The Family Dinner Routine

Family dinners bring me joy every day.  I try to expose my children to many different kinds of healthy cuisine and they are always so open to the new adventure.  I enjoy spending at least an hour cooking and then watching them devour my hard work with great appreciation and love.

Alright, I’m kidding.  But, I wish I wasn’t.  My kids are the least adventurous people out there when it comes to food.  If it isn’t quesadillas, mac and cheese, grilled cheese or pizza there is a lot of complaining at the house.  About a year ago, I finally put my foot down and started cooking different things for the family.  I stopped caring whether they complained and didn’t force them to eat what I made.  But, I didn’t make them an alternative dinner.  If they didn’t eat it, they didn’t eat.

So this is now a typical evening for our family.  Either Matt or myself starts to make the dinner depending on who gets home first.  The children start to smell food.  They begin to wander into the kitchen and question what’s for dinner.  They peruse the ingredients and start the negotiation.  “Can you not put this in mine?”  We ignore them and tell them to go play or do homework.  They wander in again and start to question, “What exactly is this?”  They eventually wait for the call that it’s dinner time.

As we sit down for dinner, the negotiations continue.  The first question – “How much do I have to eat?”  Grace usually starts to dissect the food with her fork, pulling out anything suspicious (e.g. healthy).  She is meticulous and quiet as she plans her attack.  Cate is much less subtle.  She also picks at her food, but usually takes a bite quickly and then makes her obligatory gagging sounds and she swallows.  Patrick won’t touch anything and will try to change the subject with this by asking, “So, how was your day?” and then flashing his charming smile.  The other night I thought there was some hope when I heard Cate say, “This isn’t bad.”  Finally!!  But, then she quickly followed up with, “If you fill your mouth with bread before you take a bite, you can’t taste it at all!”  Awesome :/

I’m not so discouraged that I’m going to stop trying.  Some days we have surprising hits, and that’s when I get a glimmer of hope.  I created a recipe section on this blog and will post meals that the kids liked.  if you have suggestions, I will be happy to try them and post (I will give you credit).

Here’s what I’ve got so far:

One Response to “The Family Dinner Routine”

  1. Danielle says:

    This all sounds so familiar. I love that gagging noise at dinner, it sends me through the roof.

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