The Eleven Stages Of A Faultless Dinnertime

In today’s super helpful blog post I would like to share with you my top tips for surviving mealtimes with fussy eaters! If you have a child who voluntarily eats vegetables then this post is not for you. Piss off.

Anyway here we go…

1. Knowledge share – In can be hard coming up with new recipes that encourage a varied diet. Get together with a group of fellow parents to swap ideas and inspire each other!

school mums

2. Make a list of options – you have two choices here: –

A, Make something from the safe list that they will eat without fuss.
B, Make something from the unsafe list which will make everyone cry.


3. Cook the dinner – in this example lets say you are feeling crazy and pick something from the ‘unsafe list’ such as an outlandish spaghetti bolognese.

Apologies but there is not much I can do to help you on your chosen path of doom but please, please at least make sure you BLEND THE FUCK OUT OF ANY VEGETABLES.


4. Plate up the food and take a few minutes to lament it’s inevitable demise – you are a good parent, you are trying to do a good thing. Pat your idiotic self on the back.

stupid person5. Announce dinnertime – even before learning what the dinner actually is the children might be unforthcoming to actually eat it, preferring instead to exist on yo-yo bears and hula-hoops to any actual meals.

dinners ready

6. Don’t be dispirited – drag the children to the table, plonk them on the chairs and wait eagerly to hear how much they appreciate the food you have lovingly prepared.


Next they may start to scream hysterically and tell you how disgusting it looks and what a terrible person you are for making them such an offensive meal to eat.

hate dinner2

[note how this person’s children refuse to sit properly on chairs instead rotating between standing on a chair, placing one bum cheek on the edge of the chair and hanging off it and wailing underneath the table – reinforce good manners by constantly shouting ‘SIT ON YOUR BLOODY CHAIR PROPERLY!!!!!!!’ at 30 second intervals throughout the entire meal]

7. Dodge tableware – If you are feeding a toddler then there is quite a high likelihood that they may lob cutlery across the room at you. It is your responsibility to know their favourite colour plates, knifes, forks and spoons even though they may change on a daily basis.


If you are feeding a baby and are reading this feeling smug because your baby ‘likes everything and is such a good eater’ then please know that babies eat everything because they are still pretty dumb and have nothing better to do. Eventually they will figure out that cake is way nicer than your shitty sweet potato surprise and then you will be screwed like the rest of us.

8. Get on your knees and beg – This is your final attempt. You are pathetic. Work it.

beg them3


Dinnertime has gone on for 1 1/4 hours now and you are starting to wonder what it feels like to be dead.

No one needs to be put through this torture any longer. The children sniffed it and some of the carrot air probably went into their systems somehow. Give them their dessert and congratulate yourself on reinforcing their terrible eating habits.

In our house the current faddy flavour of the week pudding wise = Yollies. In case you don’t know what a Yollie is, it’s the bastard love child of a yogurt and an ice lolly. They come in character based packets which your kids can fight over despite them being EXACTLY THE SAME INSIDE.

As you would imagine I fucking hate Yollies and everything they stand for (but still buy them).


10. That’s it – well done on another successful dinnertime Mummy! Send they kids off to watch back to back episode of Paw Patrol until it’s bedtime and then spend some time rocking backwards and forwards in your favourite corner of the kitchen.

11. Or so you thought – shit they’re back.


Try and remain calm maybe?


It’s ok I don’t blame you.


Never mind tomorrow is a pesto pasta day.


P.S. I have a new book OUT NOW! You can nab it on Amazon here or in your lovely local bookshop :)


47 thoughts on “The Eleven Stages Of A Faultless Dinnertime

  1. Ciara

    I totally feel your pain! My daughter is now 24 but for 22 YEARS I mashed cauliflower into her potatoes and she never noticed! It was only when my son , 17, told her that she decided maybe she did like it after all! I promise they will not die of malnutrition if they don’t eat veggies :) Pour yourself a Bombay & Tonic (I just have) and I promise they will eat them eventually. Keep up the good work and drink yourself into a stupor in the meantime :)

  2. Jennie - Mummy Vs The World

    Frubes are my son’s current favourite but yollies are a close second… Isn’t is great how they can go from being full (when their dinner’s in front of them to starving (for snacks) the minute they leave the table. They should invent a spagetti bolognese flavour yollie – that would really give them a shock! ;)

    1. Will Sutton

      Welcome to toddler hell. Break out the Iglo fish sticks and get ready for your kids to subsist on nothing but cookies and lollies.

