Easy Menus for Kids-Don’t Be a Short Order Cook!

Hi everyone. A comment from a reader demonstrated how frustrating it is to deal with kids in the same family who have different tastes and who are mostly picky.

Stop being a short order cook!

I have a few suggestions. One is that you do NOT make several meals. I learned this very late in my parenting career. Try to have your kids agree on just a few dishes that they ALL like and serve them Monday through Friday, every week. It sounds very retro to serve meatloaf on Tuesdays, every Tuesday, but it works! Kids need and want structure and they will probably respond well to this .

I created a menu for my kids and here it is (note that they eat NO vegetables but broccoli but it’s a good vegetable):

Monday, Breakfast for dinner night: Eggs, whole wheat toast, brocolli, turkey bacon
Tuesday: Whole wheat quesadillas with lowfat cheese and broccoli
Wednesday: Mac and cheese or whole wheat pasta with melted cheese on it, broccoli
Thursday: Homemade chicken nuggets in the oven but even fried is better than store bought nuggets, broccoli
Friday: Pizza night. Sometimes we order in from a whole wheat pizza place and sometimes we make english muffin pizzas with whole grain english muffins.

Weekends are not as structured but they MUST eat broccoli.

I also recommend just serving adult food and letting them wait until they are so hungry that they will eat it. Of course we all know that if we didn’t start out like that with them as babies, they will give us a hard time. Mine do.

Most of all, please remember that 30 years ago, there was no such thing as chicken nuggets and kids always ate adult food. They WILL eat if they get hungry enough but it is a pain to hear the tantrums and see your kids not eat. Be strong!

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2 comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    You’ll be very proud of me (at least I am) — I’ve cooked every night this week, except for last night, when I was out w/ friends, my husband played basketball, and my kids ate pasta (whole wheat, at least) and some other random leftovers. Anyway, you really have inspired me… of course, it’s only week one, but I have thought about what I want to make in the morning, so at least I have the day to deal w/ it (prep work during a conference call one day, and while helping the girls w/ homework another). Thanks so much for advice and recipes — keep ’em coming!

  2. YES! Alma, I also follow a regimen when it comes to weekly meals. Not quite so structured as yours, but basically, we have one meat, one tofu, one chicken nuggets, one chicken, and two fish meals. The 7th night is leftovers of some kind usually. I am getting better at it all the time. Time is the operative word here, as it took me till my kids were 7 and 4 to feel as if I had any kind of mastery over this dinner thing. Really. I so appreciate your website and blog because it hits the nail on the head for most of us “modern” women: we have been raised to shun our domestic sides in favor of careers, etc. Now that we are mature women with families, we realize we have little or no connection with that part of our selves. I see this all the time with breastfeeding, as I am a lactation counselor and cofounder of the only nonprofit founded to make breastfeeding as mainstream as motherhood itself, called Babes for Breastfeeding, http://www.bestforbabes.com. The intergenerational circle of women, and the support and information they gave one another regarding breastfeeding, has been shattered. Successful nursing requires relearning an intuitive behavior that has lay dormant for generations and this requires role models, coaching, preparation, lots of support, patience and commitment. These are the very things you are offering women with this site. It really does take a village, and women are so much more powerful and successful when they turn to one another to help each other. Thanks for being so brilliant!

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