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Kids not liking tea driving me insane.

34 replies

KindergartenKop · 01/07/2019 17:20

My children are driving me insane. Pretty much everything I cook one of them complains about it. I asked ds2 if he would eat the things I had planned for tea (rice, peas, carrots and prawns). He said yes. He's moaning about it. As is his brother.

Things they will both eat:
Spaghetti Bolognese
Chilli and wraps
Sausages (not with mash, DS2 gags at that)
Delicious freezer foods.

I don't offer an alternative meal, it's this or nothing and I've never pandered to whinges. I can't give them the above list every day, they need to eat a wide variety of foods. But I can see that this is why some children live off chicken nuggets.

Help. Send gin.

OP posts:
GarakIsMySweetheart · 01/07/2019 17:24

Just dry rice, peas, carrots and prawns?

How old are they? I meal plan for the week on a Sunday. I do it with my children so if one of them doesn't want what I'm doing or isn't going to be in, that can be factored in.

The youngest (12) does dinner one night a week and the eldest (20) does it twice. Discussing it and coming up with meals together drastically reduced meal refusal when they were younger - as did getting them involved with cooking (which also has it's own clear benefits now Wink). I never offered alternatives either.

KindergartenKop · 01/07/2019 17:42

They are 4 and 7.
I don't want to get trapped into cooking several different meals. I try to involve them eg I asked ds2 about the rice thing they are having today. He agreed he'd eat it providing it 'wasn't wet'. I find sometimes it works if I cook a few vegetable options and give ds1 broccoli and DS2 cauliflower or whatever but the fussiness has reached the point where I can't do that much any more. Additionally dh doesn't eat a particular meat so that narrows down food options again.

OP posts:
TheCrowFromBelow · 01/07/2019 17:44

my DCs liked rice, veg and prawns with with a hefty squirt of sweet chilli sauce Blush still make them noodles that way when we need a quick filling snack!
Or Can you make it more of a paella or jambalaya style meal (I am aware that your list of ingredients is not traditional for these revipes BTW) would that be acceptable?
How old are they as mine went through a bit of a Moany Picky stage, I think they could visualise what I was asking them so said yes but then didn't like what they saw when it was cooked.
They are past it now thank goodness and will try stuff.
I sort of stuck with stuff I knew they’d eat and did something else for DP and me.

TheCrowFromBelow · 01/07/2019 17:46

X post!! don’t use chilli sauce very gloopy & wet!
Would the veg and prawns work in a wrap or with a potato waffle for DS2? Or can he just eat the prawns and veg?

madcatladyforever · 01/07/2019 17:47

If they were my kids they would starve unless they ate the food I cooked. The end.

Lamentations · 01/07/2019 17:52

You're right to take the posture of 'take it or leave it'. I can usually tell what's a genuine dislike and I won't force that but I won't fanny about catering to the whim of the day. They don't starve.

GarakIsMySweetheart · 01/07/2019 17:56

I don't want to get trapped into cooking several different meals

No, definitely don't do this.

Well, if you've already discussed the meal.with them and they've accepted it, it's just a bit tough shit really (for them, of course). That's what they're having.

I used to just leave it at the table, I didnt force them to stay there until it was gone - no fuss, no drama. They invariably went back and finished it off when the desire to eat was greater than their desire to 'win'

orangeshoebox · 01/07/2019 17:59

my dc don't like tea either, they prefer coffee

CherryPavlova · 01/07/2019 18:00

Old enough to eat what’s cooked unless proper allergy. I wouldn’t give to much choice at this age. This is what’s for supper. No debate, no whingeing eat what there is. If you choose not to eat that’s fine too but no snacks.

ALemonyPea · 01/07/2019 18:02

Don't be an arse Orangeshoebox, you know what the Op means.

Milicentbystander72 · 01/07/2019 18:09

I sympathise OP.

Mine are teens now but when they were around 5 and 7 they were awful. Sometimes one of them would deliberately say they didn't like the favourite meal of the other one and vice versa.

