Family Dinner

by Jen on January 8, 2010

Each night we sit down and eat dinner as a family. As a child, my family sat down together for dinner every night. As a mother, I want to pass on the idea of family dinners to my children. It’s a chance for us to connect with one another, talk about issues around us, and sometimes, just a chance to have fun together! It is rare that Mark isn’t home for dinner, thank goodness, because I don’t have the energy to feed the boys all by myself. I’m completely exhausted by dinner time!

Sitting down for a family dinner is only half the battle, one we’ve managed to conquer. However, getting the kids to eat their dinner is a whole other battle! Actually, it’s a downright war lately.

I can count on one hand the dinners that my boys actually eat.

1. Spaghetti
2. Baked Brie

Hmmmm….I can’t think of anything else at the moment.

Caleb will also eat meat and broccoli.
Justin won’t eat anything else.
Ben will also eat anything with pasta and sauce.

They don’t like pasta unless it’s cooked in a tomato based meat sauce. But if I serve it as a side dish, they don’t touch it. They don’t like rotini, fusilli, macaroni, lasagna, shells, etc, etc, etc. Seriously, what kid doesn’t like pasta??? I’ve tried mixing theirs with butter and Parmesan cheese. No go. I’ve tried mixing theirs with spaghetti sauce. No go.

They don’t like rice. I usually cook at least one meal a week with rice. They won’t touch it. Again, I’ve tried mixing it with stuff. No go.

They don’t like potatoes. I don’t cook them that often but when I do I try to mix theirs with ketchup. No go. But they will eat fries so that is what I bake for them.

But the one thing they will all eat, BREAD!

Since they will eat bread like it’s going out of style, I bake a lot of bread to serve as the “carb” at our dinners. Thank goodness for my bread machine.

I try to serve healthy meals each night. Our meals are well rounded; carb, protein, and vegetable. I love to cook, and I love to cook healthy. I can make almost any meal healthy. A few substitutions is all it takes.

However, it’s frustrating when the kids won’t eat my dinners! I feel like whatever I make, they aren’t going to eat it. And by the way, I’m not a short order cook. I refuse to just give them bread every night. I serve them what we are eating. Each boy has to take the same number of bites as their age. Currently, this means that Caleb must take 4 bites of his dinner, Justin must take 2 bites, and Ben, 1 bite. I feel bad that they are going to bed without a belly full of food but hey, that’s their choice!

I wish I had more meals to make that the whole family enjoyed!

So my question to you, do you make any dinners that the whole family enjoys? If so, are you willing to share the recipes?

Signed,
Desperate Mother
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