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sanity
favorite dish
chicken nuggets
mommy and daddy
flavors
what to make for dinner
Cooking For Kids – Save Your Sanity And Your Money
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Cooking For Kids – Save Your Sanity And Your Money

Cooking for kids is nothing like cooking for adults. Most adults are more open to trying new dishes and flavors. Kids are picky, picky, picky. One sure thing is that if a kids likes a dish, they REALLY like the dish and want it all the time. One battle I am always having is how to make something for my husband and I that we like, but then not have to make a completely different dish that the kids will eat (they usually don’t like Mommy and Daddy’s dinner). We also can’t afford, money and nutrition-wise, to eat out every night so junior can get his favorite dish at that restaurant we went to for his birthday. Wow, who would have thought a meal could get so complicated with half-humans around?

So what are the dishes that your kids must have all the time or they’ll “starve”? Mac & cheese, peanut butter & jelly, chicken nuggets, pizza? I think those are the most popular in my house. Oh and of course the older one has different favorites that the younger one. When I do find something they both like, I feel like making it all the time just to avoid the hassle. But that wouldn’t be a responsible parent thing to do. So when I’m cooking for kids, I do like seeing the joy in their eyes when I cut off the crust of the PB&J or have their favorite dipping sauce for the nuggets. Giving in occasionally is the easy way, but use it sparingly (rough days at the office or crazy driver days). You don’t want to spoil the little ones too much or they will be stuck in the pizza rut for the rest of their lives (talk about a limited childhood).

When my day hasn’t gotten too out of control and I have a minute to think about what to make for dinner, I try to think of dishes I can make that can satisfy the adults, but can be adapted for the kids without too much extra work. So kids usually like “plain” food. Not too much spice or new flavor.

Here’s an example. I can make Pad Thai Chicken for my husband and I, but break out some ingredients when cooking for kids. I cook the chicken unseasoned first and set aside enough for the kids. The rest gets the spicy Pad Thai sauce with egg, onions, cabbage and peanuts with the rest of the chicken added too. Once the noodles are done, put them in a serving dish by themselves, even if the recipe calls for you to mix them with the sauce and chicken. Plate noodles for everyone, but only give the chicken/sauce combo to Mommy and Daddy. The kids get whatever dipping sauce they want for the chicken. They can even have parmesan on their rice noodles to make it seem like spaghetti (another favorite). Now you have cooked one meal, but broke it up to please everyone. Easy right?

I’m sure your budget can’t handle going out to eat every night. Besides the money, you also want to have family dinners at home. So why not try making some of those restaurant dishes at home? I know the dishes you make will not be exact when using a copy cat recipe, but if you come close, it should convince your kids to at least try it and maybe agree it is like the Olive Garden marinara or Outback fries. If you are little more daring, you could even try to make the dish a little healthier when it comes from your kitchen.

Cooking for kids can be easy if you just accept they are not going to like most foods. It is our job as the parents to help them adjust their tastes as they grow. How slow or fast you do this is really up to you and your kids. Just learn to pick your battles and the enjoyable task of making dinner will eventually return to how it was in your pre-child days.


Street Talk

Kylie R  

It can be difficult to cook for kids. Introducing new foods gradually is a great idea, to get them use to the flavor and texture.

Reply
  about 2 years ago
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