Published on April 4, 2008 By Texas Wahine In Cooking

I'm planning the 3,565th menu of my life, and looking for cheap, yummy recipes.  Luckily the internet is brimming with neat, new tastes with inexpensive ingredients and I have lots of fun ideas for things to cook.

Unfortunately, my children are stuck on "boring" foods and trying to get them to eat anything remotely adventurous is an absolute chore and generally and unpleasant experience.  Last night I sauteed some left over angel hair pasta and added some spices and fresh tomato and grated carrots (low on groceries, and the kids hate onions, so no mushrooms or fresh spinach or garlic or anything really yummy).  Grated carrots were for just for the sake of veggies, so no one tell me how carrots shouldn't go in with it, haha.

The boys picked at their food, and Orian acted as if I had tried to feed him dog food.  Retching and tears and all that.  Xavier will try new things, but his tastes are still pretty basic.  Orian is paranoid about food and will watch me cook just to point out the things he doesn't like that I'm putting in.  I don't like to lie to him, but usually if he asks what's in something I will ONLY tell him the ingredients he likes.

One of the recipes I found that I'd like to make is Parippu Red Lentil Dhal.  It has red beans, onion, tomato, coconut milk, fresh green chilies, turmeric, cumin, corriander, black mustard seeds, cumin, and cilantro.  Tell me that doesn't sound absolutely yummy!  There's no way. NO WAY the kids will eat that.  I can make them something else and reserve the Parippu Red Lentil Dhal for me and Adrian, but that's not fair to me, or I can try to get them to eat it and the tears and corner standing and going to bed early can commence. 

I am getting tired of being so limited on what I can fix.

Unfortunately, it also looks like Adrian will be gone for about a month starting in the near future, so I can either make real food and have them poo-poo it and fall back on pasta with cheese and no sauce and hot dogs and mac and cheese or I can just stick with those things to begin with.  My enforcer will be gone...and my person who attests to the worthiness of what I cooked.


I just want to cook something new and yummy.  I'm tired of my children (mostly Orian!) acting like I'm trying to poison them!

Comments (Page 1)
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on Apr 04, 2008

I am so dreading this day. When they don't eat what you feed them anymore. Right now they can tell their bowls from the rest and practically attack you for what's in them.

We had to stop letting them feed themselves. It was getting too messy and they just weren't ready for utensils. We have gone back to feeding the babies. Also, Tabitha will eat anything you put in her mouth but she will pick the meat out of whatever you let her feed herself. I don't know how she knows but she seperates it all.  

on Apr 04, 2008

My kid may be odd (well, I know she is..but I'm not sure if other kids work the same way).  However, what I do is make her try one bite of whatever I made, then she can go hunt down her own dinner if she won't eat it.

1) This helps her develop her palate (and she has started eating a lot of foods that she tried 3 or more times before eating them)

2) It makes her realize that she needs to find her own food if she doesn't want to eat what is on the table.

She's 9 and eats all sorts of crazy things, and I think it is because she is forced to keep trying them, but isn't forced to eat a whole plate of it.

As an example, these are some of her favorites:
Hummus and veggies
Spicy Fajitas
Lentils (usually seasoned with Garlic and Basil)
Green onions (she'll eat them raw..I don't recommend
Broccoli soup
Blacked white fish (from the resteraunt... I don't cook fish..)
Pasta with Garlic, Asparagus and Mushrooms

You probably get the idea.  Of course, except for the occasional fish, we eat a vegetarian diet, so she is forced to try new things to stay healthy.

What's for dinner tonight?  Veggie Sushi (she loves cucumber sushi with extra wasabi), Miso soup (tofu- fun to chase down with chopsticks), and pan fried egg rolls (heavily seasoned cabbage and carrots for the filling).  Yummmm....I'm hungry now!

on Apr 04, 2008
LW: Heh, it was the same way for me. I was a really picky eater (still am, somewhat), and I had an iron will. Lots of tears and spankings and HOURS at the table, and lots of retching too. I sympathize, and would rather let them just let them have sandwiches (or be hungry until the next meal) than fight over it.

I do like for them to at least try something because Orian has tried things before (example: chili) that he cried and protested about only to discover he LOVED it, but Adrian really feels it's insulting to me and just generally disobedient for them to not eat what I work hard to prepare for them.

