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Father of picky eaters 'retires' from cooking to teach them a lesson: 'No meals left to make'

Frustrated by their specific food preferences, he relinquished the responsibility and informed his children that they would have to prepare their own food.

Father of picky eaters 'retires' from cooking to teach them a lesson: 'No meals left to make'
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Photo by cottonbro studio

Dealing with a picky eater is a challenge for most parents. Finding meals that are both healthy as well as appealing is a difficult task. Children can be amusing, but they can also be rigidly stubborn. It's a common issue, but this father found a creative solution to deal with it. He has four children aged 10 to 16  and he began to receive complaints about dinner no matter what he prepared. So, he decided it was time to stop cooking and take a premature retirement from this responsibility.

The father—who goes by u/BabyHooey shares, "I used to love cooking, and I'm good at it. Kids have become so picky that there are no meals left that I can make without someone complaining."

(Representational) Image Source: Pexels| Photo by Sasha Kim
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Sasha Kim

He continues, "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."

He further explained, "We were safe for a while with tacos until one kid decided she was never eating tacos again. So 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."

Thus, he decided to retire from cooking for his kids. "I 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," he wrote. Once they realized he wasn't cooking for them, they decided to feed 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."

The father did highlight that these meals are not nutritionally sufficient. "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," he added.

Image Source: Reddit | u/Vavamama
Image Source: Reddit

On viewers' demand, he provided an update on the situation. "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 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.'"

Image Source: Reddit
Image Source: Reddit


"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 are sandwiches or cereal. And surprisingly, sandwiches and cereal are being chosen very rarely." He concluded, "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."

Image Source: Reddit
Image Source: Reddit

As the retirement was a success, some other Reddit users also shared how it worked for them as well. "At around 40 years old, I remember my mom, who does woodworking, had cut a small sign and hand painted it. It said, 'KITCHEN'S CLOSED! COOK QUIT!' She didn't cook another meal after that point. Dad started cooking and to this day, my mom hasn't cooked another meal. She is 73 now. I am guessing me and my brother were ungrateful, picky eaters," shared u/anon.

"Agree with this. We involved our kids in cooking when they were younger and gradually decreased supervision and direction as they got older. I was always available for questions though," wrote u/Mannings4head. "You should assign each kid a separate day to cook a family meal so they learn to meal plan and also they each can feel the burn and frustration when people are picky," suggested u/poltyy. However, this solution might not work for everyone. "My son would eat the sandwiches every day and never care. Lol. But glad this worked out for you!" wrote u/jwjody

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