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Do you cook several different meals for one sitting to suit everyone?

(53 Posts)
WhyNotSmile Sun 15-Feb-15 18:44:43

I grew up in a family where the dinner options were the good old "Take it or leave it". There were one or two things my sister or I couldn't stomach, and Mum wouldn't make those unless one of us wasn't there, but by and large we were expected to eat what was put in front of us, whether we particularly liked it or not. We didn't have to clear our plates, but nor were we allowed to turn our noses up at anything. We're both pretty good eaters now; neither of us is fussy and we will both give most foods a try.

I remember being surprised to hear from friends that their mums would cook two or three different meals each evening so that everyone could have something they liked. Sometimes these would be totally different meals - lasagne for one, say, and pie with chips for someone else etc. Most of these people seemed to be really picky eaters even as adults.

Is this something that people do? Do you com a different meal for each person? Does it lead to picky eaters? Or is it that a child is picky and it's less hassle to cook different meals? Or is it just a coincidence that the people I've known who had this are picky eaters?

I don't think I would ever bother cooking separate food for different people (except in the case of allergies/vegetarian etc). I would expect DS to eat what was put down, more or less. Am I being harsh?

PestoSnowissimos Sun 15-Feb-15 18:46:57

Yes I do. Tonight for instance, DD2 had chicken fillet & veg, DD1 had a jacket potato with cheese & baked beans and I made myself an aubergine bake.

Izzy24 Sun 15-Feb-15 18:47:39


I wouldn't do it.

nettie Sun 15-Feb-15 18:48:22

Rarely make a completely different meal, but will do adaptation of the meal if someone genuinely dislikes something.

SpottyTeacakes Sun 15-Feb-15 18:50:34

No. I might do pasta instead of rice or baked potato but that's about it. Or she might just have toast instead of the main meal but she has school lunches.

Rivercam Sun 15-Feb-15 18:52:03

We generally all eat the same. Occasionally I will cook a different 'meat' but the potatoes and veg stay the same. Eg chicken nuggets for youngest son, if cooking fish which he hates ( I know that's not meat!).

Thurlow Sun 15-Feb-15 18:53:38

Not really, no. There might be tiny changes - say DP and me will have salad with the main, and young DC will have veg, or very occasionally we (adults) are having something we know DD won't eat so we make her something else at the same time. But that's happening less as she gets older.

I can't imagine willingly doing that all the time. Adapting it a little if someone hates something is one thing, cooking completely separate meals is a bit ridiculous unless there is some drastic reason for it.

ElizaPickford Sun 15-Feb-15 18:57:16

I like to think I don't, but I basically do. Tonight there's been 3 ^ slightly ^ different variations, everyone got mash and peas but DH and I had one kind of pie, DS2 had another and DS1 had something totally different. hmm Does my nut.

readyforno2 Sun 15-Feb-15 19:01:28

I'm low carbing. So at the moment I cook for the dc and then do something completely different for myself.
Sometimes we eat together, sometimes not.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 15-Feb-15 19:02:57

No, its take it or leave it.
We eat together unless there is someone missing.

MerryMarigold Sun 15-Feb-15 19:05:51

Occasionally (maybe every couple of weeks), the kids have fish fingers/ chips and we have a nice Thai curry. Or I give ds1 some leftovers (he's very picky) whilst we have something more adventurous. I would never cook 2 meals - so it only happens with leftovers or frozen food.

Stillwishihadabs Sun 15-Feb-15 19:09:59

No not really. Dd is veggie so will have vegetarian sausages when the rest of us have sausages or roast. That's a maximum of twice a week. Otherwise take it or leave it here.

LineRunner Sun 15-Feb-15 19:10:59

It's tricky.

The last two Saturdays I have ended up cooking for 7, so did a variety of dishes, ie Chinese one night, Indian curries the next weekend, with rice / salads / etc.

People just help themselves. If someone refuses to eat, tough.

