(This was taken years ago but is still pretty accurate.)
I know it sounds a bit harsh: “I don’t cook for my kids.”
But it’s the truth.
I had a friend ask me a while back, “Doesn’t it hurt your feelings when your kids don’t like your cooking?”
The short answer? No.
- If I cooked for my kids, we would only eat chicken nuggets and cheese quesadillas. That’s a fact, friends.
- They think the Kids Cuisine TV dinners are real food. They would be wrong.
- They eat old candy they find in my car.
- They think box macaroni and cheese is better than homemade. It’s baffling.
- Basically, they think anything out of a box is pretty much going to be better than whatever I’m making.
- They’re little, surely their taste buds are still developing.
- They judge a restaurant by whether or not it has an iPad at the table or queso as an appetizer.
- I’ve seen them eat their boogers.
- They don’t love when I cook Pioneer Woman recipes. Say WHAA?
- They hate Tazikis.
Because of these things, I feel they are not objective when it comes to good food therefore their opinions are invalid. Seriously, who doesn’t like Pioneer Woman?
I’m not great at a lot of things: cleaning, putting away laundry, excel spreadsheets, sticking to a budget, walking into a room full of strangers, and on and on the list could go. But one thing I would say I’m pretty good at is cooking. I’ve made some disgusting meals I wouldn’t even feed my dog but for the most part I can follow a recipe. So when my kids put up a fuss about dinner and say “It’s GROOOSSSSSSS!!!!” (a regular occurrence) before they’ve even tried it, I don’t pay it any mind. When they just look at their plate of food and ask how many bites must they eat before they can get up, I smile and say, “Just go ahead and get started and we’ll see.” They love that. I’ve seen them eat old M&Ms off my dirty car floor, why on earth would I let them hold my cooking ego in their grubby hands? This is ludicrous.
There was a time when I cooked for my kids, or kid. When I had only one child and he was a picky eater I catered to whatever I thought he would eat. It was easy because, well, I just had the one kid. My mother guilt sometimes creeps in and convinces me this is why he is still a picky eater at 11 years old. I only did it until I had my 2nd kid and realized Mama ain’t got time for all that. Sorry, bro, you gotta eat like Mom and Dad. These were hard times for Paxton.
Do I think I only cook well-balanced, nutritious meals for my family? No. I love some enchiladas and jambalaya. Do I think most of the food I cook is healthier than what they would pick if they had a choice? Most definitely yes. Do I sometimes give them quesadillas and chicken nuggets because it’s easier? Yes, because sometimes I need sanity and if I hear one more complaint I might lose it.
So to the Mamas whose kids hate everything they cook: I FEEL YOU. Keep cooking good food. Remember they are kids; they wouldn’t bath or brush their teeth if not for you. Clearly they don’t always want to make good choices and this is why they have us, the parents, to teach and guide them that there are other foods out there. Expand their palates!! Maybe just maybe they’ll end up liking it one day.