When Will Dinner be Different?

I seem to cook the same rotation of dinners every week for my kids. I might mix things up a bit by not doing the same dishes on the same night, but I can pretty much confirm that these items will be on the menu every single week:

  • Pasta, tuna and cheese
  • Omelette and beans
  • Spaghetti Bolognese (only if the sauce is blended and contains no “lumps”. The eldest will still pick out the visible bits of tinned tomato that can be found)
  • Jacket potato with cheese and beans
  • Sausage, mash and carrots
  • Pasta with cheese
  • Pizza


Yes, don’t judge me. I appreciate that probably 3 at best from this list contain vegetables. I KNOW that 3 meals contain pasta and I GET that most of these dinners are not particularly healthy. But what is the alternative?

The Alternative

Instead I can I spend ages preparing and cooking a delicious homemade meal that will be thrown back in my face. Take last week, I had a brainwave that I’d cook a lasagne. After all, they love spaghetti bolognese right? I’ll blend up EXACTLY the same sauce and put it in with a bit of different shaped pasta. Wrong.

“What’s this?” said Alice in disgust picking at the flat shaped pasta.

I did eventually manage to get her to try it and she eventually conceded that it might be alright but she still wanted to know why she couldn’t have the “normal” spaghetti.

It can take a fair bit of effort to cook a dinner from scratch. I’d be happy to do more, but not when it’s met with such suspicion and disgust. They seem to know what they like and like eating a mere 7 odd dishes on constant rotation.

What Age Does This Change?

In a bid to try and broaden the repertoire of dinners, I do try and encourage my kids to eat a new food fairly frequently. But their seemingly insistence of hatred for vegetables knows no bounds. They have tried and proclaimed to hate sweetcorn, peas, cucumber, tomatoes, green beans, mushrooms, aubergine. It’s baffling. I mean sweetcorn? Really?

So I’d love to know at what age does this suddenly change? You don’t hear of that many 20 or 30 year olds who will only eat pasta, pizza or omelette. Is it a gradual change that I’ll barely notice as my kids might over the years begin to start eating peas and then halleleujah mushrooms? Or is it a sudden switch where perhaps aged 10 they think – “You know what, I really don’t want pasta AGAIN tonight for tea, I really fancy salmon or perhaps a lovely juicy steak with some asparagus”?


Meal Times Together

All the experts promote eating together as a family. But we tend not to do this. For one thing, I don’t go out very much anymore. My evenings, especially my weekend evenings are dominated by a nice dinner and hopefully a bottle of wine. Is it very selfish of me to say, I don’t want to sit coaxing and bargaining with my children at 5pm at the dinner table on a Saturday night in an effort to get them to eat their food whilst mine goes cold? Must I really eat pasta and cheese at the weekend just so that we’re all eating together? I refuse to get drawn into cooking different dinners for different members of the family.

I long for the time when all of us will sit down at the dinner table and we’ll all eat and enjoy a meal together. Perhaps something really exotic like a roast chicken. Who knows, maybe one day progressing on to fish or dare I say prawns?

Until then, I’ll grit my teeth and continue to spend agonising hours at the dinner table, watching them play with their food and scrutinise what’s on their plate. I know it can’t last forever. I know that in 15 years they will be eating the likes of chicken and broccoli. Until then, I’ll continue to serve up our never ending rotation of basic dishes and wait for the day when sweetcorn might pass their lips.

Spaghetti Bolognese





You Baby Me Mummy
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Pink Pear Bear

35 thoughts on “When Will Dinner be Different?

  1. Yep, same here!! We seem to rotate the same things on a weekly basis, none of which my kids eat with any enthusiasm! We do try and eat together, just because it’s such a farce to make a meal in the first place and the thought of having to make two is even more stressful, but it means that meal times are never enjoyable for us adults and most of the time my meal will go cold as I’m busy coaxing the little ones to eat! #coolmumclub


  2. Snap!! I’ve actually written a post about the mealtimes together thing myself coz I`m sick of being made to feel like some kind of mothering failure because I’d like to eat my dinner on my own without little fingers grabbing at it or eating it one handed while I half-coax half wrestle sweetcorn into the toddlers mouth.

