The dinnertime blues

Today I made a pasta bake for dinner. Tomato, cheese and child-friendly pasta bows with a side of garlic bread. Nothing fancy or inoffensive (or so I had hoped).

My five-year-old took one look at it and declared: “I don’t want you to make it ever again”.

And as much as I tried to stay positive and smile inside I was screaming: “Just eat your dinner, please!”.

The dinnertime battles are becoming a familiar scene in our home. Before Christmas we had fallen into a routine of eating the same set meals as, admittedly, I just couldn’t face the teatime showdowns.

But I started the year determined to mix things up and to try new meals. (Not that I’d consider a pasta bake a culinary adventure).

I’ve dug out the slow cooker and made more from scratch only to be greeted with disdain by the children who’d rather eat waffles and fish fingers. I have had many plates pushed away with a sneer only to be asked for a dessert two minutes later.

It’s exhausting but I want to stick to my plan. I don’t want us to be making different meals for everyone. I want us to sit together around our dining room table and share a meal and our stories from the day. And I want our children to grow up enjoying a variety of foods. 

I’ll just need patience and determination to get there.
Now, who’s helping me with the dishes?

What are your tips for family friendly dinners? What are your fail safe recipes? I’d love to know.

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7 thoughts on “The dinnertime blues

  1. We always had “special meal Saturday” they got to chose what they wanted, chicken, nuggets, waffles, chips, whatever and we would have a later grown up meal. Candles, starter, the works. The children meals were usually really fast and easy ( they always wanted rubbish fast food) and we could have time together over a meal that would be wasted on the children (lobster, steak etc). We still do it now although my children are all grown up and left home many years ago

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  2. I’m lucky that for now my son eats most things we do. There are days he eats loads and others he barely touches dinner. I try accommodate all our tastes but sometimes I can’t. I just hope he eats as well at 5 as he does now.
    Fail safe recipes include lasagna, spaghetti bolognaise and shepherds pie in our house and gell generally wolf down roast chicken. It’s hit and miss with other meals depending on his mood.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It can be so tough when meal time is a battle. I feel your pain! My kids never used to be fussy – but things have changed since they started school and now it’s “I hate this”, “It’s disgusting” “please don’t make me eat it” about things I know they used to love eating. We plan our meals for the start of the week and then everyone gets to choose one (healthy) meal for the week and then Friday is always a treat-style tea – pizza, fajitas, hot dogs or something similar. That seems to help. I have also found the less fuss I make when they complain, the more likely they are to actually start eating it. I agree with you on sticking to your guns. I think family meals are important. My children know that if they don’t eat it, there is nothing else. Good luck!! x

    Liked by 1 person

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