What’s For Dinner?!

Is there a phrase in the family lexicon more odious and gut-punching than “What’s for dinner?”


That maddening query rarely comes from my husband. Wilson will happily eat anything. No joke, he loves airplane food, various game meat, even gefilte fish.

It’s my hungry, exasperating kids who march through the door from school and– before they can dump their backpacks– brazenly spit out,” What’s for dinner?”…like they’re challenging me to a duel.

I enjoy simple cooking and strive for healthy food whenever possible. Much to my kids’ disappointment, the only time we see the Golden Arches is on a road trip or at the airport a few times a year.  But trying to feed them healthy food that they’ll eat is a constant challenge.

Each week, I serve many meals while serving many mini masters. Wouldn’t it be grand if all three of my boys (ages 6, 8, and 12) liked the same foods? Eli doesn’t like steak and is allergic to nuts and shellfish. Aden will eat broccoli but hates beans, and sweet potatoes.  Jacob doesn’t like turkey and will only eat the bottoms of asparagus (who doesn’t like the tips?!) They love pasta but one likes it plain, one with red sauce and no meat and the other with meat sauce but no onions.

It’s exhausting.

Like most moms, my days are packed with work, errands, phone calls, emails and shuttling the kids to activities…not to mention keeping the house from post-tornado conditions.  Often I get to the 4pm witching hour– when dinner is looming– and my good intentions in the morning got pushed down on the priority list and I have no meal plan.

Even if I’m on my game, prepared a menu, and had the forethought to defrost something,  “What’s for dinner?” still makes me clench my teeth and want to flee.

It’s like the only obstacle between my family eating a delicious, healthy meal and starving to death …is me.

It’s entirely too much pressure.

No matter what I put on the plates, someone’s not going to be happy and it will be my fault.  Like all parents, I hate to fail. Even one forsaken fish filet can set me off.

I know I’ll never please all the people all the time and I should just make the meal and move on.

Another answer to “What’s for dinner?”

“We’re eating out. “

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