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'I just retired from cooking for my picky kids.' UPDATED AFTER 4 WEEKS

'I just retired from cooking for my picky kids.' UPDATED AFTER 4 WEEKS


"I just retired from cooking: Night One"


(Four kids, 10-16.) I used to love cooking, and I'm good at it (according to objective others, not just myself).

My kids have become so picky that there are literally no meals left that I can make without someone complaining. Spaghetti? I make my sauce with Italian sausage and one kid has decided she hates fennel.

One kid has Celiac, which rules out wheat (obviously not her fault) so that makes it harder. One kid hates cheese, which rules out a lot of things. One kid hates chicken. We were safe for a while with tacos until one kid decided she was never eating tacos again.

So tonight, I was stand in the grocery store feeling stupid. Like there's an entire store full of food, and I'm able to buy anything in the store within reason, and yet somebody will complain about anything I make.

And that's why, in the middle of that grocery store, I decided to retire from cooking for the family. I came home with assorted ingredients instead and told the kids we will still provide food but it will now be their responsibility to prepare it for themselves and feed themselves with it.

I was expecting a lot of protest, but nobody said much. After about 30 minutes, they decided I really wasn't cooking dinner and they actually started feeding themselves. One kid made a turkey and cheese sandwich, one made peanut butter and jelly. The one with Celiac decided to make herself and her sister some noodle soup with rice noodles, chicken stock, and veggies.

If it looks like we're going to encounter nutritional deficiencies, I guess we'll address that as it comes up, but so far I'm pleased with the results of Night One. I will post future updates if anyone's interested.

And interested, the internet was. Here were the top comments from readers:


I tried quitting cooking. It lasted a week before they begged me to resume. It was like a reset, they didn’t complain again.


This is exactly what my parents did, but it was more a life-skills thing than a pickiness thing. I decided I wanted to be vegan at the time and, as a result, I know how to make a pretty solid vegan menu now as an adult. Im a fairly lazy chef, all things considered, so most of it is really basic but my sibling is an awesome homestyle cook.

The only thing I would say is please make it clear that you're available for cooking tips/help, if they need it. They need to plan and manage the dish but if they need help somewhere in execution, you will be there.

My parents didn't do this so there were more than a few mess-ups that could have been avoided with a little expert overwatch or advice. And we would have been alot more comfortable trying to dishes or attempting to learn new kitchen skills if we had known we had some positive support.

The OP responded:


Great thoughts! I appreciate your input! My son was the turkey-cheese sandwich, which he wanted grilled, so I gave instructions per his request. He burned it a little on one side but ate it anyway. Feels like success to me. :)


Please update us in a few days!

True to her word, the OP returned with an update 4 weeks later.

'Update (by request): I retired from cooking'


For about two weeks, everyone lived off of sandwiches and cereal. At about that point, I started cooking for myself and my wife only, things that we like to eat and cook.

Eventually, one kid said, 'That smells really good, can I have some?' I said that I only made enough for the two of us, but if they'd like some of tomorrow's dinner, let me know and I can make extra. I was expecting 'what's tomorrow's dinner' but instead I got, 'yes, please, anything's better than more sandwiches.'

All of them eventually followed suit. I'm back to cooking for six, but I'm making whatever I want to make. If anyone has a problem with it, there's sandwiches or cereal. And surprisingly, sandwiches and cereal are being chosen very rarely.

So the retirement didn't last long, but the temporary strike seems to have solved the problem that led to my premature retirement, so I'm good with it.

Here were the top comments from readers after this latest update.


I did the same once all the kids were in high school. They didn’t mind and all still cook for themselves. Sometimes even cook for me.


My son would eat the sandwiches everyday and never care. Lol. But glad this worked out for you!


Parenting is 90% being able to hold out longer than the gremlins.


I am so here for all of these wholesome BORU posts!!

Hopefully the temporary strike leads to teaching the kiddos how to cook 😁


My mom did this. After 5 days of sandwiches and Kraft macaroni and cheese my sister and I caved and apologized and begged her to start cooking again. She considers it one of her finest hours ;-)

Have any other parents had to battle similar picky eaters? What was your strategy?

Sources: Reddit
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