Ok, please tell me if any of this sounds familiar: You come across a new recipe that you are all excited to try. It’s seems easy, nutritious…you’re thinking you’re going to rock your family’s world at dinnertime! Then 5:30 rolls around and the kids start pestering: “What are you making?,” “When’s dinner ready?,” and my personal favorite “Uh, what’s that smell?” Nothing like that one to knock you down a few pegs when you start to feel cocky about the meal you’re about to serve.
So now the kids are circling, already deciding that they aren’t going to like this new meal and start asking for safe alternatives. (My kids would eat plain noodles and green beans from a can every night if I let them.) You start pleading… “Just give it a try, I chose this because I know you’ll like it and it’s going to be SO good!” And of course your song and dance is met with crossed arms, eye rolls, and if you’re really lucky, comments such as “That looks disgusting.” Well, thank you very much, tiny critics.
This a fairly common occurrence in our house when debuting new meals. I love cooking and have millions of recipes pinned, ready to try out on my family. I really do go out of my way to choose things I think they will like, yet they are so quick to judge based on what it’s called or what they think they’re not going to like about it (crazy things like “Cheese is only good when it’s not melted.” Oh really, well then what about pizza?) And it’s so frustrating for someone like me who loves to cook and try new recipes.
The whole process means the kids are involved in the meal planning, they’re reading and exploring cookbooks, and it gets them asking questions about different foods and cooking methods. And the part I love the most is that it teaches them that while cooking requires you to follow directions, you can make things you really love by getting creative and making the recipes your own. And that’s a lesson they can use always…
Check out some of our family’s Dinner List go-to’s that I’ve found online: