To say fuck it and give them picnic food?

(208 Posts)
Blahdyblahbla Thu 25-Nov-21 17:47:04

My dc are a nightmare at home in relation to food. They eat well at the childminders house, but with me and grandparents they just refuse anything vaguely like a hot meal (unless of course its nuggets and chips).

I'm losing the will, I plan and cook nutritious meals without too much repetition, half killing myself to make the said meal available throughout the evening to accommodate everyone's activities.

Most meals get rejected, they'd rather starve than try something they don't like the look of.
They both will reliably eat packed lunch/ picnic type food.

AIBU to say sod it and let them have a spread every evening for the next few months, just so I can drop the evening meal from my mental load? Or will it just make things worse?
They are 2 and 5.

OP’s posts: |
maddening Thu 25-Nov-21 17:49:19

Get the 5 year old to "help" in the kitchen I reckon.

Chely Thu 25-Nov-21 17:51:36

Like in beauty and the beast.
Go ahead and starve!!!!

regularbutnamechangedd Thu 25-Nov-21 17:52:12


Like in beauty and the beast.
Go ahead and starve!!!!

If I did this my 7yo would literally starve.

CelloYouveGotABass Thu 25-Nov-21 17:53:15

Go for it!
Make nutritious picnic food if you feel bad

PenelopeVonDelius Thu 25-Nov-21 17:53:50

Yanbu. Mine are similar. Just standing cooking a nutritious, hot meal for them now, just in time for our nightly ritual of them telling me "I don't liiiiiiike it". Mine are 3 and 6. I expect they'll grow out of it.

The odd night of picnic food won't hurt. I've done the same. Do it quite a lot in the summer actually.

MorganSeventh Thu 25-Nov-21 17:54:03

Sounds very sensible to me.


DustyDoorframes Thu 25-Nov-21 17:54:39

I cook for myself. I make enough for everyone, they can take it or leave it, but there's no other option! I'm greedy and like interesting food so make all sorts of nice suppers. If that wasn't what floated my boat, then bring on the picnic spread, go for it!!!
Life is stressful enough! Kids eat in colour on insta is good on this.

NovemberNovemberDarkNights Thu 25-Nov-21 17:55:14

Nah, do your head a favour & give them what they'll eat, just make it as healthy as you can. Add something that they haven't tried before in the side make NO comment about it. Kids need good food, they don't need heavy hot food.

Most young children eat better when it's 'known' food, stop killing your self making such a variety.

Echoesandsilence Thu 25-Nov-21 17:55:20

Will they eat home made versions of nuggets, sausage rolls etc? If so, I'd do that with with other salad/veg in the style of a picnic.

Cheerbear24 Thu 25-Nov-21 17:55:21

Ummm I think it will make it worse, then It will be harder to backtrack from once the picnic eating is entrenched. Can’t you do chicken nuggets style but with some veg on the side and fruit for afters?
I remember similar problems with DD and ended up giving her a time to finish by after some very long torturous dinner times which lasted an hr +

Blahdyblahbla Thu 25-Nov-21 17:55:27

@regularbutnamechangedd mine would too, they have wills of steel!
Is a sandwich, bit of fruit, lump of cheese, a bit of hummus any less valid than a spag bol I wonder? It just feels "wrong" and not what I know to eat a picnic for every meal, and I can't really explain why blush

OP’s posts: |
BabbleBee Thu 25-Nov-21 17:56:40

My DC went through a phase of moaning about most food I put on their plates. However if I made something like fajitas and let them serve themselves at the table then they’d eat more. I did it for a while with lots of different types of food. All teenagers now and don’t care what they eat.

Mrsjayy Thu 25-Nov-21 17:58:15

What are they eating At the minders? I'd give them what they will eat especially the 2 year old and if that's a wrap and fruit then let them eat that then Introdce different bits on the plate.