I found it very stressful. When I tried to stick to the limited menu of meals they would both eat they reduced it further saying they didn't like something now they previously like before.
I'm afraid we had lots of tantrums, mainly from the youngest. He would go to his room to calm down often and we would finish eating. I would always say to him a variety of "just eat a bit" "eat the bits you like" etc.

I'm not sure how we got through it but we did. The eldest fussiness was cured by teenage growth spurt and liking cooking herself. Often wanting to try out recipes she'd seen on Instagram. The youngest has just gradually excepted more meals into his acceptable circle.

Things that helped us -
cub/ Scout and school camps. They have no option at all but to eat what's on offer.

Going out for dinner to 'buffet style' places for a treat where they can choose what they want. They occasionally chose something they hadn't tried before knowing if they didn't like it, they could get something else and it was more relaxed.

We do a weekly menu and they're all allowed one favourite in there. I chalk up the menu on the blackboard do they all know what we're having and when.

If will get better OP. You're doing the right things.

KindergartenKop · 01/07/2019 18:17

DS1 ate it in the end with the help of a timer (?). Next time he's said he would eat it without the prawns.
DS2 did end up being the more enthusiastic eater today and finished first.

Tomorrow it's owl sandwiches (owl face on round bread, eyes made of cucumber and olives) and a variety of fridge bits so that will be more popular.

Wednesday is chicken and olive casserole with garlic bread. They will probably cry again because they don't like chicken unless it's fried or sausaged. I will make them eat a small amount and fill them up on the bread.

Tfi Thursday and Friday, grandma feeds them and they'll eat anything she bloody makes!

OP posts:
Heratnumber7 · 01/07/2019 18:21

TBH I wouldn't be that keen on rice, peas, carrots and prawns.

What else do you cook that they reject?

Would getting them to help you make and cook the food help?

JacquesHammer · 01/07/2019 18:23

I can't give them the above list every day, they need to eat a wide variety of foods

There’s time for that. To be honest I would quite happily feed them what they wanted with one additional something to try on their plate.

Frouby · 01/07/2019 18:29

Feel your pain OP.

I have a 5 year old who would live on tuna pasta, tuna or ham sandwiches or nuggets and waffles if I let him. But he loves a sunday roast as long as no visable veg.

An almost 15 year old vegetarian who doesn't like mashed potatoes, anything mushy (though hummus and dips are fine), isn't a fan of pizza and doesn't want to eat a lot of processed veggie alternatives like quorn.

And a fussy dh who does a Mans Job and therefore requires a Mans Dinner. As long as it's not spag bol (though lasagne is acceptable), chilli and rice (though chilli with rice, guacamole, wraps, salad and grated cheese is acceptable) or salmon.

And I loosely follow slimming world. So lots of different tastes.

I leave dd to her own devices now. A couple of times a week ds has a light dinner of sandwiches and snacks like a picnic dinner. Dd pretty much lives on hummus and pita and salad and dh has learnt to either have an opinion when I ask what he wants to eat or stfu and eat it.

I don't mind cooking. It's just the deciding what to make that gets right on my nerves.

And then the sad faces when they don't fancy it. I always tell ds if he doesn't like it, that's fine. But there is nothing else except fruit and yogurt so up to him.

Likethebattle · 01/07/2019 18:31

My DH was a f still is a fussy eater. His mum tried the ‘eat it or starve technique’ 4 days later she broke first as he hadn’t eaten a thing. In desperation she took him to the GP who said ‘he’ll eat if he’s hungry enough!’ Following another standoff lasting 3 days (I actually cannot understand how he can go hungry and it doesn’t bother him, i’ve Witnessed it first hand in settings where he doesn’t like the food but is too polite to say so). So when people say ‘don’t pander’ or ‘the eat it or starve’ it doesn’t always work. It’s his mothers daft fault for being picky herself and letting him see that!

