How many people do you cook for? Can it be hard sometimes with picky kids?
I cook for my husband, myself and our three girls. What’s it like cooking for five?
For the most part, it’s not that difficult. I cook meals that my husband and I enjoy. I’ll then base those meals for what I’m making my girls. But there are times my girls won’t eat certain things. Even after I’ve tried really hard. And of course each kids is different when it comes to what they like or don’t like.
When it comes to soups, Katie won’t eat it, Sophia will eat some, and Elizabeth loves soup. And as far as salads, Elizabeth will eat some of mine, but Katie and Sophia won’t.
So when it comes to cooking dinner, I’ve come up with six guidelines that have helped me when dealing with picky eaters.
6 Guidelines When Cooking Dinner with Kids
1. Use the ingredients in a meal in the same or similar way. If I’m making a chicken stir fry, I’ll cook my girls chicken on the side, along with a vegetable, such as raw carrots or sugar snap peas. Plus I’ll add a third item, such as fruit, nuts, chips, etc. It makes preparing dinner much easier. In the example below, I made orange chicken, which I gave them. Instead of adding the cooked orange on their chicken, I gave my girls clementine oranges.
2. Add fruit or vegetable you know your kids will eat. I’ll add an extra item to their plate along with the vegetable my husband and I are eating. Sometimes I’ll even add a fruit yogurt pouch to have with their meal. In the example below, I gave my girls diced sweet potatoes with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top along with some grapes.
3. Have to at least take several bites of each food. There are some food that my girls don’t care for. I ask that they take several bites. Hopefully eventually they will end up liking that food item. I’ll give them a smaller amount and try to get them to eat most of it. For example, Katie doesn’t care for rice, so I’ll give her a small amount and she’ll eat most of it even though she doesn’t like it very well.
4. Dip food in ketchup. I’ll let my kids dip their meat in ketchup. I’m happy as long as they eat the meat. Katie loves dipping her chicken and pork chops in ketchup. Elizabeth has also started to like ketchup as well and has asked for it on her plate.
5. Leave sauce off the meat. If there is a sauce that they won’t like, I season the meat with salt and pepper. In the example below, I seasoned the pork chops with salt and pepper and cooked the sauce in a separate sauce pan.
6. Make plain noodles with butter parmesan sauce. I melt butter in a sauce pan and add salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. My girls do love spaghetti sauce, but there are some meals where the sauce is spicier or the noodles are in soup, such as a tortellini soup.
What sort of guidelines for meals help you when you’re preparing and eating dinner?
This post is part of a post series called Meals in the Kitchen, which is on the subject of food. I’ll talk about my love for food to sharing recipes that I love cooking to food tips.