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Losing the will to live over meal planning

(18 Posts)
Hippee Sat 17-Feb-18 21:44:23

I have 3 DC. DS1 is an adventurous eater and will try anything (I get him sushi as a treat). DS2 is incredibly fussy. If he had his way he would only eat meat and 2 veg. DD is somewhere between the two. DS1 is getting fed up with the limited meals that I now cook (gave up trying to get DS2 to eat certain things after too many meals lasting 2 hours before he would even try a mouthful). DS2 won't eat cheese/creamy sauce, salad, spicy food or rice, amongst other things. At the moment, our menu includes roast dinners; shepherd's pie; salmon steaks; pizza; stew; meatballs; spag bol/lasagne; toad-in-the-hole; tuna pasta bake (not popular); baked potatoes (not popular). I am so bored, uninspired and discouraged with cooking. I would also like to cut down on our meat consumption. Any top tips/recipes gratefully received!

OP’s posts: |
Mymouthgetsmeintrouble Sat 17-Feb-18 21:51:06

Do a couple of side dishes to the more adventurous stuff and make enough for there to be leftovers the next day so if for example day one you do lasagne , sweetcorn , garlic bread and cucumber then day two chickpea curry with rice and flatbread then your fussy child can mix and match leftovers from the day before with things he likes from that days meal , you could start cutting down meat by doing meat free monday i also only buy veggie sausages and burgers for the freezer now

Ricekrispie22 Sun 18-Feb-18 09:32:21

Will your son eat egg? If he does you could do a frittata.
This is a simple inoffensive couscous dish. It's equally delicious with chickpeas instead of chicken. www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2363/lemony-roast-chicken-couscous
This is my DS's favourite meal at the moment www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/235604/honey-and-sesame-beef-noodles
I also make bean burgers with red kidney beans, spring onions, breadcrumbs, egg and a little bit of mild chilli powder. They're not too spicy.

BrownTurkey Sun 18-Feb-18 09:55:22

With baked potatoes, I often do choice of fillings, so tuna mayo, baked beans, cheese and soft cheese for example (or leftover bean chilli). Also often do 2 chicken breasts and 2 salmon fillets which we mix and match share (one non fish lover here, but even he has started having some - its dh 😬). What about cheesy wedges as a change from baked potatoes? And my non pasta lover has bread with meatballs.

But honestly, meal planning is just soul destroying. When i used to do it regularly I would often have to slip in a super easy week which involved all easy options.

Ricekrispie22 Sun 18-Feb-18 10:54:40

This recipe for smoky beans on toast www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/smoky-beans-toast
And this tomato gnocchi bake is scrummy www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/7192/gnocchi-and-tomato-bake
Herby fishcakes, butter bean casserole and BBQ pulled pork sliders go down well in my house too.

Hippee Sun 18-Feb-18 12:11:01

Love fritatta, but he will only eat eggs boiled! With baked potatoes he will only eat cheese (and baked beans if I insist) - the rest of us have tuna, coleslaw, curry and/or chilli. Will try the beef stir fry though and burgers - I do make my own burgers, but will try a new recipe. He will look with suspicion at the non-standard baked beans, but I think the others would like them. He does like lemon chicken though - we do a similar recipe. Thanks everyone, for the ideas so far. I must remember to try all the recipes with quorn mince too - and I have heard that Linda McCartney meatballs are nice.

OP’s posts: |
FeedtheTree Sun 18-Feb-18 12:19:06

DS2 was very fussy with food for years (isn't now - he's the most adventurous!) We got into a rut, but ended up doing more dinners where you choose what you want to eat. Wraps or tortilla cases with spiced shredded chicken, guacamole, salads and grated cheese. If he just wants to cheese and sweetcorn, that's fine. The others can have paprika chicken and guac.
You could do chicken legs marinated in tikka spices and yoghurt, baked in the oven and bake some plain ones along side them for him.
You could try new and exciting recipes with DS1 once a week and have beans on toast as a standby for him.
If he likes boiled egg, try frittata. Don't tell him it's egg, maybe. Just say it's called frittata and see how he gets on with it.
Home made burgers are great because you can make his plain, then add spices, garlic, chopped peppers or fennel etc into the mix for everyone else.

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Sun 18-Feb-18 12:22:53

Think about offering a straightforward option when you all have rice- eg jacket potato. One of our DCs doesn’t like pasta so I just do a handful of rice for him instead when we have bolognese or similar.

ivykaty44 Sun 18-Feb-18 12:35:59

Why are meals lasting two hours? If he doesn’t want to eat then he leaves it, it’s not going to hurt if he misses the odd meal. You can have your favourite food every night, so if he won’t try then he’ll be a bit hungry

We have chickpea curry with spinach and sweet potato, yogurt on table to make it less hot for some tastes.

