Dealing with Mealtime Drama

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 by 2 Comments
Dealing with Mealtime Drama

Cooking is not one of my favorite household chores. I don’t mind making meals for myself, but trying to please a group of people drives me crazy.

My son hates unfamiliar food and several different vegetables. My husband won’t eat seafood and has a long list of vegetables he can’t stand, although they’re not the same ones my son hates. I have digestive issues that prevent me from eating several things that used to be family favorites.

I hate the thought of having to make three separate meals three times per day, but finding recipes that make everyone happy seems like an impossible task.

To make things even more complicated, it seems like most of the meals that please everyone are the least healthy options. My husband and I both need to lose weight this year. My son is thin as a rail, but I suspect his great metabolism won’t last forever and I would like him to develop better eating habits while he’s still young.

I’ve looked through several different cookbooks and food blogs for ideas, but many of the recipes that look like they might be winners have ingredients that are impossible to find in my rural community or too expensive for our limited budget.

If there are any food writers reading this post, a “Cheap Food for Picky Eaters” cookbook is sorely needed!

How do you handle cooking for your family? Do you make separate meals to accommodate different preferences or do you simply require everyone to eat what is served? If your kids hate trying new recipes, do you have any tricks to make them more open minded?

Photo credit: Seeman via morgueFile

Posted in: Food
Dana Hinders

Dana Hinders lives in Iowa with her husband and son. She has been a freelance writer since shortly after earning her degree in journalism from The University of Iowa in 2003. She writes extensively about parenting, crafts, and creative ways to save money. Visit her at

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  • Audrey

    We only do one meal. There is usually at least one thing on the plate our 3 year old recognizes and likes. The other items he is required to taste a few bites of before he gets seconds of anything else. We travel and dine at other people’s houses. I always thought it was rude and impractical/impossible to make special meals so we made a point of not starting that habit at home. I recently read French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon. You might check it out. Not so much for the recipes (there are only a few) but for the guidelines. Good Luck!

  • Julie C.

    Ugh, I hear ya, Dana! I am no culinary genius nor do I enjoy poring over recipes to find something for dinner. Let me know when you find that “Cheap & Picky” cookbook! ;)

    I do try to modify the main protein for our dinner to suit everyone. So a plain chicken with pasta for my son, but hot curry added to it with sauted veggies for my husband.