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to carry on cooking what i want regardless of everyone's likes and dislikes?

(28 Posts)
StarlingBirdsong Wed 06-Apr-16 17:33:25

Another argument with DM today who has criticized that I don't adapt pander to my DCs food preferences.

DC1 - hates parsnip, fusses over carrot, sweetcorn and peas
DC2 - fusses over fish, rice, leeks and pork (unless in the form of sausage)
DC3 - is my angel who eats everything
DH - doesn't like things in sauce/gravy and certain shapes of pasta
Me- don't like mushrooms, sprouts and carrot

My opinion is I will not cook different meals for us all and that I will continue to cook a range of meals including all of the above. I don't see why I should restrict everyone elses diet because one person prefers not to have it and think this will lead to the other DC becoming more fussy. Plus I think it is an important skill to learn to either discreetly eat around things you don't like or manage to politely eat a bit when presented with dishes when out etc.

So in a given week I would guess that 3 days have meals that we all like everything. then on each of the other days chances are someone will dislike/prefer not to have something on the dish. I include myself in this so I will manage to eat bolognaise with mushroom in it or a casserole with carrot in it as others in the house really like it.

I feel that this will eventually help the DC get over their fussiness (and with the exception of DC1's parsnip I believe it is just fussiness) if they continue to be presented with the foods. I never make a comment on whether they eat it or not, any complaints are met with 'its your choice, you can eat it or not'. there is always at least 3/4 of the meal that they will eat so no-one goes hungry.

DM says I'm being cruel to do this and that I shouldn't serve things I know they don't like. But how will they know if their tastebuds develop and they start liking things again if they don't have the option to try it again? So far we have got DC2 eating mashed potato and DC1 eating curry just by carrying on serving it with no punishment if its not eaten.

So do you all cater to the individual tastes? AIBU to expect my family to cope with not having their favourite meal each night??

Mysteryfla Wed 06-Apr-16 17:38:37

You're doing absolutely perfectly, ignore your Mum.

MammaTJ Wed 06-Apr-16 17:41:27

I do variations to cater for genuine likes and dislikes.

DS will not eat cooked carrots, so he gets raw ones to eat before a meal. He will eat cooked broccolli and cabbage but not peas at all. He won't have gravy. DP will only eat peas, no other veg. DD will eat all of them but they have to not touch on the plate.

Tonight, DD and myself are having the leftovers from yesterdays roast, veg and roast potatoes. The males in the house are having chips with some sort of chicken thing. When DD1 was still at home, I could sometimes cook 5 different (at least in some ways) meals.

You do what suits you though.

lougle Wed 06-Apr-16 17:42:40

Hmm....not sure. I think it's easier to be accepting of carrots and mushrooms in a dish (where you can pick them out) than fish or pork, where not eating that thing means you get no main protein content. If you are cooking something with an accompanying sauce, I agree with you, but if you cook it in the sauce then I can see your DH's point that scraping the sauce off doesn't take it all away.

TheNumberfaker Wed 06-Apr-16 17:43:06

Carry on as you're doing. Persistence is the key here!

BackInTheRealWorld Wed 06-Apr-16 17:43:21

It's up to you I suppose, I couldn't be arsed with a battle between so many every night but if you can cope with it and think it's worth it then crack on.

My mum was like you and mealtimes were miserable and stressful for all of us.
It wasn't til I left home that I learnt to enjoy food.

I never pushed it with my kids and they gradually chose to try things and developed their tastes naturally.

Everyone is different and I can only go by my own experience.

Except mushrooms, I won't have those fuckers in the house!

SurroMummy13 Wed 06-Apr-16 17:45:39

If she's that fussed, tell her she can come round and fix up all the different meals daily then.

hollinhurst84 Wed 06-Apr-16 17:47:32

I think actual hates are good to be considered. I hate, and cannot/will not eat pistachio nuts. I don't like peas but I'll eat them
So maybe if there's one thing each person hates as in cannot and will not eat then take those out but "well I don't mind it but I would prefer" stay in

Katedotness1963 Wed 06-Apr-16 17:48:06

I cook a lot of things the family likes that I don't. The sticking point for us is veg, but you get round that by having a couple of choices. I'd never make peas and sprouts because one child hates both, so peas and cauliflower, or sprouts and carrots. Gravy/sauce is always served from a jug so those that want can have and those that don't can pass.

Pasta shapes seems odd, isn't pasta all the same just different shapes (unless flavoured, of course)?

SoupDragon Wed 06-Apr-16 17:59:18

Pasta shapes is bonkers.

And I say that as the parent of a teen who only likes the long curly spaghetti and whinges about any other shape hmm

I do cater for likes when it comes to vegetables as that is easy enough to do with minimal fuss. Each child has to put up with the occasional meal they don't much care for though.

