Some people may think it would be easy to find food that four kids would happily and energetically eat. Maybe, but here is a list of my personal deal breakers, ingredients and other things that earn a recipe, any recipe, a quick trip to the trash can.
1. Cream of mushroom soup. Cream of anything soup. Actually, any canned soup at all.
2. Hot dogs. Grossest food ever.
3. Mayonnaise. I’ll make my own mayo for certain things, but not in vast creamy-gooey-salad-type quantities.
4. Canned peas. Holdover from my youth.
5. Anything with the phrase “pot roast” in it.
6. Anything with the word “casserole” in it.
7. Anything that requires American cheese or bologna.
9. Any recipe with the word “surprise” in it.
10. Anything with both “jello” and “salad” in the title.
There are probably more, but these ten come to mind quickly.
Kids vote on whether or not something makes The List before they know what exactly went into the dish. I don’t lie and tell them they’re eating chicken when they’re really eating eel, but I also refuse to tell them what they’re eating before they decide whether or not to like it.
Also, once something goes on The List, it stays on The List. When I fix something from The List for dinner, there’s no Cruise Ship Mentality of “I’ll take the second seating” or “I’ll opt for the all-you-can-eat cereal bar.” No way. List food means you eat it or you starve, plain and simple…otherwise The List would be completely pointless.
Things that don’t make The List still may be served again at a later date, but if it’s not on The List then there is always the back door option of a bowl of cereal. I cook one meal at a time; I don’t do special meals for picky eaters…that, too, would totally defeat the purpose of this project.
Finally, 100% MEANS 100%…all four kids must agree or the dish does not qualify as hallowed List material.