• Why is it that most of the people around me, who have tasted my cooking, think that I’m the best cook in the world, while my own children, can’t stand my food?  It drives me crazy!   However, I’ve learned not to take it personally.  After talking to some of my friends, it appears that all children like other people’s cooking over what they eat at home.  They probably get bored of the same style of cooking and want to try something else.  Nothing to get offended over.  I get that!  However, I’ve tried many times to be creative by serving different dishes, but that still hasn’t helped.  There’s some stigma about food prepared at home that kids just can’t get over.  So, rest assured that it’s not you!

    Case in point – I actually cooked a dish at my house and brought it over to my mom’s and had her serve it to my children, without them knowing.  For some reason, the dish tasted better to them over there than at my own house!  Go figure!  My eight year-old son even commented, “Mommy, why can’t you make this like Grandma?”  Of course, I waited until they finished eating, to reveal to them that I had actually cooked the dish.  They didn’t believe me at first.  Even when I became adamant they said, “Well something still tastes different.”  To which I responded, “Yes, because it’s all in your head.”

    Then to top it all off, they even hate my everyday school lunches.  Regardless of what I make for them, they seem to prefer whatever their friends bring.  Whether it’s healthy or not.  It seems like, nowadays, all they want for lunch is Nutella or just a plain roll.  Where’s the nutritional value in that?  I can’t give in every day.  So, I still send them with a healthy lunch, most of which gets brought back home.  I should probably appreciate that at least it’s not being thrown out.  Then I find myself snacking on it throughout the day.  Calories which, I definitely don’t need.

    So what was my solution?  I decided to have a little family meeting and informed each of my four children, that from now on they were on their own with making their meals.  That included all meals.  I was both upset and relieved at the same time.  At least for now, my workload would be cut in half.  I wasn’t sure how long I could last, but I had no choice.  After laying down some ground rules about what ingredients they could use and about cleaning up after themselves, I told them that it was effective immediately.  That way, each of them would get exactly what they wanted.  Or so they thought…

    At first they were super excited.  They loved their independence and I loved my extra time.  Then, after about a week, things changed.  The cooking became more time-consuming than they had anticipated and they were frustrated with the demands of cleaning up.  After all, the Nutella and rolls got old pretty fast.  Once again, they weren’t happy with their meals.  I noticed their frustration but dared not say anything until they came to me.  They held out for another week until they gathered the courage to ask me to help them prepare their meals once again.  I agreed but only with the condition that they continue to make their own lunches of course, with my guidance.  They’re still not perfect but their attitude has definitely improved.  It turns out that that hunger is a great motivator for appreciation!