Serena Caner, registered dietician

Column: Mom’s most-hated question

“What would you like for dinner?”

My generation of parents is the first to ask our children this question.

In fact, we are likely the only culture in the world that does this. Why?

Mealtimes have become so chaotic and rushed, that many of us have not thought about the answer yet. We are reacting to our children’s hunger, rather than preparing for it.

Consequently, the nutritional content of supper suffers.

Another reason we ask this question is in hope of a peaceful mealtime. We imagine that if they choose what to eat, our children will sit quietly through the meal, well-behaved. But it never works. Child A and Child B never want the same thing, and it is usually unacceptable to Parent C. Then you get into making different meals for different people, which is an unsustainable system for any household.

What does the research say?

As a parent, you have the right and responsibility to make decisions on what will be prepared at mealtimes.

Children need to learn to eat the food that is cooked for them, and to trust that their parents knows what is best for their health.

I am one of those parents who got into the habit of asking my children what they would like to eat.

The answer was always the same, and then I would have to back pedal to get myself out of my own suggestion. Now, each of my kids get “their day”, where they get input on the menu (i.e. they choose the vegetable/starch/protein). This solution works for me because I only have two children and it gives me an out on all other food requests.

“Oh you wanted pasta for supper? Well, we can have that on your day.”

It also helps engage my children in the meal preparation, as it is their duty to help cook on the day of their meal.

While ideally they would help every day, cooking with small children requires a level of patience that I cannot find every day.

A final good strategy is to make a weekly meal plan, so that you don’t find yourself scrambling for what to eat for dinner when you get home from work.

-Serena Caner is a registered dietitian who works at Shuswap Lake General Hospital.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Venue changes for first ever Adult Prom in Vernon

Literacy Society of North Okanagan “fun-raiser” changes location to Lodge

Outpouring of community support for Vernon’s needy

Donations, generosity warm many experiencing homelessness during cold snap

Vernon Realtors paint for good cause

Locals pick up paint rollers to prep home for new owners through Habitat for Humanity Okanagan

Excitment snowballs for Vernon Winter Carnival

10 days of fun is just two weeks away

North Okanagan youth mental health services boosted by RBC

$50,000 grant gives youth greater access to services

Alumni trumpet band strikes emotional chord for Vernon girls

Vernon Girls Trumpet Band will be tooting their horn for the 60th Winter Carnival parade

B.C. man dies after police called for ‘firearms injury’ in rural Alberta

Victim is 30-year-old Greater Victoria man, say police

Was Bigfoot just spotted on a Washington State webcam?

Sherman Pass is rougly 70 kilometres south of Grand Forks, B.C.

B.C. employer health tax wins ‘paperweight award’ for red tape

Businesses forced to estimate payroll, pay new tax quarterly

Construction activity in RDOS tops $48 million

Total of 527 building permits issued within Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen in 2019

VIDEO: Dashcam records near-miss by bad driver near Sooke

Driver crossed four lanes of traffic and back over again, barely missing three other vehicles

RDOS budget videos available online

Budget must be completed by March 31

Funding approved for conservation projects in South Okanagan and Similkameen

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen provides funds for nine projects

Most Read