On Sunday, I called a family meeting to discuss all of the stress that's been visiting our dinner table lately. I told everybody how depressing it was to try night after night to feed them a wide variety of nutritious dinners only to have them gag and retch at the very thought of putting it into their mouths. I equated what I create (dinner) to things that the boys create (artwork, LEGO sculptures, etc.), and asked them how they would feel if I didn't even want to look at their drawing/LEGO/whatever because I'm sure I didn't like it even though I'd never seen it before I just knew that I'd hate it. I think it sunk in a little bit when I explained it like that.
After working on the emotions, I gave everybody an assignment. I spread out the cooking magazines and kid cookbooks all over the dining room table. Then I told everyone to pick three dinners they like to eat. The only restriction was that it couldn't be pizza or macaroni and cheese. Since all of the publications feature full-color photos of the food it allowed everyone, even pre-reader Jack, the opportunity to have his say.
I gotta tell you, it worked. Not only did we come up with a comprehensive list of non-gagworthy dinners, that night Henry himself helped cook the lasagna he'd found in one of his cookbooks! But it couldn't be a Foley dinner without a twist ending: Jack declared at the table that he hates lasagna. Of course you do, Jack, that's why four hours ago you said how much you love it.
Here's what we came up with and our success rate so far:
I'm going to convene this family meeting once a month from now on. The results speak for themselves!