I won’t be a short order cook

When I was growing up, my mom made 3 dinners every night. One for her and my dad, one for my sister and one for me. Seems crazy eh? Well, let me explain. My sister, Auntie Beige was is a crazy picky eater. If it was beige she would most likely eat it. So my mom always had to make her beige dinners; pastas with butter and Parmesan cheese, grilled cheese, pizza without sauce. You get the idea. Bland. Then there was me. At 10 years old, I choked on a hot dog at a birthday party. I got totally freaked out so I cutout all hot dogs and hamburgers due to fear of future choking episodes. Then all other meats followed as they started to gross me out. Then there was the “main” meal my mom was cooking for her and my dad. So Auntie Beige and I would either get a version of what my parents were eating or we would get meals of our own.

Now that I’m a mom, the thought of making 2 or 3 different meals every night is my biggest nightmare. Princess Peach is a bad eater. Not only is she a picky eater, she just doesn’t like food and doesn’t have an interest in it unless you are offering her ice cream. There have been days that she has only eaten an apple, a pear and maybe some cheese and a few crackers. No matter what I can offer, she’s not interested.

This was our conversation at lunch today:

Me: Ok, you need a fruit with your lunch. Would you like an apple, or plum.

Her: Hmmm…….Ice Cream!

Me: Ice cream is not a fruit. Would you like an apple, or plum?

Her: Pear

Me: You’ve already had a pear today. You can have an apple or plum

Her: Otay, mommy. Plum

(cuts up the plum and puts it on her plate)

Her: NOOOOOOOOO plum. Plums are yucky! NOOOOO. Take it off my plate

(remove plum immediately from plate)

Then she decided she was done lunch after eating about 10 bites of the Challah she made at school and 2 pieces of cheese. Awesome.

Dinner times are usually worse. She likes to play with her food. Move them around on her plate, break them into little pieces. Walk around the table. Go into the kitchen to look in the fridge. Share her food with everyone just so she doesn’t have to eat it. Then, right before bed is when she says her tummy is grumbling and she’s hungry. So we would feed her. She’s known for stalling bedtime so we often wonder if she really is hungry or if it’s just one of her many tactics to delay going to sleep. I have also constituted a rule that once her pj’s are on, the kitchen is closed! It’s been working so far. As mean as I may seem I just can’t and won’t be stuck in the kitchen serving up meals at 8 pm.

I’ve also stopped making Princess Peach her own meals at dinner. So far we aren’t’ having very much success. She hates chicken, and was disgusted by the delicious chili I made for dinner tonight. She did however try brisket on two different occasions this week and was rewarded with a Mitzvah Note acknowledging her trying it! Her teacher told me everyone had a good laugh at “Princess Peach tried brisket last night at dinner! Way to go!” I figure that one day when she’s very hungry she will just eat up what’s put in front of her. Or, at least I can wish!

So I’m standing my group and refuse to be a short-order cook.  I just won’t do it. She can ask for fruits and veggies during dinner that I’m not serving but I refuse to cook up different main courses for my family members. As much as I love my kids I just won’t do it. What I eat, you eat. The end.

Do you make one meal for your family or cater to each family member?


  1. Darlene Schuller says:

    I feel your pain, I have one that is consistently trying to live on toast and peanut butter. Dinner just becomes a daily ‘chore’ here anymore… sometimes I think I’d have better results negotiating a hostage situation!

  2. Anne Taylor says:

    When my girls were growing up, we made one meal for everyone; no ifs and or buts!

  3. Lynsey Jones says:

    I grew up in an “eat it or starve” household – so that is how I did my girls as well. Thankfully it worked – both of my children will pretty much eat whatever you put in front of them. I am actually more picky than they are hahaha

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