Thursday, January 27, 2011

Battle Lasagna

The boys are picky eaters.  I take full responsibility for this.  Trying to reclaim their palettes has been quite a challenge.  This mom is done being a short order cook, so the battle has been on.

Last week I made lasagna.  OK, I didn't really make lasagna.  I opened a family size box of Stouffer's, put it in my preheated oven, and took it out 2 hours later. 

The boys piled in the house after school that afternoon and immediately questioned what was cooking. 

"Lasagna."  I declared.

Whines, moans, and groans spewed out of their mouths.  The game was on.  I glanced over at the timer, realizing the fight would commence in under an hour. 

The boys went about playing only to pipe up about their hatred of lasagna every few minutes.  They told me that it smells weird and I made a mistake.  Three boys acted like great debaters trying to win the match.  Joey carefully argued all of his points as to why I should not cook such a food.  He had me wanting to throw in the towel before the battle had even started.

My husband walked in the door and I realized he had plans for the night.  He wouldn't even be eating dinner with us.  How could I have made lasagna on a night when I'd be the sole enforcer of the battle.  You idiot!

The timer began to beep.  Boys scattered off hoping I'd forget they lived here.  Soon they saw me put the garlic bread in the oven and got excited.  I reminded them no one would be eating bread until they ate some of the lasagna.  They whined and groaned again in unison.

The table was set and dinner was finally ready.   At that point I wanted to beat them all already.  As I placed the food in front of them they looked at me like I had lobsters crawling out of my ears.  I stood firm and told them they were eating it.

These are some of the comments I heard during the first fifteen minutes of "Battle Lasagna."  Some of these comments are mine.

"I hate lasagna"
"Why is there so much cheese on it?"
"I am scraping everything off and just eating the noodles."
"Ewe, this is disgusting."
"There are starving kids all over the world that don't even get lasagna!"
"Those kids are lucky!"
"If I was in a band, I'd be eating pizza with my friends right now and having fun.  I would not be sitting here eating this nasty lasagna"
"Why did you even have to make this stuff?  I hate this!"
"She didn't even make, it came out of a box.  We have to eat nasty box lasagna."
"I can't wait until I'm older and do not have to eat this disgusting food."
"If you don't start eating you are all going to bed and you will not eat anything until breakfast."
"Fine.  We like breakfast."
"I'm actually not hungry because I had a big snack at school."
"Look, Gracie loves lasagna."
"Babies eat everything, even stuff that is gross."
"I am satisfied and can make it until breakfast."
"You're the meanest mom ever."

Since Joe was long gone, I gave up.  I sent them out of the kitchen and left their plates on the table.  If they decided they wanted to eat, they would be having cold lasagna.  Gracie is the only one who ate the lasagna.  To be honest, I didn't care for it either. 

Somewhere around 8 o'clock the mom guilt kicked in.  What if they were starving?  They couldn't go all night without eating.  So, I came up with a compromise.  I called them into the kitchen and told them if they ate three bites they could have the garlic bread. 

The three of them dashed to the table.  There was a glimmer of hope.  They simultaneously began to repeat all of the comments they had previously uttered.  You've got to be kidding me? 

They eventually ate their three bites and devoured the garlic bread.  The boys won.  Battle lasagna was defeated.

I know, I stink.


  1. You should try baked Ziti sometime. It looks like real pasta but has all the same stuff in it as lasagna. I get one of those big foil tins and cook a one pound box of medium Ziti or penne. Really you can use whatever shape pasta you think they will eat. The smaller pastas don't work as well though. I squeeze some swee Italian sausage out of the casing and cook it in a frying pan with onions. Then I mix the cooked pasta, sweet Italian sausage, and a jar of spaghetti sauce together in the foil tin. I then gently fold in a container of ricotta cheese. Then I sprinkle the top with mozzarella cheese and put the whole thing in the oven until the cheese is nice and lightly browned.

    I've always had better luck with things I make than anything in the box. That might be because I make most things so they are not used to the taste of preservatives. Funny though... they'll take McDonalds in a second and that stuff tastes aweful. Go figure.

  2. try sprinkling a little sugar on it. a LITTLE. it takes the "bite" out of the sauce. you can even let them see you do it. good for you for sticking to your guns. i did the same thing last night. the boys would not eat rigatoni. so i dismissed them from the table. they told me they were hungry right before bed so i got their plates out of the fridge. they ate it. they won't starve themselves. you go girl!!!

  3. I make what I call Lazy Lasagna - you could use ""those"" fun noodles and mix the sauce, cheeses and such up in the pan and bake - might make the young ones like it more with playful pasta - usually i use rigitoni but any pasta will work - of couse there is the old - eat whats is made or go to bed now with no tv,toys and such

  4. Thanks for all the feedback, girls! But Millie, you nailed it. I'm all for wanting them to enjoy their food...but I am at the point eat what I make or you don't eat. I wussed out in this battle, but at least they ate 3 bites :)


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