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To think dinner time should not be this difficult

51 replies

Dadistired1 · 01/09/2015 11:34

I have a large family of 6, I have 4 teenagers (two step dc) and 2 younger children.

So my wife cooks for the younger dc, i cook for the teenagers. Dsd is vegan and so usually requires a different meal, dss is very fussy and does not eat red meat or refined carbs so requires a different meal. On mondays, wednesday and fridays some of the dsc do sports in the evenings which require a meal to be heated up. I find myself on an average night cooking from 6:30 to 8:30.

Sorry if this comes across as a big moan.

OP posts:

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream · 01/09/2015 11:42

Bollocks to all that! Either you OR your wife should cook for 6, including one vegan meal- everyone has it. If someone is out, theirs gets plated up and heated up by themselves later.


InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream · 01/09/2015 11:45

Also the fussy one and the vegan one could have some batch- cooked meals waiting in the freezer to save cooking separately for them


PHANTOMnamechanger · 01/09/2015 11:49

The only real issue I can see here is that the younger ones need to eat earlier than everyone else, which is fine, but I never have understood why families cook twice? DH always used to have his dinner, the same food as the kids and I had already eaten, microwaved when he got home.

everyone can eat the vegan food. or if the teens dont like what is on offer, they can cook for themselves. my 13 and 15 DDs each cook a meal for everyone once a fortnight, despite being busy with homework and afterschool activities. It's good for them! and they enjoy it too.

also, always cook more than you need for a meal and freeze spare portions, so there is always something else available for the fussy ones, or in an emergency.


MythicalKings · 01/09/2015 11:51

Fussy one and vegan cook for themselves if they don't want what everyone else is having. Life's far too short for separate meals.


Ginkypig · 01/09/2015 11:53

Also if they are old enough and in my opinion teens are! They should be helping to prepare the meals with a view to the older ones eventually cooking for them selves or at least helping with the batch cooking so they have meals to make for themselves from the freezer.

I don't just mean the different diet children I mean all the children. Who are old enough to help!

I cooked for myself and two sisters (while also looking after them both myself) from the age of about 14


Dadistired1 · 01/09/2015 11:57

The younger dc have a much earlier bedtime, 7:30 we usually eat at that time so they do have to eat earlier.

I don't know if the dsd and dss can cook.

OP posts:

BrieAndChilli · 01/09/2015 11:57

Cook one meal, with adaptations for the fussy eaters. People eat and heat up when they get in.

Bolognaise. Have some veggie bolagnaise portioned up and in the freezer to use as needed.

Pasta bake, with sausages/veggie sausages

So essentially the same meal for everyone with reasonable adjustments. Teenagers are more than capable of heating up a meal.


00100001 · 01/09/2015 11:57


Cook one meal at serve it at a set time.

Late joiners re-heat.

job done


Ginkypig · 01/09/2015 11:57

Echo phantoms words too.

Food and cooking should be a family affair so everyone should be involved. It. Teaches the children valuable lessons for when the leave home


00100001 · 01/09/2015 11:58

"I don't know if the dsd and dss can cook."



0x530x610x750x630x79 · 01/09/2015 11:58

at 14 mum had to get a full time job i became our family cook, 14 is not to young to be cooking.

With reference to everyone eating vegan I wouldn't be happy with that every day.
So 2-3 times a week make everyone a vegan rice dish, and get the vegan to batch cook themself alternatives for the carnie nights.


BrieAndChilli · 01/09/2015 11:59

My children are 4,7 and 8 and Sunday my 7 year old was on cooking 'duty' so helped me peel and chop veg for the roast and mixed up the stuffing. The 8 year old had to lay the table and get out sauces etc


0x530x610x750x630x79 · 01/09/2015 12:00


they couldn't make one pasta bake with 2 types of suasgaes it would need to be 2 pasta bakes, and just don't put any sausages in the vegan one.


PHANTOMnamechanger · 01/09/2015 12:04

Teen DCs need to be taught how to cook or they will never be able to fend for themselves!

DD is 13 and has been able to cook a full lasagne, enough for 8 portions/ 2 days, for over a year. mince, garlic, onion, mushrooms, peppers, courgettes, celery, tinned tomatoes and tomato puree. she makes the white sauce herself too and is able to judge quantities etc without ever weighing anything and the finished product is better than the majority of pub lasagnes. other DD makes a mean veggie risotto.

surely they have done some food tech at school?


swimmerforlife · 01/09/2015 12:05

Surely a teenager can at least heat up their own meal if they have sports? I would also get them to help with food preparation so it's quicker.

Vegan and fussy eaters should make their own meal (maybe have one family meal per week that is vegan) if they don't like what everyone else is having.


ohtheholidays · 01/09/2015 12:14

Were a family of 7,either DH or I cook for us all.

We make one meal usually,sometimes we have to do 2 meals or 1 meal and a slightly different variation of that meal.We have to do this because one of our children that is autistic has some food issues.

It never takes 2 hours of cooking,that must be exhausting.I agree with other posters if DSD is old enough let her start cooking her own dinner.

Everyone else,cook it all at the same time.Anyone that's not there gets to heat they're dinner up later on.


SpaggyBollocks · 01/09/2015 12:14

I think vegans and fussers should cook for themselves.


mabythesea · 01/09/2015 12:18

I would cook one meal for everyone, serve at 7.30pm. Save two small portions to be reheated for the toddlers the next evening.

Fussy teenagers can sort themselves out.


lorelei9 · 01/09/2015 12:23

how old are the teens? They can cook, surely - why don't they do their own?

If you want to cook a meal for everyone, everyone can eat the vegan food, that could be a base dish with extras added on. Make enough to last a few days and/or reheat for those with different times.


lorelei9 · 01/09/2015 12:24

cooking for 2 hours every night is a total waste of time, you are not moaning at all. Something else you could do is batch cook - have several pots on the go - having commandeered help for prep - freeze as much as you can fit in the freezer.


Mistigri · 01/09/2015 12:25

The fussy and vegan teenagers need to learn to cook.

My daughter is semi-vegetarian - she eats fish because we pushed her to agree to this in order to facilitate family meals. Most of the time we all eat the same, although occasionally DD and I will have a veggie or vegan meal such as felafel while DH and DS have a burger or a chicken fillet. DD regularly helps with the cooking.

Incidentally, I make felafel in batches and freeze them with grease proof paper between so DD can take a couple out and cook them for herself. I also usually have a vegetarian ready meal or two in the freezer that she can heat up. She is 14 btw and has been cooking full meals for herself since she became a veggie about 18 months ago.


AuntyMag10 · 01/09/2015 12:26

The vegan and fusspot should sort their own food out. With feeding 8 people , it's ridiculous to be pandering to each and every whim.


DoreenLethal · 01/09/2015 12:27

Just cook food the whole family can eat. It's not hard!


BoffinMum · 01/09/2015 12:30

Your offspring seem to think you are running a restaurant.

You are not.

Cook one simple thing in two versions - vegan and non-vegan. Eg Lentil stew and lentil stew with bacon added. They eat that or starve.



SpaggyBollocks · 01/09/2015 12:31

veganism is very restrictive so probably not possible to cook one meal everyone can eat every day of the week.

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