Wednesday, May 12, 2010

why we don't let preschoolers meal plan

Dinner last night:
  • roasted potatoes (good, but a little mushy and M didn't like that I left the peel on)
  • Roasted chicken parm (she liked it last week, but not tonight)
  • blanched plus a little sugar snap peas
I also put a small bowl of raw peas on the table, a trick I often do. Put some of the veggie you are cooking out raw- more choices for the kiddos and you never know what will float their little boats. (M prefers raw to cooked brussel sprouts-at least she used to-who knows now!)

After dinner, M lamented, "I just want something like a decent meal, like macaroni and cheese..." With a big sigh. D and I chuckled, but I know not to take it personally.

Moms (usually) tell me how upsetting it is when they work hard to make a nice meal and their children complain. Alas, you just have to get over this one. You did your job with feeding when you put the meal on the table. Whether the kids eat it or not is up to them.

You see, young children are tiny, irrational beings. They like something one day, hate it the next, especially if it gets a satisfying reaction from you. Cooking to please your child's tastes is a futile exercise, because it changes from moment to moment. Cook what you want to eat (make adjustments-I peeled her potatoes which she ate with ketchup) don't short order cook or worry if they eat little at some meals and lots others.

Here is what M would eat if she could meal plan:
Stir fry (She wondered if you could make it with marshmallows last week)
mac n cheese
turkey curry
ice cream
white rice (she complains when I make brown-but I still make it)

What might a week at your house look like if your toddler meal-planned???


  1. My hubby asks for macaroni and cheese about once a month, so maybe he's still a toddler inside. I make it, but I also insist on a protein with it.

  2. I actually like it too... We make Annies white, I always add peas. Sometimes we add tuna, but it's also a good excuse to have an all-natural hot dog. Might as well do it right! We often round it out with cut up veggies and dip. nothing wrong with Mac n cheese! I remember the first time I had it I was 16 and babysitting, I thought it was AWESOME!

  3. I almost always make mine from scratch. Actually, make most things from scratch. I have a killer pizza crust recipe that never fails to disappoint, especially kids, because every one gets their own crust and gets to top it anyway they like. I'm hoping that doesn't count as being a short order cook for my kids, because I like topping my own pizza too.

    Making even common things from scratch has given me an appreciation for quality ingredients and food components, and to see where food companies overcomplicate food, at least for my taste (see most yogurt containers).

  4. I'm too lazy on the mac n cheese. Its usually one of our quick go-to meals, but I'll have to try it! What are your favorite cheeses to use?
    Also, I'd love your pizza dough recipe. I gave up on the bread machine, and recently popped in a Boboli for a quick dinner. I tried the frozen ones form Whole Foods, but I didn't feel like I got a great rise. They were a little tough...

  5. I'm a wimp when it comes to cheese, so we just stick to various types of cheddar, though outside of mac & cheese, I don't much care for cheddar and prefer colby. I did get into a surprisingly heated discussion with cheese lady at my fancy local store because she was telling me that cheddar and colby are the same. I don't do unpasteurized cheese at all because I'm immunosuppressed. I realize the chances of getting sick are slim, but the cheese is not worth it to me.

    I'll email you the pizza dough recipe, I promise you it is easier than it sounds, the first time you might be dubious, just trust the process.