I’m always surprised by the number of families who make two totally different meals at dinner time. This is usually because the kids won’t eat the food the parents are eating and, not wanting them to starve, a second meal is created. I don’t say this to judge, as I have been in this boat myself. I mention it because instead of creating a completely different meal we simply started finding meals where we could individually tweak the ingredients to make everyone happy.
One of the first meals we tried this with was with our famous Spaghetti Sunday! What? Don’t pretend you don’t name your days after the food you will be eating! Where was I?? Oh yeah, the spaghetti! You see, my wife and I love spaghetti but the kids have never liked spaghetti sauce. This has left us either avoiding making it altogether or with two empty bowls and two full bowls when we do prepare it. Instead of going the two dinner route, my wife came up with a brilliant plan.
Instead of putting the sauce on the kids Barilla spaghetti noodles, she simply added a little bit of butter/margarine and some parmesan cheese. I have never seen children eat a meal faster than my kids did that day. They even asked for seconds! Seconds I tell you! Just so you don’t think, “that’s all?!”, I should also mention that we included a salad and garlic bread to round out the meal. I realize this may not sound like much, especially to you wizards whose children eat everything you put in front of them, but this was a big breakthrough for us because it changed our mindset about dinner time. We had been stuck in a spot where it was either two separate dinners or make the kids starve to make a point, neither of which were good options.
On top of this new development, we have really been encouraging the kids to help out with the meal preparation and they are both really starting to love it. The great thing about the spaghetti meal is that they can pretty much do all the work aside from lifting the heavy pot, so they really feel like they are making their own meals. So, what are you waiting for? Stop slaving over two meals and get your kids involved experimenting with different combinations. At the very least you’ll end up creating some really fun family memories!
Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in the Barilla Share The Table campaign. Barilla was kind enough to send us some pasta for our experiments and I couldn’t be happier that they did!