  3. Einat

    Great post! You make us all laugh so much. I have a little girly and she already starts being this crazily picky eater… meal times are soooooooo exhausting. We share the joy ;)

    1. Nicola

      it made me cry too! meal times are either the best time ever or hell on earth depending on if i manage to guess correctly whether she wants spoon feeding, me to load the spoon and her put it in her mouth, her to load the spoon herself or eat with her hands!! trials and tribulations before i even get to the actual food!

  4. Mary Clinton

    My son is autistic and this went on for ten long years. Well I remember on Xmas day when he refused to beat the lavish dinner and wanted his sodding chicken nuggets with snakes and ladders potato shapes (the same food he had eaten every single day since time immemorial). I sat there getting quietly sloshed while he screamed and shouted. Three hours later admitted defeat and made the sodding meal. The sound of music was playing on the tv. God how I hate that movie. Keep up the good work.

    1. Philippa

      For years and years it looked like we hated our son on Christmas day. Huge turkey dinner with all the trimmings, but he had a plate of sausages, white bread with the crusts cut off, ( no butter. Butter? On bread? Are you nuts?) cucumber slices ( the only green thing he has ever eaten outside of a grape and he is now ten) and ketchup. He has now graduated to turkey, gravy, sausage, Smilies and carrots. It makes me feel like Jamie freaking Oliver in comparison.

      1. Mullies

        Haha. I’m 38 now but still remember my mum putting my Christmas dinner in front of me saying, ‘I look like a terrible parent.’ I hated everything and would have something like a slice of turkey and half a potato, which I ate with my face scrunched up. I feel quite bad that I don’t have kids so she won’t ever see payback… if it helps I still eat zero fruit and veg but I’ve always been completely healthy…

  5. Alison

    Ah yes, Yollies! Moulded fromage frais that cost a fortune! I feel your pain! Thank God it’s not just me despairing because nobody likes mince OR chicken anymore! Pasta and Sauce and tinned spaghetti with sausages it is then :( x

  6. Fiona Lewis

    I promise, it gets better in time. My daughter is nearly 17 and still turns her nose up at real food with sauces and spices and actual flavour. I don’t care any more though – she cooks her own f*****g pesto pasta or fishfingers. Sometimes she even puts the dishes in the dishwasher. Once, she wiped the worktop down. I feel I am winning.

  7. Jessica

    This post is EVERYTHING. I cried laughing because it’s the truth and this is almost every night in my house. Every time I think “they must be sick of the same safe shit” and get creative, I regret it almost immediately. Also, why is it so f^*&%ing hard to SIT DOWN TO EAT?

  8. Jules

    Every. Fucking. Day since snapping out of that dumb baby phase. Has anyone ever done any research on what happens to your kids if they eat nuggets every night for 10 years? They’ll be ok right?

  9. Liz Clarke

    I LOVE this post – and I have never heard my husband laugh so much at an article I have shared! It’s good to know that tea time is the same in every household inhabited with small, feral people!

    Keep up the good work!

  10. This Is Everything

    Yes, yes and yes. And more of the yeses. All of the above, happens, right here, on a daily basis – well, on the days I don’t serve up pesto pasta. Sigh. The bits about the standing on the chair / one bum cheek on the chair / off the chair and rotate particularly resonate – I seem to spend every single dinner time saying “sit on your chair properly” with increasing agitation until I eventually explode and throw yoghurt (pudding) at them…. grrrr

  11. Suzanne Stanton

    When my son refused to eat anything vaguely healthy, but used to eat the play dough at playgroup I actually tried putting mince and shredded vegetable into some home made play dough. It idn’t work. He survived and is now 19 and eats a lot of everything, except playdough. Don’t lose hope. Don’t put vegetables and mince into play dough. I laughed till I cried reading this post.

  12. Sarah jowitt

    This has been the best laugh I have had in ages. I have literally laughed out loud for 5 minutes. My son is autistic and this is bang on. Thanks for a great laugh

  13. Will Sutton

    I thought there might be hope, but alas…
    We went to the Christas market and both kids (twin 4 yos) asked for a chocolate apple. I thought “Yay! They’re eating apples!”…

    … until they ate the cheap chocolate covering off and gave the apples to me to eat for them.

