Picky Children making dinner and lunches

After one too many complaints about dinner and lunches, (and perhaps helped along by the viewing of Junior Masterchef Australia) I informed the children they were making dinner at least once a week and making their own lunches every morning.

Making sushi. Note the only two vegetables my children will eat willingly - carrots and cucumber. No, I have absolutely no idea why my picky eaters will eat seaweed happily.

We started out well.  Friday night they made “cheesy noodles” which is really no more than shredded cheese on cooked noodles. On Sunday they decided they wanted to make sushi for dinner.  So we did.  And the Saturday after that they made macaroni and cheese casserole from a children’s cook book.

But now we’ve run into a snag.  We’ve looked through the kids’ cookbooks that I have, and we even took some out of our local library to look at.

It went kinda like this: “EEEEWwwww!!! I’m not making SOUP!!” “No, I don’t wanna make a roast chicken.” “We’ve made pasta twice. I wanna do something different.” [whine] “I don’t LIKE cottage pie.” “Eeeeeew! Risotto!”  “Eeeeeeewww!! Chilli!!!” “Vegetable pie? NO WAY.” “Yuck, that steak has mustard on it.” “I HATE MUSHROOMS!!” “But I HATE TUNA!!”  “But Dad doesn’t like lamb.” “Well I don’t like fried rice so we aren’t making THAT.”  “OOoo!!! Hamburgers! Mum, can we make hamburgers?”

See my problem?  They found something not to like in nearly every single recipe.  And if they couldn’t find something they didn’t like, they blamed it on their picky Father.

Who was the wise-ass that said that when children make dinner they’re more willing to try new things? They lied.

Anybody got a good children’s cookbook for picky eaters?


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About Broot

Thoughts about learning and life that are lost in a sea of blogs.

13 responses to “Picky Children making dinner and lunches”

  1. susan says :

    mine are no so much picky as easily bored!
    my solution is not a cookbook. but my newest winning idea was to get a little whiteboard from the two dollar shop and get the kids to make a week of menus (breakfasts and dinners). i agreed to abide by it.
    i gave them some ídeas”‘ to get things kicked off.
    week two and it’s working a treat. not one complaint about the food.
    my mum swears by letting the children choose their own veges at the supermarket (or from the garden)

    • Broot says :

      Yeah that’s what I’m heading towards. Tried the growing veggies/picking the veggies at the supermarket trick. Unfortunately no dice. 😦

  2. Robin says :

    Well, I don’t have kids, so I’m not really qualified there, but I do cook a lot, and a few ideas:
    Instead of using recipe books, help them be creative and invent their own dishes with ingredients you like (or everyone gets to pick an ingredient (including you), and everyone has to eat it). Things like pasta and stir-fry can be good for this, and so long as you don’t have too wierd combinations, you can come up with surprisingly good thing. Baked potatoes can be good for this also, or salads in summer. You may have a few horrible failures, but you might have some new family favourites.
    An extension of of the previous point – they might not like soup, but might they like stone soup? Invite friends over with ingredients, and make soup 🙂
    Similarly, find a recipe that they like *most* of, and then brainstorm what you could use instead of the ingredient they don’t like: for example, if dad doesn’t like lamb, perhaps the dish might work with beef or chicken instead, or instead of eggplant, you could use zucchini and so on.
    Another trick might be to cook for someone else and invite them over: find out what grandma’s favourite meal is, and then invite her over and the kids can cook it. Because they’re cooking for someone else, they may see past what they like and dislike personally, and focus on what grandma (or whoever) likes.

    And if all else fails, bribe them with dessert 🙂

  3. stitchknit says :

    I have found my Taste of Home magazines to be a big help. I have teen foster kids all the time, and am constantly amazed at what limited palettes they have. The magazines are fun to look at, great pictures and normal food that most everyone has in their kitchens.
    My kids will say different things look good…………then, we aim to get that on the menu. With more than one kiddo……I always tell them, they aren’t going to like every meal. Better luck tomorrow.
    Since I hate to cook, I will not cater to everyones wishes, but the idea of knowing what they see that looks good, is a nice road map for me as I plan meals for the next couple weeks.
    We also have a rating system on new recipes or ideas! 5 stars is fantastic, they want to see it again……..and down to 1 star………don’t bother making it again. Stuff in the middle of the star system, can get tweeked & repeated, to see if it has improved in the kids eyes.
    Makes the whole thing a little more fun!

  4. Michelle says :

    I don’t have any cookbook recommendations, but when me and my sis did cooking night we did things like pizzas, kebabs, wraps, mini quiches, easy things to do when everyone wants different ingredients

    • Broot says :

      mini pizzas is a fantastic idea. Haven’t done that one with them yet. We do wraps for lunch. Hadn’t thought about quiches. Thank you!!

  5. Aleta says :

    Well, this will sound horrible, but you could say, “hmmm, if you don’t cook something, I guess we don’t have supper.” Nahhh, that’s kind of mean. But I DO think that having the kids cook is a fantastic idea! I don’t have any cookbooks to suggest because *whispers* I don’t cook…

  6. Blond Duck says :

    Mom, can we make hamburgers?–Those would be dream words to my ears!

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