To make the same healthy meal every day for dc?

(174 Posts)

I am at the end of my tether with this. Dc are 7 and 10 and their fussiness is increasing all the time. It's bad enough that they turn their noses up at most of the food I serve (and I am not a bad cook and it's not anything outlandish just plain simple stuff) they refuse to pitch in with ideas about what meals they will eat. They just shrug angry

I am tired of the frustration I feel and also of feeling as though they think of me as a stupid martyr because I do all the work and nobody seems to appreciate it (which, let's be honest, they bloody don't!).

So, would I be unreasonable to choose one thing that they will both eat, criteria being that it's simple to prepare and healthy, and just serve it night after night? So I don't have to spend time and energy preparing two different meals, one for DH and I and one for the kids; instead I can just bung on some rice with egg and peas (carbs, protein and veg) for kids and not stress...

Sorry, replies coming thick and fast (I am not used to AIBU) will try and answer all.

Do they get to eat any junk foods if they don't eat the healthy foods you cook? Nope. No way.

What happens if you serve up one thing then tell them to take it or fucking leave it, no toast/fruit/yoghurt/whatever till breakfast? Then they won't eat it. I will follow through with the consequences I've outlined (because I'm not that clueless, thanks wink) so they will complain they're hungry.

And the same 'healthy' meal, does not necessarily constitute a healthy diet. What is this healthy meal of which you speak? I really don't know sad. This is my tether, people. The end bit, right here.

You know what I would do? Cook the DH-and-you meal every day, whatever you fancy. If the Kids dont eat it, they get offered unlimited fruit and yoghurt. This is what I've been doing. They don't eat it they may have fruit (unless I've said not of course). They don't like yoghurt.

Tbh you've allowed this. A 10 year old shouldn't be turning their nose up to food you've prepared. They eat what you've made or nothing and only allow fruit to snack on. I've allowed it! Thanks. What happens is, I make what's on the menu plan (which is on the calendar so they know what's coming). If they don't eat it, I don't make anything else. I don't allow them to eat junk instead or later on. It doesn't work. It's bloody frustrating. I need other options.

If they really are that fussy it would be much more sensible and convenient to just make the meals you and DH want to eat. Dish them up a really small portion so not too much is wasted if they don't eat it. Freeze the leftovers. Yep, that's my current modus operandi.

Maybe what I should have done is asked for advice on how to ignore the fact that they turn their noses up at everything. I don't want to get so cross about it, and particularly I don't want to show how cross it makes me sad

canyou Sat 04-Jan-14 19:34:57

If mine don't eat an then complain before bed that they are hungry they get offered porridge, plain porridge no fruit, sugar or honey which they can have at breakfast. This way I feel they have something warm and good for them.
I don't really do snacks so here it is breakfast, lunch, after school hot choc and treat and dinner. It means that they are always ready for meals

stargirl1701 Sat 04-Jan-14 19:35:19

I never said it was a good approach. Just a memory.

DamnBamboo no, they don't eat just rice, egg and peas. This is the only thing they say they want. That or pasta with home made tomato sauce (ds) and pasta with broccoli (dd)

They get served whatever we are having. Simple stuff: roasts, pasta dishes, what a normal family eats!

Joules68 Sat 04-Jan-14 19:35:53

Crackers cheese and tomatoes? Well that's almost a seperate meal! No wonder they aren't hungry

LingDiLong Sat 04-Jan-14 19:36:24

Oh dear OP, I really do get why this is so frustrating. I think you're right. You're handling it really well and you need to find ways to keep calm and ignore it. Would putting the dishes on the table and allowing them to serve themselves some food help? Maybe if they are more in control of the portions they give themselves....I dunno.

It doesn't hurt to be repetitive as well though and make those 2 or 3 meals you KNOW they'll eat every single week.

TheGreatHunt Sat 04-Jan-14 19:36:41


You cook as you see fit.

If they don't eat, tough.

Rice eggs and peas? Are you sure you're a good cook.....

canyou Sat 04-Jan-14 19:37:29

Would they get involved in your menu planning, shopping and meal prep? I am cruel I make all my DC get involved even my toddler helps set the table

BrownSauceSandwich Sat 04-Jan-14 19:37:37

I'm inclined to agree with PurplePidjin. Serve up what you want to make (reasonably non-controversial, but don't pander too much to their whims). Don't make any fuss when they don't eat it, just point out that that's what there is, get them to sit up to the table until everybody's finished, get them to clear away their own plates, then don't let them have anything else until the next meal time. If they're starving, they could always eat the leftovers. If they don't want the leftovers, they ain't going to waste away before tomorrow's breakfast. Repeat. Forever.

