Daddy, What’s For Dinner?

Child eating and enjoying his food - not dinner

SJ eating and enjoying his food. No, it’s not dinner.

SJ is a big boy.

He has been a big boy since birth. He came into this world at 9 pounds 4 ounces.  He remains in the 90 plus percentile when it comes to weight.

And the boy likes to eat.

However, like most 7-year-olds, he is finicky. Recently, SJ informed Ms. MMK and I that he was no longer eating hot dogs. No, it’s not because he has made the moral choice of going vegan. SJ just felt that he wanted something different.

My wife was not taking this decision lying down.

She told him, “Well then, you need to find something else to add to your list of foods.”

SJ was confused, “Huh?”

“You only eat 7 foods [slight exaggeration – 27 is more like it. You do count bagel and cheese and bread and cheese as two different foods – right? ] and if you are removing one from the list you need to add another one.”

SJ sighed. He continues to eat hot dogs. Uggh, the sacrifices he must make.

Let’s recap what I have shared so far: SJ is a big eater and a particular eater.

Okay, nothing earth shattering. That’s probably the description 88.2% of kids. I just made that number up – sounds like a radio station, perhaps Finicky 88.2 – but I am confident the number is similarly high.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I do the food shopping for my family. Not only that, I do the meal planning.

Actually, my wife handles Wednesdays which is take out day. She also handles Fridays – our Sabbath meal.  It’s the best one of the week – BY FAR! I’ll tell you about that another time.

Anyway, the family looks to me to know what’s for dinner. Now between my repertoire, limited time for preparation, and the boys’ inch wide list of things they are willing to eat, there is little variety.

Now, you would think the excitement of what’s for dinner would not be there.

No, no, no. Daddy, what’s for dinner is the first thing SJ asks me when I see him in the afternoon.

I was on the phone with my wife the other day, and I heard SJ in the background. It was a Wednesday when my wife works from home.

He asked Ms. MMK, “Is that daddy on the phone?”

“Yes, do you want to talk to daddy?”

“I want to know what’s for dinner.”

“I told you what I got for dinner.”


“Hello,” I called out to my wife.


“He doesn’t want to talk to me anymore does he?”

“What can I tell you?”

Asking me what’s for dinner is not a once in a while sort of thing. Before, I have my coat off, SJ asks me, “Daddy, what’s for dinner?”

As we walk out of after care, SJ asks me, “Daddy, what’s for dinner?”

On Sundays after lunch, SJ asks me, “Daddy, What’s for dinner?”

Really? Is that all I’m good for?  I mean if I was Emeril Lagasse maybe I could appreciate this. But what the heck do I make – frozen hot dogs, eggs, mac n cheese, etc.

I do have feelings you know.

I’ve talked to SJ about this. I can get him to offer a “How was your day dad?”  And a “good” to my question of how his day was.

And then SJ is back to, “Daddy, what’s for dinner?”

Oh well, at least he wants to talk.

17 thoughts on “Daddy, What’s For Dinner?

  1. It doesn’t get any better once they’re older. My two have expanded their palette in the last 2 years, primarily because Mike often cooks and he makes different food than I do, but the first thing they do when they walk in the door is head for the pantry. Hopefully SJ will diversify his menu soon.

  2. So, what IS for dinner?

    We’re having baked chicken thighs with mushrooms and onions. Maybe some rice. I wish we had some ice cream but I was trying got be good at the grocery store yesterday, and now I deeply regret my restraint.

  3. I’m certainly not one to talk about cooking here – you know about my challenges 🙂
    My son really does have about 7 things he eats for dinner. And he eats rice/gravy and broc/cheese with EVERY dinner meal. I try to get him to change out the sides and occasionally he’ll eat tator tots but it’s the same thing, every day.

    It’s even gotten to this place where he can make his own dinner. I mean, he’s ten right – he knows how to operate a microwave.

  4. What a cute, funny kid! Maybe you can substitute one sausage for another? When we babysit our nephews we substituted sausages for hotdogs (out of necessity rather than desire to explore, trust me) and it was a surprising hit!

  5. My son is very finicky, has gotten a bit better as he has gotten older but man there are moments where I wonder if he is determined to make my hair fall out with this mishegoss about what he does and doesn’t like.

    • Yesterday, I had to force him to eat some noodles. It’s one of the few foods he really enjoys yet they had pepper that was visible. You would have thought it was poison.

  6. That’s the first question Mr. T asks me, too. As soon as he is through the door he wants to know what’s for dinner! I’ve just decided that it is code for “I love you mom” 🙂

  7. Clearly you make good dinners so he always wants to know what’s up next! My children (and husband) also have inch wide lists of what they are willing to eat. It’s pretty much the most frustrating thing ever. I am certain I’ve complained about it before.

    Also, have you considered cheederwurst? MMM. Now I want a hot dog!

    PS. I nominated you for a Liebster award on my blog =)

    • See, I have little patience or interest in cooking so I guess I can’t complain too much. If their taste buds expanded rapidly, I would be left unable.
      Thanks for the nomination. Much appreciated.

  8. “What’s for dinner?” is the first question that comes out of my sons’ mouths after school, without fail. And woe is the days I say “leftovers.” They hate that.

    How cool that you do meal planning and cooking. My husband shuns both like the plague. On spring break, I suggested he cook (I can count on one hand the number of times he’s cooked in the last ten years…). He made tacos, and it was beyond fantastic to come out of my den and have dinner waiting for me. It doesn’t have to be fancy. I’m just thrilled not to do the work!

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