Dinner Makeover: Cooking for Picky Eaters in a Tiny Kitchen
Brook Easton's 14-by-3 foot kitchen (and her sons' similarly-stunted palates) can make dinnertime a challenge. Real Simple offers solutions to both issues.
‘I’m Struggling With Limited Space and Limited Palates.’
Brook Easton, 38
“Crunched” describes both Brook’s schedule and her 14-by-3-foot kitchen. “It’s basically a hallway with appliances,” she says. “You can’t open the dishwasher and the oven at the same time.” She would love to sit down for dinner as a family with her husband, 40-year-old Web designer Bill, and their two sons, Edison, four, and Grant, one. But that’s easier said than done, as Brook has a full-time job in marketing and is training for a triathlon. When she gets home at 6:30, she has an hour and a half before the boys’ bedtime, so she and Bill often resort to serving the kids frozen meals or PB & Js. The grown-ups eat separately—usually frozen pizza—before they collapse into bed. Brook fears the pattern is just exacerbating her sons’ picky-eater tendencies. “I grew up on boxed mac and cheese and Hamburger Helper,” says Brook. “I want my kids to learn to eat healthy foods and try new things. But they’re already starting to be very choosy, and I’m running out of ideas.”