Joules68 Sat 04-Jan-14 19:37:38

And if they know that's coming and read it on your prepared menu then they can 'fill up' on those snacks in advance

A visible menu might be going against you here

everlong Sat 04-Jan-14 19:37:38

Pasta with homemade sauce one night, egg, rice and peas another, will they eat egg or beans on toast?
Just keep it simple - they'll soon get bored.

C3P0 Sat 04-Jan-14 19:38:37

Nope, it's a dumb idea. They'll end up malnourished, more than likely. Everyone needs to eat a varied diet. You should get some specialist support for bringing up fussy-eater kids.

TheGreatHunt Sat 04-Jan-14 19:39:08

I know it's a pisser if they reject your food but don't take it personally. Can your DH cook as well? Let him do some too.

At that age i would get them to start learning to cook - I was certainly cooking by 10. By 12 I could make stuff like casserole.

Queenmarigold Sat 04-Jan-14 19:39:18

Yes, make that for them... But first they have to eat a tiny amount of something rise first. Then once they like done of the other stuff they can have a bigger amount.

wrt the trying new stuff. I always say to them that nobody in this house is made to eat food, if you try something new and don't like it then that's fine.

Trouble is, not only do they "not like" 100% of new things, they "don't like" things they used to enjoy.

They will eat a roast meal. They will eat pasta with their specific accompaniment (as described above). What else? Um… they used to like steak and ale pie, they used to like stir fry with noodles, couscous and veg, sausages and mash. None of these things they will eat now.

It breaks my heart actually, because I want to give them a healthy balanced diet they will enjoy and I don't want to spend meal times anticipating them turning up their noses, watching them do so and being cross and upset about it.

Hence the end tether = one easy meal every day idea.

DamnBamboo Sat 04-Jan-14 19:41:41

And the same 'healthy' meal, does not necessarily constitute a healthy diet. What is this healthy meal of which you speak? I really don't know sad. This is my tether, people. The end bit, right here

It just sounds like you need a few ideas maybe, rather than them being terribly fussy. Doesn't sound too bad really.

Get them to write of list of their 5 favourite meals each and go from there!


Joules68 Sat 04-Jan-14 19:41:52

How do they manage eating out, eating at friends or relatives and eating food at school?

mscnile Sat 04-Jan-14 19:42:31

What about not advertising the menu, but giving them two choices e.g. Spag Bol or shepherds pie - then whatever they end up with has been chosen but them, but from a v limited choice (that changes every day)

DamnBamboo Sat 04-Jan-14 19:42:56

Also, the one same meal won't work - they will tire of it.

Imagine your favourite meal, Monday and then perhaps again the next day, maybe even a third. But night after night... no way. You'll be back to square one.

Rice eggs and peas? Are you sure you're a good cook…..


It's a home made version of Chinese egg fried rice. Sometimes I add some stir fried chicken. It's OK, not michelin star quality, of course!

Joules68 Sat 04-Jan-14 19:43:16

And you say 'they' a lot.... They are both deciding they don't like something? Or individually?

Daykin Sat 04-Jan-14 19:43:21

I would just cook what you want to eat, ditch the crackers and snacks and ignore them. They aren't babies. As an adult you don't get to eat your favourite meal over and over. If someone else is cooking and you are eating with other people then sometimes you eat food that you wouldn't have picked in a restaurant but that isn't a reason to sulk and whinge about it.
I don't mind catering to likes and dislikes but when they are all encompassing then it's just taking the piss.

mscnile Sat 04-Jan-14 19:43:25

Chosen by not but

Joules68 it used to be mainly dd, but ds has started to follow suit. Eating out, they will always choose the same thing if they can: ds will have spag bol, dd will have chicken in breadcrumbs. Eating at gp (which they do fairly often) is not a problem for some reason. MIL always does a roast, every day. They love this. My dm will usually give them pasta, but that's OK because she has them just once a week.

They are taking the piss, aren't they?

Whoever said get them to help: they do. They lay the table (one will do plates and cutlery, the other drinks). They clear the plates. They don't tend to help cooking, though they used to. It's only a few weeks since we've had a proper functioning kitchen (building works etc) so we've got out of the habit of them pottering about helping, because temporary kitchen was tiny and badly laid out.

BrownSauceSandwich Sat 04-Jan-14 19:49:41

Buffy, having read your later post, I wonder how much support you get from your OH on the cooking front. Does he do any of the meal planning or cooking? Does he thank you, or compliment you for what you serve up? On the one hand, he should be reassuring you that you're doing a great job, and on the other, he should be setting the right example for the kids.

If your husband is on side, then the two of you can set and enforce a rule that "if you don't like it, don't eat it, but don't bloody comment on it/moan about it/screw your face up at it." If your husband is part of the problem, sweep all the plates off the table, grab your coat and bag, and walk out leaving him to sort it out.

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