We know you have better ways to spend your time than cooking up different meals all day for picky eaters. With our 6 meal templates, kids can “personalize” their meals to take the battle and stress out of dinnertime.

A short-order cook is one that prepares a variety of fast and simple meals, getting them to hungry customers as quickly as possible. At home, picky eating often results in amazing, well-intentioned parents spending too much of their day playing the role of short-order cook, catering each meal and snack to their child’s preferences.

If your child(ren) has reached an age where they become somewhat picky about their meals, that’s quite normal, according to psychologists. One of the most common suggestions is to present children with several options at the dinner table, so they feel like they have some control over their eating decisions. Does that mean you should cook four separate meals every night? Gosh, no! That sounds pretty impossible for even the most avid cooks, let alone busy parents.

One way to provide your child with options without spending your entire day cooking is to create meals with a “buffet” of options that allow both adults and children to “personalize” their meals. Some formulas that allow for easy customization are fried rice, omelets, pastas, pizzas, salads, and taco / pita pockets.

However, instead of cooking up new toppings for each of these dinner options, we suggest making large batches of 3 to 4 different types of vegetables and 2 to 3 different types of proteins once or twice a week, and reusing them for multiple dinners. That way, on any given night, you only have to make the base for that particular dinner (like fried rice or some guacamole for a taco topping) and simply reheat a few of the buffet options you’ve already prepared.

We know that to orchestrate all of this, you definitely need to be somewhat organized, but that’s what we’re here to help with! We’ve put together a guide on how to prepare a variety of veggies and proteins every week, plus easy-to-follow steps for each of these meal formulas. If you follow this guide, we guarantee you can resign from your job as a short-order cook while giving your kids exposure to a lot more healthy foods.


Guide to End Short-Order Cooking

Resign from your job as a short-order cook, and expose your kids to a lot more healthy foods!

Sign up for the Cook Smarts Newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Privacy Policy: We hate SPAM & promise to keep your email address safe.

Skip to content