He and I are not at odds on it to the point of it being a source of contention between us, but his way of dealing with it is not my preference (although I appreciate that it DOES take the pressure off me).

Xavier will usually eat whatever I serve him. Not always, but usually. Orian has a very specific set of tastes and if you vary from those, he acts like you're feeding him something inedible and deadly.

I feel really guilty when I just feed them the junk they like. Even the veggies they'll eat are not stellar in the nutrition department.

I do like the idea of hiding things in food and I do that sometimes, but not nearly enough.

JJ: Too cute. Your babies are foodies. I love that Tabitha already picks what she doesn't like out of her food. Haha.

Isabella will eat most things. She will actually eat wasabi (yes, we let her try it, we are bad parents!). She loves spicy things. She doesn't like tart fruits, but other than that, she will eat ANYTHING!

Karma: You have done an AMAZING job with your daughter. You should write a book about introducing kids to a healthy diet.

I like the idea of letting them fend for themselves if they won't eat what I prepare, but with too much junk in the house it turns into "can I have a Tootsie roll for supper?" No. "Chips?" No. "A Pop Tart?" No. "Ramen Noodles and a Piece of Cheese?" Fine!

Your house sounds like a fun place to eat.

I wonder if I made and posted a list of "acceptable meal substitutes" and let the boys choose one of those if they tasted dinner and absolutely hated it, would that work? They are both old enough to be able to pull something together for themselves for the most part.

on Apr 04, 2008
Ok, I'm tossing around the idea of doing something like a game or something fear factor like to encourage them to try things. I think they would like that.

on Apr 04, 2008
Ha, sorry to keep commenting on my own thread...but I forgot to say earlier that I'm sure you're right about the dish having too many intense flavors for the kids to like it.

I guess that's something I'm just going to have to suck up and accept...until my nest is empty, I am not going to be making anything adventurous! Haha.
on Apr 04, 2008
I asked the boys what they thought about that idea, and they were excited...Xavier told me Orian would always do better than him though...I couldn't figure out why, since Xavier is more likely to eat things...poor guy thought the way to success was to eat things you DON'T LIKE, and since Orian has a FAAAR longer list, he would be way ahead! Haha.

I love the idea of using desserts. I have found some really neat, easy desserts (some the boys can even help make) for super cheap on some of the sites I've found. And it's not like I hate dessert my damn self! Haha.

I like the idea of having the boys have time in the kitchen too. I don't do that nearly enough. Orian loves to help with cooking, and Xavier is always creating restaurants with menus and themes and stuff. That would be good collaboration for them too. I can remember as a child always wanting to make up recipes for my mom to cook.

It would also help them see how much work goes into preparing food!

Thanks! It's a shame you don't have kiddos, Sabrina.

(BTW, we LOVE Top Chef and Hell's Kitchen!...think I could go all Chef Gordon Ramsey on the boys? Hahahahahhahaa....they could work their little hearts out creating and executing a menu and then I could taste it and throw up and shout at them. OMG, so mean, but the idea of it is cracking me up.)
on Apr 04, 2008
I can't stop replying to my own thread!! Sorry!!

Since I am working on a menu and we'll stock up on groceries tonight I decided to use your idea Sabrina, and I'm having the boys each come up with a meal (one a week) and then they'll work on it together (with my supervision).

They are sooo excited!

Xavier didn't want a cookbook to get him started, he told me he'd need eggs, milk, flour, sugar, chocolate frosting, and gummy worms for "dirty cake"...he's so creative.

Orian wanted a cookbook for ideas, and I have a kids' cookbook, so he is working on his. Xavier still has to come up with a main course food.

on Apr 04, 2008

Hey Tex,

Toni reviewed a cook book recently that might prove to help you out.  If you email me your new address (, I will put it in the mail for you.

It is specifically written for parents of fussy eaters.

on Apr 04, 2008

Hey Tex, have your kids seen the Pixar flick 'Ratatouille'? Connor was resistant to eating new things until he watched that a couple of times. Now whenever we serve him something new, we encourage him to see if he can pick out the flavor combinationations, and he gets a dreamy little look like the rat in the movie, and tries to explain what he's tasting. He's tried everything from chicken enchiladas to kimchi, and now it's an adventure for him instead of an exercise in pulling teeth.

on Apr 04, 2008

You know...I used to be like that.  Reluctant to try anything new.  Since I got to college, though...I'm much more willing to give something a try.  Doesn't always mean I like it, but hey...I'll give it a bite at the very least.


on Apr 04, 2008
LW: Any word from Simon? I hope so, I am getting worried!