    Gin and Whiskey are becoming my favorite desserts.

  14. Alex

    The most accurate thing I’ve read in forever!! I salute you for getting all our dinnertime issues on one blog!! And yollies….we should own shares in them gross jellified yogurt sticks!!! Xx

  15. Emer

    I’m crying, luckily the belly laugh crying vibration is lulling my newborn to sleep as I hold him.

    This is my life especially no. 11

  16. Mark

    This is so true. I beat myself around the head trying to get our 6 yo to sit and eat – just one effing pea PLEASE. Praise the Lord for distilled alcohol!

  17. Pingback: Day 45…continued – #winterful is here – Dad at the end of the line

  18. Hannah @ themumandthemom

    Brilliant and terrifyingly accurate. To add a layer of complexity to the process my children (4 under 6 – the youngest turns 6m next week and I am DREADING having to include him in the mealtime chaos) – have decided they can only eat off plates that colour coordinate with their Tripp Trapps.
    Pesto pasta is too adventurous here as two of mine would happily only ever eat ‘white’ pasta aka pasta with butter! apart from the odd anomaly that they all love smoked fish?! And I would be happy about this but have you ever felt more middle class than wandering around the aisles of waitrose while your two year old screeches/demands “but I NEED MORE SMOKEEY SALMON MUMMY”

  19. Samantha mann

    I’ve just finished looking for the camera you obviously hid in my house. Me and the hubby have been sat in tears of laughter reading this. Thankyou! Apart from
    The fact we are now wandering wtf we’re going to feed the kids tomorrow

  20. Sue Taylor

    Don’t despair in my day it was Sunny Delight (ii you don’t know it it was a nasty slimy formulated orange drink) and was often consumed with turkey drummers and our kids survived and now have picky kids of their own.

  21. Lynne

    Both my children are grown up and I’m a grandparent. I must’ve been lucky because neither of them were fussy eaters. He loved Weetabix, she hated it. She loved Marmite, he didn’t. They both ate undisguised green tree (broccoli) and white tree (cauliflower). I was either very lucky, or my memory is letting me down in my old age! Hilarious blog though, it really made me laugh.

  22. Agnieszka

    My boys are 16 and 18 now, the younger one eats absolutely everything and always did but the older is (and was) a real fusspot!! He survived for years on bread (no butter), rice (no sauce), pasta (on its own), dry biscuits and fries. But for some unexplained reason liked broccoli, fresh carrots and salmon (poached, no sauces!). So that’s what we had every second night for almost two decades! I thank God for our lovely fish-man and his van.

  23. Sue

    Just read this w our still fussy 9yo*, all 3 of us hooting.

    *I censored most of the swears, I am not a completely bad person. However he did learn some great swears aged 6 off YouTube minecraft videos, culminating in him innocently saying; “You really fucked that one up mummy!” during a game of operation. Face+Palm

  24. Kia

    I’m seriously tempted to record me saying “SIT on your BOTTOM on the CHAIR” and just play it on repeat during meals. I give zero fucks ATM as am stupidly 17 weeks pregnant and have a preschooler and toddler already.

  25. Livia

    This is so good! I was actually laughing out loud so much! This is what happen in my house every time I don’t make pasta with meatballs…

  26. Claire

    This is me with my 14 yr old right now… he’s gone from a dream child who ate ANYTHING to a grouchy teenager who will only eat a. Anything chocolatey b. Crisps c. Chicken Super Noodles d. Tuna pasta… occasionally, every couple of months or so, he requests a lasagne, then moans his arse off because, y’know there’s stuff in it (onions, peppers) which I don’t usually put in there… of course I’ve made bolognese with those ingredients since I could cook… It’s fun… honest! X

  27. Nia

    I love this. You make me feel like I haven’t failed as a mother. My seven year old daughter is so fussy. When we try to get her to eat vegetables, she looks like we are feeding her arsenic. Nightmare! Plus I was recently shamed at a big family gathering. My cousin’s 4 year daughter was literally shovelling broccoli into her mouth happily. In comparison, my daughter refused absolutely everything in front of my entire extended family. I felt like I had ‘crap mother’ tattooed on my forehead. Thank you for making me feel normal, seriously.


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