Kaykay06 · 01/07/2019 18:34

That’s an odd dinner but each to their own.

Mine have had spaghetti meatballs
All love it (4 boys) except one who has spaghetti with cheese on, boring or what! But he loves it and I’m not making an extra meal for fussy pants. He ate all of that and had a banana.

I don’t tell them what’s for dinner/or seek approval of what i might cook as it gives opportunity to say yuck/don’t want etc so they get what they are given. It does limit meals at times though. We tend to eat a lot of the same things and it’s hard cooking for 6 at times by the time I’ve cooked I can’t look at my own meal.

So vary what you cook, give more or less of something but don’t make another special meal. (I’d be there all night cooking 4 different dinners)

It’s hard going I know I’ve just sat down and can’t face the dishes quite yet....

Bluerussian · 01/07/2019 18:38

Quite honestly, I don't think I'd like rice, peas, carrots and prawns - especially not prawns which are a bit like marmite. The meal sounds insubstantial and rather bland.

The things your children do like, eg spag bol, are lovely and nutritious. You can hide veg in spag bol as you can with cottage pie and if they are cooked well, are delicious. Why try to force them to eat stuff they don't like? They'll only leave it which is silly when there are things they do like.

orangeshoebox · 01/07/2019 18:41

my dc are now older and eat anything but when they were smaller one of them disliked sauces the other asian flavours (soy sauce etc)

we cooked one meal but kept at least one part (often the carbs) very plain.

princessib · 01/07/2019 18:42

You have my sympathy. I’m afraid I never ask mine if they’d eat what I give them, I never have. They just get what I’m making - I don’t enter into a discussion that way they can’t moan! They have choices when we go out to eat, I don’t have the energy or inclination to be making different meals for everyone to be honest. I’m not horrid, I do alter recipes if they’ve said something was too spicy but that’s the extent of it.

sar302 · 01/07/2019 18:42

I'm already sick of tea time and mines only 19 months old!

I'm gluten and wheat free (medical - not by choice), also have oral allergy syndrome, so allergic to most raw fruit and veg.

My son is allergic to egg in all forms, and is on an egg, nut and seafood ban until further testing in July. Fish makes him projectile vomit (something new to tell the allergy people), and he refuses to eat any meat that isn't minced meat or sausages.

My husband thankfully eats anything.

Tea time is so much fun in our house 😂

EvaHarknessRose · 01/07/2019 18:44

I’d make two extra portions of spag bol and chilli and make each every week, then you can do
Mon spag bol
Tue sausages
Weds spag bol
Thirs picky bits
Fri chilli
Sat chilli
Sun tasty freezer meal
But on wednesday and saturday you can cook something you like for a change
Becaus you are just reheating for them.
Or you could inlclude ‘a try something new day.

InvisibleHamster · 01/07/2019 18:46

When my son was 5/6 I used to beg him 'just tell me seven meals you like and I'll make them every week!' he was very much a beige freezer food kid. His sister on the other hand doesn't like any of that and prefers chicken in sauce with rice/pasta.

However we tried maybe one new meal a week and somehow it got better over time. He now eats spag bol, chicken korma curry, roast dinner (chicken or beef), chicken/bacon stew, bacon/courgette risotto, chicken pasta bake, chicken paella (if he removes most of the veg), toad in the hole, chicken or pork sausages, jacket potatoes, chicken pie, chipotle chicken with sweet potato etc. Okay most of the above isn't that adventurous but at least it's more!

He still cries at the idea of going to a chinese though (he's 8). Something about the sauces freaks him out!

Seeline · 01/07/2019 18:46

Is DH ever forced to eat whatever meat it is he doesn't like?

RedSheep73 · 01/07/2019 18:49

All kids do this don't they? I certainly did. This week my fussy one is on residential trip so we are going to eat all the things they don't like.

And there's always some smartarse thinks it's funny to misunderstand the word 'tea', isn't there?

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