Thatsplentyjack Thu 25-Nov-21 17:58:23

Mine are the same and they are 8 and 13! I gave up. Now I make a decent meal every now and then, but not often because dp is just as bad and rarely eats it!

SilenceOfThePrams Thu 25-Nov-21 18:00:39

Go for it! There’s nothing automatically “better” about a hot meal. If cold food eaten with fingers is what they like and will eat then take the pressure off and give them picnic teas for a bit.

Can be just as calorific and nutritious as a hot meal.

And then when you’ve got a bit more energy cos you’re not fighting them to eat at the end of a busy day, figure out what it is they like about it and dislike about more conventional meals.

Nuggets and chips are very safe food - do they like other hot food which can be eaten with fingers? Or is it that the food is separate, in which case might they eat pasta, cheese, peas, in a deconstructed type of meal rather than glooped together? Is it that they can help themselves? Might they like baked potatoes with a load of different toppings to build their own dishes?

But go with fed first. Picnic food is fine.

AliceAldridge Thu 25-Nov-21 18:02:02

Just cook simple things, then you'll be less annoyed when they don't eat them. Fishfingers, new potatoes and peas was my favourite quick meal. You can subsitute this for a piece of white fish wrapped in foil if you prefer, or sausages, or chicken nuggets. Whatever really. All of the above with ketchup, of course.

My lazy toddler-feeding repertoire also included pasta and pesto, egg on toast, jacket potato and beans.

Googleboxfan Thu 25-Nov-21 18:02:12

My dd7 is exactly the same. I cook then she says she doesn't like it.
She prefers a snacky plate.

I give her cucumber, peppers, celery, cheese, sandwich.

MyCatHatesWhiskas Thu 25-Nov-21 18:03:09

I’m clearly a bad parent as I decided some time ago that one hot meal a day was plenty and mine always get picnic tea on childcare days! (3 out of 7) They get some combination of sandwich, fruit and perhaps some crisps, maybe a yogurt or similar after. Works well for us as they can eat literally as soon as they’re home if whoever is doing pickup has had time to prep it before getting them.

AliceAldridge Thu 25-Nov-21 18:03:28

Ps picnic food is fine though!

TheCheesyBakedBeanGetsGlam Thu 25-Nov-21 18:04:27

We do picnic teas sometimes. My kids love them but I feel like it's not a proper meal somehow. I tend to just do myself something hot and let them crack on now 😂

I have one child who is fussy and one who has sensory issues and selective eating, so if they eat anything resembling a balanced meal I'm happy! I probably have low standard though!

TheCheesyBakedBeanGetsGlam Thu 25-Nov-21 18:05:17

Mine get hot school lunch/ hot nursery lunch so I feel like I'm off the hook a bit.
We do have a lot of freezer dinner nights too though.

regularbutnamechangedd Thu 25-Nov-21 18:05:20


*@regularbutnamechangedd* mine would too, they have wills of steel!
Is a sandwich, bit of fruit, lump of cheese, a bit of hummus any less valid than a spag bol I wonder? It just feels "wrong" and not what I know to eat a picnic for every meal, and I can't really explain why blush

My son is autistic, so rules are out of the window. We do what works for us.

mayblossominapril Thu 25-Nov-21 18:06:46

My ds has a snack plate for months. I just snuck a new item in every few days some he liked some he didn’t. The new items were a bit random too such as hot baby sweet corn, or cauliflower both of which turned out to be very popular
Toasted cheese sandwich is another favourite

CactusLemonSpice Thu 25-Nov-21 18:08:31

I think there is a middle ground that might work. For example, wraps with chicken and salad in, sort of like picnic food but more substantial?

Or chopped carrots and cucumber and tomatoes with hummus instead of salad, but still with the protein and carbs on the plate too?

This sort of thing helped with SD getting used to salad foods, before accepting them as part of a regular salad.

Keeping the meal styled in separate, finger food type elements might be easier than going straight for a stew etc.

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