In my house, we have some picky eaters. Probably my fault, but let's move past that. The point is, a little while ago I decided I was tired of preparing multiple meals (the real meal, plus what my 7yo and 5yo would actually eat) each night. I made my kids a deal: one meal each night, and they had to try it, but then on Fridays I would make them anything they wanted. This sort of works, except that trying whatever I make often involves eating a microscopic amount preceded by many minutes of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. I think I would be OK with my kids only trying a little bit of what I made, and then filling up on fruit and grains or going to bed hungry, if I didn't have to listen to all the whining and complaining about the meal I just spent close to an hour preparing.
So here is my question for you, oh wise Booth readers. How does family dinner work at your house? Do you make kid-friendly meals that you know your kids will like? Make whatever you want and expect your kids to try it? Do you make meals you know certain of your kids will not eat, and if so, do you let them eat an alternative?
And here is perhaps the even more important question: how do I transition my picky eaters to adventurous eaters? I can find plenty of information about how important it is that I not be a short order cook and prepare one (not kiddy) meal that the entire family can enjoy together. But how do I get there from here? And live to tell about it. Because, seriously, the whining is really getting to me.
If your family dinner time is a happy experience, or if you have successfully transitioned a picky eater to a not picky one, I feel it is your duty to share your experience below. Thank you in advance.