the meat and potatoes from the pot and then raw carrots from the fridge.

In regards to the question about making one pot meals or separate meals I do both. I love my crock pot and have the best crock pot cookbook which I recommend to everyone - http://www.amazon.com/Forget-5-ingre...8019395&sr=8-1 . This cookbook has tons of easy crockpot recipes. I will probably cook in the crockpot 3-5 times a week. I don't necessarily make the whole meal in the crockpot, I might make the meat portion in the crockpot and then cook the sides on the stove top, but I do have a lot of meals where I do the whole part in the crockpot and if there is a fussy kid I will give them the portion they like and just vary the sides. Other nights I will make different parts of the meal (and yes, serve it in separate bowls! lol ). Chicken, one or two veggies, etc. We rarely serve bread or the like at meals because they have carbs during snacks and lunch (sandwiches). Luckily all of the kids like veggies and fruits, even if they don't like them all, so we can usually just alter the side dishes if need be.

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