kids

A dad has come up with a genius strategy to solve his kids' picky eating. And it's worked.

One of the more fun moments of being a parent is dinner time – said no parent, ever.

Yes, feeding a family sounds relatively straightforward, and yet is often a time of tears and tantrums, because it seems to be a principle of parenthood that the more effort you put into a meal, the less likely it is that your children will enjoy it.

This was definitely the experience of one father, who was so frustrated by the cycle of cooking dinner and rejection he was experiencing every night, that he was forced to devise an ingenious plan: he retired from cooking.

Reddit user BabyHooey posted about his decision recently, in a thread called “I just retired from cooking: Night One.” Explaining that he has four kids, ranging from 10 to 16 years old, the father said he felt he’d been left with little option but to ‘quit’ cooking.

“There are literally no meals left that I can make without someone complaining,” he wrote.

Bec Sparrow offers advice to a teenaged-girl who doesn’t like her mum’s cooking. Post continues after.

“Spaghetti? I make my sauce with Italian sausage and one kid has decided she hates fennel. One kid has celiac, which rules out wheat (obviously not her fault) so that makes it harder. One kid hates cheese, which rules out a lot of things. One kid hates chicken. We were safe for a while with tacos until one kid decided she was never eating tacos again.”

One evening, BabyHooey decided that he was in a no-win situation, so he stocked up the pantry and fridge, and announced that everyone had to fend for themselves. Later on in the Reddit thread, the dad gave readers an update, reporting that after two weeks of the family sustaining themselves with sandwiches and cereal, he decided he’d cook for himself and his wife… and a strange thing happened.

The kids became interested in his cooking again.

One night, one child said to the dad, “That smells really good, can I have some?”

BabyHooey’s response? Well, he remained firm in his approach.

“I said that I only made enough for the two of us, but if they’d like some of tomorrow’s dinner, let me know and I can make extra. I was expecting, ‘What’s tomorrow’s dinner?’ But instead I got, ‘Yes, please, anything’s better than more sandwiches.’

“All of them eventually followed suit. I’m back to cooking for six, but I’m making whatever I want to make.”

And the kids are eating without complaint.

A screenshot of the post. Source: Reddit
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Reddit users loved the inspired idea.

"Damn. Have you considered opening up your own advice column?" one wrote.

"Good luck on your experiment! I grew up not knowing how to make anything except prepared microwaveable meals and cup noodles, but this way your kids might actually learn some cooking," said another.

"You should assign each kid a separate day to cook a family meal so they learn to meal plan and also they each can feel the burn and frustration when people are picky," one commenter, who could obviously relate to the dad's pain, suggested.

And of course, many other parents could relate: "Thank you for making me feel normal. This is a constant struggle with our 7 and 9 year old and I get soooooooo frustrated and upset. We have the same 'pb&j' rule others have mentioned. But it’s still infuriating."

Some also commented on the tastes of the kids themselves.

"That's a weird group of kids. Cheese, chicken and tacos? Did you try turning them off and turning them back on again?" one joked.

How do you deal with meal time for your family? Would you go on a cooking strike? Tell us in the comments below.

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