Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dinner Dilemma-- Solved

If you've been reading my blog for a while (or are a mother to less-than-perfect children), you know how frustrating dinner time can be for me. Take this post or this one as examples of what I go through regularly. Every night we have to coax, beg, and threaten to get at least one if not all of our boys to eat their dinner. The exception is when I get Little Caesar's, which I obviously can't do more often without lots of guilt, and yet it feels so nice to just have everyone eat.

Last night after dinner, I decided that instead of turning into Hot n Ready junkies, we are going to pretend that we live in Mexico every. Single. Night. And I don't mean eating-in-a-Mexican- restaurant kind of food. If we have enchiladas, chilis rellenos, tamales, or anything remotely exciting, we have the same ordeal as usual.

But if I serve pinto beans, rice, corn tortillas, salsa, cheese, some fruit, and a vegetable, there is almost complete silence at the table (once everyone's food has been plated, that is.) Sheer bliss. I wonder how long it would take for Jared and me to get tired of that every night, what with the silence and all. I think I could eat beans and rice for a long, long time. At least it's more nutritious than pepperoni pizza!

What would your family eat every night?

14 comments:

Yvonne said...

I swore that I would never make "differnt" food for each person at the table, BUT... my 4 year old likes things plain and simple...sooo... When I make a casserole or any other food that has interest, I keep some pasta, some veggies, some chicken (or whatever other ingredients) seperate and put that on her plate instead of the mixed up stuff. She likes it, and I am really not making a whole seperate meal, just not putting it together! (I also keep chicken nuggets in the freezer AT ALL TIMES, as well as beans, she will eat those any day) My son, he will eat just about anything, but when he turns up his nose, out come the nuggets, or the peanut butter. I remember so vividly the things that my mother made,that I hated and had to swallow down by holding my nose and drinking up my milk. I don't know if it made me eat better as an adult, it just made me feel awful as a kid. I still don't like stuffed peppers, and probably would if there weren't those memories tied to it! Good luck and Buenos Dias!

Joyful Noise said...

Taco salad (or just beans, tortilla, cheese) and also chicken, rice and broccoli (either separate or in a casserole). These two meals we get no complaining.

gramee said...

my family could exist on rice, beans and cheese along with tortillas every night. i kick it up a little and make red beans and rice with kielbasa or some thing different some times but really 3 nights a week or more i could just fix beans (black, pinto, red) rice (plain, mexican or Cajun),
with cheese and a veggie, i usually buy fresh tortillas at a mexican store down the road but have been toying with making my own. they are so inexpensive to buy fresh i hate to go to the work to make my own. especially here in arizona in the summer heat
i can have my grandkids over and never hear a complaint either..

gramee said...

oh..i do throw a meat in there.. pork or chicken sometimes beef
but they are content not to eat meat all the time.

Kim said...

Caitlin has always been our eat-everything-placed-before-her child. Only recently has she been voicing an opinion about what she does/doesn't like. But even then she'll still eat.

Amber on the other hand has been food challenged from birth. As she is also our strong willed child I gave up the fight long ago. But we do only offer what everyone else is having and what she eats is her dinner. Sometimes that isn't much. But I have noticed that after months of refusing one food without our response to her plight she'll pick up that little fork one night and decide to eat. The child who would never touch a vegetable now eats carrots, green beans, broccoli and salad of her own accord. We've gone through cycles of her only eating the meat and leaving the rest only to switch to noddle consumption and nothing else. But the bottom line in our family is we don't offer something else. We also don't require a completely clean plate to leave the table. But we will keep the plate for when the inevitable, "My hunny! My need some crackers!" is exclaimed.

What horrible unloving parents we are! Hard noses for sure. :)But at least my children are not glued to their seat until the plate is empty like I was. I remember many a long night in my childhood staring down a lump of cooked spinach with my father impatiently growling, "We will not be leaving this table until you eat your vegetable!"

Oh, if every night could be macaroni and chees with green beans, or pizza. Our other fail safe is "Hawaiian chicken" with brown rice. I think I made this one for you guys once. Our kids will clear plates for sure with that meal.

Rebecca said...

We love those type of dinners! We do ours more like a "Taco Salad Buffet", where I have lettuce, chips, beans, different heats of salsa, sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, black olives, onions (or green onions), and last but not least: cucumbers! If you've never tried cucumbers on a taco salad, get ready to be addicted. We could probably serve this most every night.

For the kids, they would probably eat cheese lasagna or homemade pizza every night.

Aubrey said...

Right on! Kids south of the border eat that all the time and survive...I think you can serve that a lot without any guilt. Beans are really good for you.

At our house it would be pizza every night for sure if the kids had their way. But they also like taco salad and cheese crisps, too.

Ashley said...

Weird that Dan and I have just been talking about how to make life more simple and suggesting that if we only ate beans and rice, how easy shopping and dinner would be! That's how they do it in Brazil-- he says. The thing is, I don't know if I could stand it ALL THE TIME. But then again if it meant no whining kids, I just might do it too.

An Ordinary Mom said...

You, my friend, are brilliant :) !! Love this idea!

mindyluwho said...

I cannot think of one thing ALL of my kids would eat, except for pizza!

Christine said...

As of today- Sidney joined Natalie in not liking "hot and ready" pizza. I feel jipped that my children are taking away from me the easy $5 dinner that everyone is supposed to like. :(

Michal said...

christine,
that is just NOT RIGHT! how could they do this to you? my kids other favorite thing is frozen bean burritos. they'll eat my homemade ones, but they get sooo excited if they get to have a frozen one. weird, right?

Martin said...

Learn how to make black beans and rice Cuban style - my favorite.
That might break up the monotany. Also the beans and rice at brazilian steakhouses are usulaly outstnading - I am not sure what there technique is either.

Tamlynn said...

My kids are good eaters. They have also learned if they don't like something they should just keep their comments to themselves and no one will notice if they don't eat the brussel sprout (or whatever the offending item is.)

If I make lasagna, they think I am the greatest mom in the world.