Do you ever feel that whatever food you prepare for your kids they have some form of complaint about it? Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that whatever I prepare for dinner someone has an issue with it. If I try new and exciting meals, one or more of my kids will say they don’t want to eat it. If I prepare tried and true dishes they complain that we always eat those meals and ask for more variety. Considering I don’t like preparing meals at the best of times, I have to grit my teeth and take a deep breath before mumbling something neutral to the effect that I will make something different tomorrow night – and so the cycle goes!
I only serve my kids small portions, but I expect them to eat what is on their plate. If they are still hungry they can have more once they have finished their meal.
If they complain vigorously about the taste of the meal, I tell them they can hold their nose while they eat so they can’t taste it. Eating and holding your nose simultaneously can make breathing a little difficult, but they work out pretty quickly what is more important – oxygen versus the horrible taste of Mum’s cooking! I, of course, give them the standard lecture about children around the world starving while they have the privilege of getting a hot meal for dinner. This is usually met with nodding and not too subtle eye rolling.
On a good night when the issue is not the taste of the meal, but the fact that the kids are taking too long to eat their meals I play a ‘whistling’ game with them. The rule is that to qualify to play they must have a mouthful of food before I start each round where I whistle a tune and they have to guess the song. Once they have finished their meal they can have a turn at being the whistler (as it’s impossible to whistle with food in your mouth). This game is a win, win situation for us all. The kids eat their meals, I can’t nag them to eat while I’m whistling and we all have fun to boot!
It is a struggle for me to prepare healthy, nutritious meals for the family that will be met with excitement and eaten with fervor. As with every group of people, there are different tastes and preferences in my family and trying to find meals that satisfy everyone is an arduous task. With my non-existent passion for cooking and limited time to prepare meals after I return from running the kids around to their extra curricular activities, I think everyone should be grateful that there is any meal on the table! Maybe one day I should just serve them up a ‘third world’ meal of a small bowl of rice to help give them perspective!
(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphoto.net)