Laska home made is delicious www.sainsburysmagazine.co.uk/recipes/mains/singapore-style-prawn-laksa give you’re other dc simple noodles

I make Delilah’s cottage pie but swap mince meat for tinned lentils and mash sweet potato

Can you get your middle child to help with cooking?

Can you put up three cookery books and ask each child to pick a meal they wish to have the following week - but the idea is they get a choice as part of this they at least try and eat the other choices - fairs fair

Hippee Sun 18-Feb-18 15:02:44

I have tried growing and cooking with all three children - whatever I try with DS2 hasn't worked. He is happy to grow strawberries, pick fruit and veg, but not eat them - likewise with cooking.

He doesn't sit for 2 hours - he misses meals and then asks for something else 2 hours later - and we used to insist that he then try the thing he'd refused to eat before he could have something different. He's 9 now - I was just trying to get across that I haven't always pandered to his fussiness - just that now any pleasure I ever had in cooking is destroyed when I have one person who regularly will not eat what I make.

OP’s posts: |
Slightlyperturbedowlagain Sun 18-Feb-18 16:23:58

I’m not convinced that with some children all this cooking together etc makes any difference. Our eldest has very specific very consistent food dislikes, and will avoid them to the point that he would actually prefer to go hungry. As he actually does like plenty of healthy food we have worked around it by providing him with an equal alternative if we wanted something different and encouraging him to try, with no pressure, the other things. Any sign of a possible like and we work it into the menu weekly as one thing on his plate amongst many things he likes for a few months until habituated, and have had some limited success with this approach. He is 12 now and has got gradually slightly better. Weirdly as he is the eldest I did all the ‘right’ things with him when he was a toddler, whereas with my second not so much due to time juggling etc, yet younger DS has a massively wider range of food he happily eats confused I honestly just think some children find some tastes and textures much more challenging than others.

StealthPolarBear Sun 18-Feb-18 16:26:06

Not rtft yet but oh god me too

Hippee Mon 19-Feb-18 22:49:29

Major victory tonight - had some roast pork left from Sunday and made this: www.thespruce.com/making-the-most-of-leftovers-stroganoff-912985. Everyone ate it!!!! DS2 didn't spot the mushrooms, or we might have not been so lucky grin

OP’s posts: |
kateandme Tue 20-Feb-18 02:53:52

could you now work on the look to similar or tastes from this dish
so some creamy chicken and pasta/noodles.
chicken mushrrom and bacon creamie dish
what about a lasagne with similar chicken
what bout the fish/salom or cod with a white wine garlic onion and taglietelle.
if you gave your ds some dosh and daid I need your help with tea tonight could you choose,and cook for us.would this help.empower or give him a satisfaction do you think.
I remember when my fussy bro ha this done by mum.he felt all grown up and came back from the isles with lamb chops and potatos and broccoli.stacked it all nice on plate with garlicy cubed potatos,brocoli and chops with a smear(cheffy) of mint sauce and gravy! from then in there was no stopping him.

kateandme Tue 20-Feb-18 02:55:02

what about too this base with a pie crust or in pasties?
if he liked the noodles what about stiry frys.sweet and sour pork with noodles.

DeliveredByKiki Thu 22-Feb-18 07:28:43

I feel your pain and some weeks just say sod it and cook what I want for me, DH and DS, put a small amount on a plate for DD in the hopes she’ll try it and fill the rest of her plate with pasta pesto

Wh0KnowsWhereTheT1meG0es Thu 22-Feb-18 07:36:32

Similar here, plus we all go out to sports and activities after dinner most nights so not much time for cooking. One DC won't eat potatoes or any bland food, the other won't eat spicy food. We are gradually broadening things and do a lot of leftovers for one person, cooking and shopping together, meals with options but I do feel your pain, it has taken the joy out of cooking for me.

Situp Thu 22-Feb-18 07:44:51

Hey OP, I was an unbelievably fussy child with food and I know I didn't do it to be difficult. I really wanted to like what was being served but it was almost phobic that I couldn't put them in my mouth. I eventually grew out of a lot of it but not until my 20s.

Now DS is the same at age 7.
I make adventurous things but make sure he has a safe option within the meal. So if I make fajhitas, he has the flatbread with a bit of cheese and ham. It had taken the pressure off him and made him more willing to try things.

We are also trying to cut on meat and I find that packing things I already cook with more veg is more successful than making brand new dishes where DS1 is concerned.

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