Emily Wyckoff

In a dinner rut? Ask your kids…


Last week I found myself in a dinner rut. My seven year old daughter – the pickiest eater of my three kids – asked each night what was for dinner and was not pleased with my answers. Actually she asks for doughnuts for dinner each night – and it’s not like doughnuts are a regular food in my house but this gives you an idea of her idea of a perfect meal. Help.

Anyway, I asked her to write down ten (at-home) dinners she enjoyed – doughnuts not being a valid dinner – and rank them. The list was actually really helpful and I posted it on the refrigerator. Here is her list:

1. Breakfast for dinner

2. Chicken

3. Pizza

4. Pasta

5. Burgers

6. Hot dogs

7. Fish

8. Dumplings

9. Tacos

10. Peanut Sauce

Now that I have her top ten, I have lots of room for interpretation. In my world, tacos can be baked enchiladas, fajitas, or tacos with any filling – ground turkey, fish, or chicken. Homemade pizza can be topped with broccoli and chicken. Breakfast for dinner can be quiche, and peanut sauce can be used with pasta, steak or chicken. Now if my daughter squawks at the dinner on her plate and resists trying something new, I can direct her to her list. If you have a picky eater in your home, I highly recommend they create their own top-ten dinner list. And no doughnuts.


6 Responses to “In a dinner rut? Ask your kids…”

  1. shannon says:

    you are brilliant! I’m going to try this with my super picky 7 year old son. Thanks for the idea

  2. Laurie says:

    This is the best idea Ihave heard in a long time. I may try it with my husband as well as my kids! Thanks

  3. Michael (Michelle) says:

    I am a mother of 2 teens, who when they were just 5 and 7 were taught how to cook (with supervision) we started with stuff that they could microwave and toast to help with dinner. We then moved on to stove top using easy things to make and the oven making cookies, ect. Now for the last 5 years or so we have FFY night(which means fend for your self) as well as teen cook night. This really helps me on days I work. My daughter 18 still sticks to the basics of speghetti and salad, but her brother 16 we never know what he will cook from roast pork (full course meal) to tachos, but what ever he cooks is always good. My son wants to be a chef and create his own style of cooking.

    just last month we had a snow day and 2 of his friends came over ( and bribed him)to make crapes for breakfast. He cooked for all of us it was great!!

  4. Mama Lee says:

    My husband and I both work full time and love to cook. Having 3 kids in high school-2 teenaged boys, 18 & 17, and a 16 yr old daughter-whom are all involved in school sports, and the 18 yr old having a job, just sitting down to a dinner with all of us takes an act of congress!! Crock pot meals are wonderful, but we do tend to get tired of them. So, on grocery shopping day – I’ll ask everone what they want for dinner. Works pretty well and gives us all a chance to have something we want.

    However, I love fend for yourself nights! It gives us an opportunity to eat up leftovers.

  5. Morgan says:

    I am a picky eater myself, but this really did help me and my family come to an agreement of what we will have for dinner

  6. Laurettia says:

    this is so helpful!! I never thought of that!

    my kids dont know that tacos are made of tortillas and they are like mmm mom this is so yummy chips and Im like yes dip in that green cheese dip and they dont even know that they are eating tortillas and brocooli-cheese sauce…so sly =)

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