TheOneWiththeNicestSmile Sun 15-Feb-15 19:12:48

not generally. DC4 went through a terrible picky eater stage, & survived on almost nothing but plain cheese pizzas for a long time but otherwise, until they all got older & started being in & out at different times, everybody had the same.

(DC4 is still picky about some things & if we have eg shepherds pie - he literally can't eat mash, he'd be sick - he'll have a pizza.)

TheOneWiththeNicestSmile Sun 15-Feb-15 19:13:04

not generally. DC4 went through a terrible picky eater stage, & survived on almost nothing but plain cheese pizzas for a long time but otherwise, until they all got older & started being in & out at different times, everybody had the same.

(DC4 is still picky about some things & if we have eg shepherds pie - he literally can't eat mash, he'd be sick - he'll have a pizza.)

TheOneWiththeNicestSmile Sun 15-Feb-15 19:13:28

apols for double post. it wasn't there when I checked blush

ginmakesitallok Sun 15-Feb-15 19:13:32

The only time we east different things is when dp and I have a curry. Dp is veggie so generally dc and I eat a different main to him, but well have the same rice/potatoes/veg etc.

NoStrange Sun 15-Feb-15 19:14:05

Mon-Fri I cook for the kids at 5.30 and then either I or DH cook something different for ourselves about yes, I guess I do!

At weekends we all eat together and its basically 'what me/DH have cooked or nothing', but I dont cook things I KNOW the kids will hate, and sometimes make variations of what we are having to suit fussy DS (so a mild batch of curry alongside the spicier one for me, DH and DD etc).

My mum never went in for 'you have to eat liver/tripe/grim shit' or 'you must clean your plate' school of thought when we were kids and while I don't agree with pandering to every whim of fussy kids (and my DS is pretty fussy!), I hate to see someone faced with food they find repulsive. Whats the point? Food should be enjoyed.

HearMyRoar Sun 15-Feb-15 19:14:23

Goodness no! I quite enjoy cooking but not enough to want to cook multiple meals for different people.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 15-Feb-15 19:18:33

Sometimes. Between DH working long hours and DS activities, we only really eat dinner as a family 3/4 times a week. So I cook things we'll all eat, but with adaptations - eg last week I did a sort of Spanish-y chicken, with olives and chorizo for me and DH, but as ds doesn't like those things I did a separate pan leaving them out.

The nights when we eat separately I make very simple meals for ds - pasta, French toast, etc.

SpottyTeacakes Sun 15-Feb-15 19:18:58

I agree that I wouldn't put something in front on my dc that I knew they didn't like.

waitingowaiting Sun 15-Feb-15 19:21:48

I do but then we have one veggie, one omnivore and one with a dodgy tum. So not fussy eaters, just dietary differences, and I overlap where I can.

I have been known to make 4 different mains for 3 people. I was very confused when I put it all on the table.

Pancakeflipper Sun 15-Feb-15 19:27:16

The odd meal I may adapt as DS2 has food allergies/intolerances. But we tend to eat the same.

Though DS1 doesn't like salmon much so he just gets a small helping of that with chicken/ham/cheese/whatever is in the fridge.

I did a chicken dish the other day and put aside a portion for the children whilst I went heavy with the hot spices for DP and myself.

And DP hates pasta so I will do him rice whilst the rest have pasta.

Ummm - so I think I adapt more than I realised. But I couldn't do totally different meals. I lose track of timings easily enough as it is. I would either burn everything or kill us off one by one by not cooking it properly.

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 15-Feb-15 19:28:50

Not usually no

slight adaptation maybe, like keeping something plain for dd2 if I know she doesn't like the sauce or taking kids out befire I add extra spices but we mostly eat all the same things.

The only time we don't is when we have one of those days. the days where we are all tired. no one fancies what's actually been made for dinner (just keep for next day) and kids pick something. One might ask for a tuna sandwich the other some scrambled egg and ill eat later if I feel like it.

AShiningTiger Sun 15-Feb-15 19:29:08

No way.

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