9. Make only one meal—you are not a short-order chef.
It’s not really a family meal if everyone’s eating something different. And it is just too much work to create several meals a night. If you have really picky eaters, try to make a side dish that you know everyone will like. Serving plain pasta with butter on the side is OK; encourage your kid to try to main dish.
I love the blog Make Your Own Damn Dinner, in part because the writer, Badger, made a “selfish” choice that had unintended benefits for her family. In the summer of 2006, Badger decided that she didn’t want to play the short-order cook anymore and that she would make just one dinner for the family, take it or leave it. She decided that her kids (at 8 and 10 years old) were old enough to make themselves something else if they didn’t like what she was making. Read “How it all began” on the sidebar for her funny and inspiring story. Guess what? Dinner became easier and more fun for everyone. She lists loads of quick and easy meals, posting every week or so. For meal ideas and inspiration, and you can scan the links by food under “What’s Cooking?”
Here are more tips on picky eaters, but beware of conflicting advice. Follow you own judgment, but stay committed to reducing your own work load and anxiety around dinner!