The boys came up with their menus...Xavier wants to do a Buffalo Chicken Wing Pizza and his cake (I can't decide if I should let him make it with his ingredients or help him make it work...I think he might learn something if we make it his way...he will see what is needed to make a cake rise).

Orian is doing some crunchy chicken nuggets...the recipe called for Honey Mustard to make the coating stick but he wanted to substitute ketchup, so we'll see! haha. He also picked out some sugar cookies made with food coloring and sesame seeds and other stuff to look like hot dogs.

Maso: I would love that. I'll shoot you guys an email. Thanks!

HW: I don't think we've seen it. We'll have to pick it up. Connor's culinary taste test sounds fun. After getting input from all you guys I have all sorts of ideas for ways to make food and work in the kitchen fun and exciting.

What did he think of kimchi? I just cannot eat that stuff!

Zoo: My tastes have changed over time, too. I was very picky as a child...stopped eating ground beef at about your age (never ate chicken, or pork or fish except things like bacon and shrimp) and have recently begun adding things back in (NEVER CHICKEN!!!).

Living in Hawaii introduced me to a lot of neat new foods that I now love, so it's always good to give things a try!
on Apr 04, 2008
I like the food factor idea. Do they eat Chinese? You could always take them to a Vietnamese place instead, that way you can introduce them to some milder curries the subtle way by telling them it's Chinese and then work your way up to Indian.

They're probably young enough they can be fooled.
on Apr 04, 2008

Fear Factor dinner- that is awesome!

I think that any way hat gets kids to eat new things is a winner.  I don't know the statistic, but you have to taste the same thing several times when it is new to you to actually decide if you like it or not.  I guess that's where an "acquired" taste comes into play with some things.

I love Hell's Kitchen!  I am so happy that the new season started!  My husband always says "ugh!  The risotto is salty!" every time a make risotto because of that show.  lol

I almost took a picture of my daughter eating Veggie sushi with chopsticks at dinner tonight to post to this thread, but she hates getting her picture taken, so I figured I better not push my luck.  She hated sushi at first, but now she really likes it, and says that seaweed is "yummy".  She's one crazy kid, lol!

I can't wait to see what your kids come up with.  Sounds like a lot fun!

on Apr 04, 2008
Cacto: They will eat some Chinese food. I don't think we've ever had Vietnamese. We love Thai food, although Orian sticks to sticky rice (ha, funny).

Xavier will actually eat sushi...he'll try any kind, including stuff I won't touch.

Orian is the hard sell. He doesn't like anything with sauce. He wants things plain.

Karma: That's interesting about the acquired taste thing. I might use that on the boys! Ha!

LOL about HK. I know it's terrible, but one of the big draws for us is how mean he is...I love seeing the challenges and getting to know the contestants and learning about the foods they cook, but the best part is when he is mean!

Your daughter sounds great. I love that your family shares the same interests in all these foods. I am serious when I say you must have really been doing something right from the beginning, because so many moms I know, myself included, have so much trouble getting kids to eat and enjoy "different" foods.

Orian will eat Tomago, but only if I take the nori off. Nori is DELICIOUS!!

Karma, have you ever had Hurricane popcorn? I think you can order it online. It's popcorn drizzled with oil (I just spray it with cooking spray) and then shaken in a bag with a nori and arare mix. It is soooo good!

on Apr 05, 2008


LOL about HK. I know it's terrible, but one of the big draws for us is how mean he is...

Oh, I know!  The he's sooooo creative with his insults.  I don't let me daughter watch that show (she's usually in bed by then, anyway) but my husband and I watch that show and crack up at all the insults. I really loved how they started this years.  He knew exactly what the egos were like of the contestants before he even got them to the kitchen.

Karma, have you ever had Hurricane popcorn? I think you can order it online. It's popcorn drizzled with oil (I just spray it with cooking spray) and then shaken in a bag with a nori and arare mix. It is soooo good!

No, I haven't, but that sounds awesome!  Sounds like something fun for movie night!  Thanks for the tip, I'll have to look that up!

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