I'll be the first to admit it. Dinner wouldn't be such a bad thing, if it wasn't a requirement every single night. Night, after night, after night. If you have picky children like I do, it's even more irritating. Surely, I'm not the only mom who has slaved (yes, slaved, I'm calling it like I see it) over a hot stove, to have not just one or even two kids complain, but every single one. And worse, if I'd truly made what their father and I would have preferred (something containing more than two ingredients) I would actually get to enjoy the meal myself.
Here's the Mom Wants A Life answer:
1) Teach your child how to cook: microwaves and toasters are relatively safe, right? And they make decent toasted cheeses, bagel pizzas and cheesy quesadilla.
2) Declare a cereal night: My kids absolutely love cereal night. Unfortunately, this option only works when my husband is out of town. For some reason he doesn’t find joy in fine cereal. Please be aware, there are rules to cereal night: the kids must choose a relatively healthy variety. (Tips on what a healthy variety looks like: the cereal is typically a toasted brown (no vibrant colors), the box is free of cartoon characters or Disney stars, sometimes dried fruits or nuts are included, and the milk in the bowl stays white.)
The best part about cereal night is that you canadd a dessert if you'd like. Choices include, but are not limited to: Captain Crunch, Fruit Loops, etc. (Tips on what a dessert cereal looks like: it contains any or all colors of the rainbow, the front of the box looks like a children's TV show, any fruits included are man-made, and last, the liquid in the bowl no longer resembles milk after the first bite.)
3) Introduce your children to the RAW diet: Remind them, and yourself, how healthy raw is: Grab a plate and pick out two servings of vegetables (uncooked of course,) two servings of fruit, and for protein- a handful of peanuts or almonds. Voila. Three minutes from fridge to table, and zero guilt. Add a slice of bread, and you've covered the best of the food pyramid.
4) Casually mention to your neighbor how much your children rave about her (insert whatever meal your neighbor has just prepared). Immediately add that you simply have not been able to replicate said dish to the perfection she has managed. Innocently ask, "Can my kids try a few bites so they can tell me what's missing?" Proceed to hand her a large plate for each hungry child.
5) Repetitively tell your children they already ate. After the tenth protest that they have NOT eaten dinner and are starving, reply: "Of course you had dinner (describe last night's dinner in detail). You're not really hungry, you're just tired. In fact, you're soooo tired you can't even remember eating dinner." Send them to bed.
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