    I dont know when it changes…I was such a fussy child but as a teenager I was much better so perhaps it changes once they start to think themselves a grown up?! Only 10 years to go for me then! *screams* #coolmumclub


    • Hah hah!!! Not that long then! I sometimes eat with the kids if my husband is working late and I always finish first and have to wait another 45 mins for them. Much prefer to wait and eat with him so we can eat fairly quickly and without whinging! X


  3. god i hate it too. having to think every.single.day. what will we eat? knowing that they only want toast , chicken nuggets or pasta. the days when they eat chicken, mash and carrots , truly I feel like superwoman


  4. This sounds very familiar! My eldest is a great eater…but the mealtime selection these days is mainly dominated by what her picky little sis will eat… One day Cheryl I’ll be dining on something other than spag bol…one day… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I guess at least they are eating, and the rotating dishes sound nice (to me). I also have rotating meals, but because my Hubby has severe food allergies. I understand how enjoyable it is to eat something just for you, (with wine is good too).
    Amanda. #kcacols


  6. I feel your pain! My little one is only 21 months but he already knows that he mainly likes jacket potato with cheese and beans, and pasta. My husband is also very fussy so I end up rotating the same few meals too. I don’t like eating lots of beans and pasta but can’t bear constantly cooking different dinners so I usually have a tuna jacket most nights for the sake of convenience and it is healthy too! Enjoy your wine – that always helps! 🙂 #KCACOLS


  7. I thought this was a really interesting read. I’m not known for my cooking (I tend to rely on sauces out of jars) but ever since bubs has moved to solids I have been trying my best to provide varied and healthy meals. And then cooking for us at about 10pm at night. Looking forward to when we can all eat together x #KCACOLS


  8. We have the same problem – always the same dinners on rotation. Whether it’s the kids dinners or ours! We are also guaranteed to have jacket potato and pasta in the week.

    We don’t eat together during the week due to work but we do eat together at the weekends and I find it so much easier because it means we eat earlier and I don’t have to cook two dinners!

    Thank you for linking up to #KCACOLS and I hope to see you back again next week. xx


  9. This reminded me so much of being a kid myself – all my brother would ever eat was mini pizzas, potato waffles and tomato ketchup. So, the rest of us had a steady diet of the same. The problem with him is that he never changed much; he’ll eat pasta and stuff if he’s cutting for the gym, otherwise he just seems to live on pizza! lol. #bigpinklink


  10. Reading this list I thought perhaps you had come to tea in my house.
    Sometimes I like to mix it up with a lasagne or brave a fish pie but only if I’m prepared for outright rejection dependent on the day of the week and the colour of the spoons.

    Keep repeating, it will change. It WILL change! #KCACOLS


    • Hah! Those are my “occasional attempt” dishes too. Don’t you just love going to all that effort to have it thrown (literally) back in your face?! We too also have world wars about the colour of spoons. Yep that is my mantra!! X


  11. Yes, yes, and yes!!! You actually have a wider range of acceptable dinners in your house!! In ours, we have pasta and pesto, chicken nuggets and waffles, and scrambled egg on toast, going round and round and round…!! It drives me mad, and is mainly nutritionally devoid. Like you, I find it stressful, and was finding it ridiculously stressful to try and get them to eat something different. I kept offering and disguising, but I couldn’t cope with the constant waste and annoyance at their rejection!! My husband still isn’t the greatest eater-he refuses green vegetables-can you believe that?!! That’s most of them!! He basically only eats carrots, and will practically be sick in his own mouth at a vegetable lasagne. So it’s no wonder the children are the same. I was a fussy child, and remember being about 8 when I started entertaining mass vegetables!! I also refuse to eat with the children! Like you, I want them out the way so I can enjoy my dinner in peace!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your husband only eats carrots?! I was hoping mine might grow out of it but they could just become your husband instead!!! Oh dear, best to carry on with child and adult routines then and add a bottle of wine to the grown up sitting! X


  12. its difficult yes. we do eat as a family most nights but only because it then gives me more time to blog on an eve haha! and I do just cook whatever we are having and if b eats it, great, if not, tough! we often have toad in the hole with veggies, jackets, pizza with salad and veggie sticks, pasta bake, with veggie sticks. pretty much everything is served with things like carrot sticks, peppers, toms etc. I might do a stirfry too and I do raw veggie sticks which b likes. he eats well all week at nursery so I tend not to worry too much for week meals. #KCACOLS


  13. Oh my god so it’s not just me thinking the same thing!!! My friend and I were having this exact same conversation, I feel like my little man eats the same things all the time and my hubby has decided to go on a health kick and try and encourage fresh meals ….OK my friend you stand and cook a separate meal for an hour to have him turn his nose up at it, fish fingers all the way x #KCACOLS


  14. I was a pretty fussy eater when I was younger, very suspicious of new foods! And you’ll be pleased to learn that I have pretty much grown out of it, at the age of 33! I’d say I was probably in my early twenties when I started being open to trying more different foods, so there is hope but it might take a while! x #KCACOLS


  15. Pingback: 5 Things that No Longer Embarrass Me and 5 Things that do | Tea or Wine

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