So, I’m looking through the myriad blogs and websites dedicated to family meals. One website included ‘Lemony Chicken with Fennel and Tomatoes’ and ‘Pasta al Limone’ and ‘Simple Ribollita’ and ‘Warm Chickpea Bowls with Lemony Yogurt’ and (here’s the topper) ‘Kimchi Udon with Scallions’. The suggestions go on and on and on …..
This website is touted to ‘bust weeknight dinner stress’ with their meals. Well, in my observations of children and eating over many years, your stress has just started if you are going to try serving these recommended ‘family meals’. Com’on … what do kids really like?!
They like wieners, bread, mac and cheese, tocos, burgers (some with or without the bun), cup of soup, potatoes (usually fries), some forms of chicken (like nuggets or strips), maybe fish sticks, and then you’re into individual tastes, which, with children, is as diverse, unpredictable and changeable on a daily (and sometime hourly) basis. Many kids actually like vegetables … if they’re raw and come with a three cheese Ranch dip.
The message here it to pick your meals and your battles strategically and, as long as what you’re serving has some nutritional merit, do the easiest thing in terms of kids liking and eating your meal. Don’t try to be the nutritional hero of the decade by ensuring that every meal contains every ‘food group’. Just focus on ensuring that, over the course of a few days, your kids encounter (and maybe actually eat) every food group.
I’m not advocating that you give in to your children’s every whim and unreasonable demand when it comes to ‘easy meals’. You do have to ensure that they stay healthy. But, I am advocating de-stressing meals by predicting what your kids will like and eat and spend your time enjoying their company during the meal rather than fighting with them to “eat three more bites of everything or you won’t get dessert”.
I’m sure you’ll have some comments and opinions about ‘family meals’. If you want a more informal posting opportunity, please click here to go to the readers forum that deals with Families.
On the other hand, if you have your own personal story about family mealtimes, please write your own post below. All posts will be read and if they provide interesting information and ideas for other participants, I will post them as one of the posts in my Blog (with your permission) and you will get full credit.