Food For Thought: Dinner Diva Doles Out Advice

My alter ego, the Dinner Diva has a gig on the side that I JUST found out about. It seems the Dinner Diva decided she was fit to dole out advice in the same fashion as Dear Abby and has been helping the whiny and the lost with all their menu-planning woes. Let’s take a peek into her mailbag and see what she has to say:
Dear Dinner Diva,
My children are so picky! All they’ll eat is chicken nuggets, hamburgers and mac and cheese! Picky, picky, picky!! They wouldn’t know a green vegetable if it went up and introduced itself. I don’t know what to do; they are so PICKY!!! I’m tired of their pickiness. Please help.
Distraught in Detroit
Dear Distraught,
Seems to me that the reason your children only eat that stuff is because that’s what you serve them. Remember who the parent is here! You choose their food (make sure you have at least one healthy thing on the plate that they like), you cook their food (you’re not a short-order cook!) and you serve them the same stuff with the rest of the family. It will take work and perseverance, but it can all be done with a pleasant attitude. Train your children to eat better and be a sterling example of eating well, too. If you pig out on Hagen Daaz regularly in front of the tube and feed your children Tofutti, they will notice and be more than a little miffed.
Dear Dinner Diva,
I went by your website and noticed you had menus for low carb and regular menus. I am a low carbing vegan vegetarian and don’t like tree nuts, peanuts, any kind of nuts, soy, corn, wheat, beans, vegetables, fruits—well, basically everything except oatmeal and prunes. Can you help me make menus? Also, my husband doesn’t like prunes. I forgot to tell you that.
Meal-less in Miami
Dear Meal-less,
“Please sir, can I have some more?” That famous sentence is in a scene in Oliver Twist and by the looks of things, that is the condition of your sad diet. While it may seem rather grueling, I’m sorry, but I don’t have much to offer. Check out the Quaker Oats website.
Dear Dinner Diva,
I just don’t have time! I work every day, commute, pick kids up from daycare and by the time I get home, I’m tired. I can’t afford to eat drive thru every night and I feel guilty that I am not giving my children a better dinner. But I just don’t have TIME! Please help me have time. I love your menus, but I don’t have time! Do you make house calls?
Hungry in Houston
Dear Hungry,
Two words: Crock-Pot. Buy one.
Leanne again: Well, that’s all I have scouted so far. One thing I noticed big time that there was a common thread to all these letters to the Dinner Diva. Do you see it? Do you know what it is?
Yep, it’s Whining, capital W. No one likes listening to a whiner (or reading one either!). This week we’re remembering one of the great FlyLady principles: Thou Shall Not Whine. I have this plaque in my house and it’s a terrific reminder for both me and the kids. Let’s NOT go there!
Whining will not make your menu planning happen, your meals effortless or your grocery shopping a breeze. If you think cooking is about as fun as cleaning toilets, try to look at this task from a different angle—like the one that makes your husband brag about you at work or your children ask you with a smile, “What’s for dinner, Mom?”
Changing your attitude and determining you do too have time, that no one HAS to be picky for life (there is hope even with the pickiest!), and that the result is well worth the effort, will forever change your feelings about cooking.
So my dear readers, don’t you come whining to me now with your great big whiny list of WHY you can’t do dinner, lunch, or any other meal. I might have to sic the Dinner Diva on you!

PS–Want help with delicious menus (complete with shopping lists!) delivered right to your email inbox? Subscribe to Dinner Answers today!

0 Responses

  1. Hi Leanne,
    I’ve been hearing a lot lately about not using olive oil to cook with as it oxidizes it. What are your thoughts?  I notice some of your recipes say to saute with it or med/high heat. When I try this, it smokes, so I’ve switched to coconut oil.

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