I have memories of being made to eat semolina as a child and gagging on it so I am somewhat understanding when it comes to food dislikes.

corythatwas Wed 06-Apr-16 18:09:54

When mine were little, we used to have a rule that you were allowed 3 serious hates and those would be taken into consideration. Worked quite well, as it made them think about whether something was really a serious gagging hate, or just that they didn't care that much about it. These days I tend to just look away if they work around something. Nobody is going to starve if their meal for one night consists mainly of boiled spuds and a tiny piece of fish. It's not the same as force-feeding them what they hate.

StarlingBirdsong Wed 06-Apr-16 18:35:34

I don't make any of them eat it, I just continue to serve it. if its practical to have a choice - gravy in a jug for example then fine, but if it comes with the dish, like casserole DH has to lump it.

I accept DC1 has a genuine dislike of parsnips and don't serve them to him. the others I'm sure are fads as if they cant see them, they eat them!

like others I make sure if a disliked veg is being served that the other veg are ones they will definitely eat.

Its not a battle - they can take or leave what is on the plate without comment from me but nothing more til breakfast if they haven't eaten it.

I just cannot face the idea of cooking several different meals when I'm running around after the 3 older DC and have baby DC4 to look after too!

PageStillNotFound404 Wed 06-Apr-16 18:40:17

YANBU, OP. You're running a home, not a restaurant.

PPie10 Wed 06-Apr-16 18:41:10

Yanbu ignore your dm, it's easy for her to talk when she's not the one doing it. Who has the time to cater to a bunch of fussy eaters.

GeorgeTheThird Wed 06-Apr-16 18:42:34

You're absolutely right, OP.

OTheHugeManatee Wed 06-Apr-16 18:44:17

YANBU. You are not a restaurant.

LagunaBubbles Wed 06-Apr-16 18:45:18

Up to you. I wouldn't make myself something to eat I genuinely didnt like. On these type of threads it always amazes me that - and I do realise people can be fussy eaters - that some people label others fussy just because they dont like certain foods.

CantSleepClownsWillEatMe Wed 06-Apr-16 18:52:55

You're 100% right Op, these are likes and dislikes, nothing more. I'm not a fan of turnip at all but my DC like it so I managed some carrot and turnip mash today. It didn't kill me nor even make me sick!

If there's something they genuinely can't abide then/keep down (parsnip for me too) then fair enough but otherwise you are not a restaurant and as long as you are providing enough variety that there is something on the plate each can eat you're fine. The fact that three quarters of the food is cleared must mean they can cope with your offerings!

TheSnowFairy Wed 06-Apr-16 19:00:33


I would (and do) serve everything to mine.

However, DH cooks a roast at the weekend and beforehand I hear 'DC1, is it you that likes peas and carrots? DC2, will you want roast beef? DC3, are you having broccoli today?'

Grrr. Just serve it all up and they will either way it or leave it, no allergies so it won't kill them!

MrsMook Wed 06-Apr-16 19:13:05


My household has become a bit of a Can't Eat, Won't Eat. A couple of us have to carefully control dairy consumption, and another gets eczema from tomatoes so that's quite restrictive to plan around.

DH really doesn't like fish/ seafood so I tend to save that for his absences (That's his only major one). DS1 has hit a faddy age and I really can't cope with planning around his whims. He's never liked mushrooms so that's forgiven, but he's under instructions to ignore them (he's happy with them blitzed in a sauce) Milder dislikes come and go, and I'm simply not complicating family cooking any further by indulging whims. There is always something he will eat on a plate.

corythatwas Wed 06-Apr-16 19:17:23

"some people label others fussy just because they dont like certain foods"

I label other people fussy if they expect me to cook a separate meal rather than quietly eating the part of the meal they can manage.

araiba Wed 06-Apr-16 19:24:37

how often do you make a mushroom, sprout, carrot risotto?

Catvsworld Wed 06-Apr-16 19:33:12

Ha I do I try and cook somthing that at least one of us will Every day but if avoided everyone's dislikes all the time we would be eating bread not even with butter as dd1 hates butter lol

StarlingBirdsong Wed 06-Apr-16 19:36:36

Thank you, the general gist is that I'm not torturing the little sods poor little loves by serving less than favourite foods!

Obviously I would not force them to eat things they genuinely dislike but I think they need to learn that sometimes they need to eat things they don't love and that sometimes they need to work around it.

there are plenty of meals they all love which we have too!!

araiba that sounds hideous to me! I'm not deliberately trying to make a meal we all hate! although maybe that would be an interesting bonding experience...tonight we are having a meal we can all hate together!!

starry0ne Wed 06-Apr-16 19:56:11

I would never particularly cook something they hate.. My Ds is a good eater but hates mushrooms.. I love them so I cook them whole and pick them out for me..

Your DH on the other hand is a grown adult... The pasta thing I do think have different but I am not sure I would cater to that but not liking sauce I think would make ruin a meal if it did have sauce and given the time you have been together...I doubt he is going to learn to like it.

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