Dad abandons cooking dinner for his picky kids. Internet applauds

Posted in Mealtimes.

A dad of four has had it up to the eye teeth with trying to accommodate his children’s various mealtime demands, revealing on popular forum Reddit that he’s chucked the towel in once and for all.

Too many complaints, too many hates

“I used to love cooking, and I’m good at it,” the dad posting under the username BabyHooey wrote. 

“Tonight, I was standing 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.”

That’s not to say he left his kids unprepared. Rather he gave them some basics and invited them to work it out for themselves.

“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.”

  Read more about feeding kids:

Pleasantly surprised

Figuring all hell was about to break loose, this dad was pleasantly surprised by his children’s response.

“I was expecting a lot of protest, but nobody said much,” he wrote.

“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.”

Noting that the kid-made meals were not exactly up there in the nutritional stakes, he explained that this would be a work in progress and that he’d probably consult with his kids on their choices as this new approach plays out.

“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.”


What did other parents think of this strategy? They were pretty darned interested and supportive. Many had found themselves in the middle of a similar dinnertime puzzle trying to slot everyone’s likes and dislikes into something edible.

“I really wish I could do this but our kids are too young! Good luck!” one Reddit user posted.

“We started something similar starting at 3 years old,” another parent wrote. “I cook every night but the kids are allowed to make their own food if they don’t want what we made.”

“I’ve been considering this,” another tortured parent commented. “Everyone in my family is super picky and I’m at a point where I literally can’t think of a single meal that everyone will eat. I’m so tired of making 4-5 different meals every night.”

For another parent, this strategy resulted in some newfound respect, and less combative mealtimes.

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


Get more babyology straight to your inbox