Groundhog Day? Again?

Hey FunnySpoon, got a second to help me out? You do? Great, here goes:

You wanna talk about groundhog day then try dealing with the monotonous selection of menu items that I'm forced to feed my kids each and every week. I'm so envious of those families who can all sit down and eat the same meal together. But after a bazillion different attempts at this, though, I finally just gave up. Dinner time became nothing short of a three-ring circus, and my husband and I opted to just wait to eat until the kids have gone to bed.

Like many other families out there, it is next to impossible for all four of us to sit down for a meal together even if we wanted to. My husband often doesn't get home until late, and my kids would claim they were dying of starvation if we made them wait that long to eat. It’s usually about 5:00 on the dot when the little turkey vultures start circling me like I’m fresh road kill. And call me crazy, but I’m not quite ready to succumb to senior citizen status and eat my last meal of the day that early in the evening.

And on top of the ridiculously early hour that my kids insist on eating, they flat out refuse to eat many of the foods that my husband and I like to eat. Getting both kids to try something new on their plate is like trying to get a vegetarian to eat a burger. So go ahead and call me a pushover, but I've resorted to feeding them a constant rotation of "kid" food -- mac n' cheese, chicken nuggets, grilled cheese, peanut butter & jelly, etc. I always make sure to throw in a fruit, as well as the one AND ONLY veggie they’ll eat, carrots. And voila, there you have it – the same old, boring menu week after week after week. If we REALLY want to get crazy, I’ll mix it up by feeding them breakfast for dinner, but that’s about as adventurous as it gets.

You see, through the years I’ve learned to pick and choose my battles carefully, and mealtime is just one battle I’ve chosen not to try and fight to the death. If my kids are getting a somewhat balanced meal and aren’t throwing a temper tantrum on the floor over being forced to eat something like turnips, well then I consider that a successful meal. And hey, there’s always Flintstones vitamins to pick up the slack, right?

Nucking Futs Mama is a stay at home mom of boy/girl twins who will soon turn seven years old. She works hard to hang onto her last shred of sanity each and every day in a house full of ridiculously picky eaters.

FunnySpoon Says ...
Man, oh man. We know your pain, Jennie! With two little ones, Carrie struggles with some of these very same issues. Dinner by 5:30, no later. PB&J is a staple. Grapes are demanded at every meal. Boring, boring, boring! And, seriously, what busy mom (who usually eats lunch at 2:30) wants to eat dinner at 5:30? Many times, we too, have 2 seatings at dinner - one for the kiddos and one for the grownups. However, we're trying our hardest NOT to become a short order cook. We try to make something that we can modify so everyone can eat part of it (less spicy seasoning for the kids, less garlic, more spices on the side for the grownups, etc.) We have a couple of ideas that might be able to help restore a teensy bit of your sanity:

  1. Start small – only try one new thing each time. If you have a new pasta dish with 5 new ingredients, the kids will probably flip. But what about trying Quick Mac – you’ve got the chicken and mac-n-cheese you know the kids love, so just sneak in a few peas! Or substitute carrots since your kiddos love those. And this is something that you and the hubby can probably deal with (occasionally) too!

  2. Find meals that are similar to what they already like, but just a notch above so they're appealing to your palate, too. Try the World’s Best Grilled Cheese and Kicked Up Tomato Soup (you can leave out the garlic for the kids' servings). Yummy for the kiddos yet upscale enough for you. Oh - and for the dinner time entertainment you can read some fun tomato facts from this blog post - if your kids are anything like ours then entertaiment is key to keeping them at the table for more than 45 seconds.

  3. Shake up the old reliable - breakfast for dinner. You already know they love it, so try to makee it slightly different – instead of the usual eggs and pancakes, try Toad in the Hole or Breakfast Bowls.

We know all of these ideas are much easier to dish out then to actually get your kiddos to try. However, we're sending you good, positive, hungry vibes with the hopes that the twins will start to meet you half way!! Keep us posted!

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