Battle of the Bolognese, winning the fight against picky eaters

39078444-77BE-46C4-85EA-2E88F63A1365Here we go again! Another mealtime, another battle to get the gruesome twosome to eat anything other than over processed shit, laden with salt, sugar and E numbers.

We took up position on the battleground, with their Dad breaking their line and taking up position on the flank. It was a good opening, but we weren’t ready for how much ammo they they had.

“What is this” says Thing One, poking the pasta suspiciously “This isn’t our usual Pasta!”

Deep breaths from both their Dad and I, “it’s just Pasta Bolognese, nothing unusual. eat up”.

Thing Two, goes for a bold opening gambit, that he has had some success with over the years; “I don’t like it, I’m not eating it”

Calmly, “You haven’t even tried it, what’s up?”

Thing One dons his Great British Menu, Judge face, and critiques all of the meal’s shortcomings. I’m not going to make it to the regional finals, never mind the showstopper banquet. Basically there are three main problems.

  1. Onion. I used finely chopped onion, but no garlic. Pasta sauce has to have enough garlic to knock over an elephant, this sauce had none. Definitely lost points there.
  2. There is a distinct lack of artificial flavours, preservatives, E numbers, or salt. They have me over a barrel here, I made the sauce from scratch, there wasn’t a bottle of Dolmio in sight.
  3. Carrot. I put a finely chopped, small carrot in the sauce, and forgot to turn the light off before they sat down at the table, so the carrot was duly noted. It’s pasta sauce, not a vitamin mule, finely chopped or not – the moment it was spotted, it was a case of ‘Houston we have a problem’.

“It’s healthy” I retort. Sauce from a bottle is full of sugar and salt; cue a short discussion on stroke and diabetes, with their Dad and I working as a tag team, and not pulling any punches.

Thing Two doesn’t care about diabetes or strokes, he is 7, he is invincible, he is not eating this dinner. “I don’t like it! It tastes weird!”

Carpe Jugulum son! (Thank you Terry Pratchett)

Thing Two is emboldened, ‘There is too much garlic in it, I don’t like it”, his brother’s shoulders sag, this is a rookie error. Over confidence has got his facts round his ankles, and Thing One knows that the breaking in ranks has left him vulnerable; he will have to eat more now.

By now their Dad is shovelling food in, and making ‘mmmmm’ sounds, because the dogs have woken up and are circling the table like great white sharks around seal island.

Thing One declares he is ‘full’. This is a gamble, he’s watching my face for any sign of weakness.

“Ok, but if you are leaving that, I’ll put some cling film over it and put it in the fridge, you aren’t getting buns or biscuits later, if you are hungry, you can come back to it”.

My face is being scanned, am I bluffing? I don’t usually bluff, should he risk it or not?

“Could you heat it up? I don’t think I’d like it cold.”

Of course son, I wouldn’t make you eat it cold (this isn’t the 1970’s)

He decides I’m not bluffing, and actually there wouldn’t be any cake later, “I’ll just eat a bit more now” he says, polishing off the last of it.

Stonewall Thing Two on the other hand is a much harder nut to crack.

“I don’t like it”

“You haven’t tried it”

“I’m not eating it”

“Just eat a bit, go on, look, this bit is nice.” He doesn’t look convinced, but eats a bit.

In the end, he eats about a third, but continues to look at it like I have presented him with a plate of live slugs to eat. But thats as much fight as I have in me. he has been unwell for the past day or two, and he has now eaten something nutritious, despite his best efforts not to.

I declare a truce and he disappears off upstairs to the sanctuary of his games like snow off a south facing ditch. currently this is Plants v Zombies, Garden Warfare

“Well done” says the husband, “it’s actually very nice, very fresh, but different to what they are used to”.

At this stage I don’t care. Peace has been restored, it’s time to lick wounds, retire from the field position, and draw up a strategy to do it all again tomorrow.

The joys of parenthood.


  1. I love that you and the husband have a united front for this “war”! My first husband, I shall call him Satan, always threw me under the bus. When my kids wouldn’t eat what I had made, he would go into the kitchen and make them something else!
    You guys will be able to wear them down as long as you keep the united front! Good for you! I cant wait to hear your stories once the garden is in and producing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The youngest has autism and part of that is a sensitivity in his mouth. So it’s a balancing act between whether it’s him being fussy, or if there is a genuine problem. But I’m really worried by the % of sugar in their diet, with the hidden stuff on top of everything else.
      Just wait till he sees broccoli on his plate – it’ll be like a scene from the Exorcist

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh no! Carrot in pasta sauce – I’m afraid I would have noticed too. It’s got such a distinctive taste.
    I find it sweetens things so much that if I am trying to reduce the salt I have to avoid using it to keep the savoury qualities intact.

    I’ve found chucking beans (as in plain kidney or cannelini beans) to various things work as they are not ‘different’ to mine but add some nice veg protein and fibre.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The sauce they are used to would be very sweet, so the minute amount of carrot, very, very finely diced was there to cut the sharpness of the tomato a little without using sugar.
      I do use beans, but now and again have to mix things up a bit so that they are eating a variety of food not just the same thing over and over. Carrot is usually one of the few types of veg that they will happily eat.

      It’s not the first time they’ve had it in pasta sauce. It’s just the first time they’ve seen it there. Lol!


  3. I have the same kind of battle with my elderly mom, nothing is good enough for her and god forbid if anything is made for scratch :’) Hopefully your battles will be easier as they grow older!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s hard sometimes isn’t it – I’d guess actually your situation would be harder because it’s reversing the parent /child relationship


  4. Your patience level is saintly. I’m not the biggest fan of carrots myself and my mum would put them in EVERYTHING to get me to like them, but I was a picky eater too. Applauding you for dealing with it so calmly and reasoning with them, I sure as hell wouldn’t even know how to be half as patient as you are xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s why the blog is good – it’s a great place to vent. My patience is not well known hahahahahahaha!

      The thing is, Bobby has autism, I have to learn different coping mechanisms and strategies. Going head to head just doesn’t work


  5. […] Basically, this was a day for a roaring fire, or joining Gemma for a battle and a brew in a board game cafe; either way Plot was out of luck. Now to make matters worse it’s time for Plot to run the gauntlet of dinner once more; who will win in the ongoing struggle of  Parents v Zom-boys, domestic warfare […]


    • It’s all the more remarkable if you were to meet me now, I look like ‘the person least likely to stage dive” at any gig never mind at a Carter USM gig LOL!!!!!


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