Adventures in Healthier Eating with 2 Kids and a Picky Husband

Our Sweet Pork Chop Dinner Adventure!

Posted by 4 years ago 13 Comments

I was planning on posting a salad I made for lunch yesterday, but last night’s dinner was such an adventure it totally trumped it.

I’m a little obsessed with maple syrup at the moment, so I decided to make a simple sweet pork chop for dinner with some sweet potato fries mixed with regular potato fries and roasted Brussels sprouts.

All yummy stuff that no one should have an issue eating.

At least you’d think!

The Husband was totally on board. He had a meat, a potato and a vegetable all separate on his plate. For as picky as he is, he never complains about meals like that. (Actually, he doesn’t complain much anymore as he’s sick of the unless-you-want-cook-dinner-you-eat-what-I-make-without-complaint-because-I’m-the-most-awesome-wife-in-the-world-for-even-cooking-for-you speech. Yes. We’ve had that discussion many times.)


The 7-year-old made a face but only because it wasn’t fish sticks. Unless dinner is fish sticks he’s not happy. Although he pretty much eats whatever I put it from of him becuase he’s tired of the you-respect-the-person-who-cooked-for-you-by-eating speech. Also a conversation I had more times than I’d like to admit.

The 2-year-old? He’s a whole other story.

2 Year old hates his pork chop dinner

Seriously. He just looked at it and started crying!

Yup, that be his reaction upon seeing his dinner plate.

Makes cooking and dirtying up the kitchen so worth it, right?


My favorite is the 7-year-old’s reaction to the 2-year-old’s reaction.

7 year old's reaction to Pork Chop Dinner

Seriously, is he going to cry all dinner?

This is when I get to explain to him how we had to deal with the same thing when he was 2.

(Why do we have kids again?)

Anyway, I really liked dinner. The pork chops were sweet but not too sweet and a good combo with the sweet potato and Brussels sprouts.

Here’s how I made the pork chops. You can click here for my fry baking technique and here for how I roast Brussels sprouts.

Simple Maple Pork Chops

  • 3-4 pork loin chops (I used bone-in but boneless would work, too)
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • kosher salt

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray.

Salt the pork chops and place them in the hot pan. Don’t move them for at least 3 minutes. You should see them cooking up the side a bit. You know, the color will change.

Flip and brown on the other side just as long.

While the pork chops are cooking, whisk the maple syrup, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce.

Remove the chops from the skillet and pour in the syrup mixture. It will immediately bubble. That’s OK, take a wooden spoon and deglaze the pan, scraping up any stuck pork bits.

Add the pork chops back in and coat them in the sauce. Just flip them a few times. Cook for 2-3 more minutes based on thickness. There should be no pink when you cut into one.

Maple Pork Chop Dinner

It’s a great looking dinner! I just don’t get it.

Oh! So you really want to know what happened with the 2-year-old, don’t you?

Well, he had 1 bite of everything after much crying and negotiating. My bargaining chip? Avocado. He ended up eating half of an avocado but I wouldn’t give him any until he tried a bite of pork chop. Then when he asked for more avocado he didn’t get it until he tried a Brussels sprout. Hey, whatever works, right?

We ended the meal with watermelon.

Watermelon for dessert!

Watermelon for dessert!

It’s one of the few fruits I can get the 2-year-old to eat even though he hates being dirty.

Watermelon Dirty Hands

“It’s good but why does it have to be so messy?”

KIDS! Gotta love them. :)

See other recipes using: maple syrup, pork, pork chops, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce

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There are 13 comments so far. Join in on the conversation.


    May 9, 2013

    so cute....tears, dirty hands, funny faces in all...only thing missing in this post is the husband's finger! :) LOVE your family 'mini-stories'...memories in the making!


    May 9, 2013

    I always thought 2 was the toughest until my son turned 3. I used to see the kids at restaurants who would eat anything and it was so frustrating to me. No food could tough, no condiments... now, my almost 15-year-old will eat anything and loves vegetables and fruits. My 12-year-old is still fussy but will eat any vegetable and fruit He just doesn't like sauces.


    May 9, 2013

    Ugh, I wish my 2.5 year old would eat some veggies... We can bribe him with anything and he still won't do it... At least he loves fruit, so I'm not going to stress about (yet)... Looks yummy!

    Jody - Fit at 55

    May 9, 2013

    OMG, I love the pics! :)


    May 9, 2013

    sounds great. Will have to try too. And I love the notes. I think we can relate. Although, I am just so not there. Practically short order cook. I need to get tough and stick to the eating plan and know they will adjust. My two year old is the best eater. but, I am scared he will stop eating cause of his picky brothers. My oldest eats pretty good especially when I say if you dont eat it you dont get dessert that always worked for him but my middle child is the one that doesn't care if he has dessert or not. And he's sneaky. Pretty much dad has to get on to him to eat. Plus I think he knows there is always another meal coming so he can wait it out. But, I blame myself for having those bad eating habbits and then starting to change in the last two three years. I love potato salad so can't wait til you post one of those.

    Katie @

    May 9, 2013

    Yummy looking dinner. I guess getting kids to eat what they don't really like or would I say what they are not used to is always difficult. Thanks for sharing your strategies - comes in handy.


    May 10, 2013

    i just reread that and it said salad not potato salad. My brain must of just put in potato for some reason. sorry.


      May 10, 2013

      I'm glad you said something because I'm not a potato salad fan. :)


    May 12, 2013

    This recipe looks yummy. Did you really use maple syrup in this one? I've never tried using it before in a pork chop, guess I really have to try it out!! New experiment for me, thanks to you! Hope that it would turn out good just as yours.


    May 17, 2013

    yikes looks disgusting, sorry to say bt it does.


    June 10, 2013

    Awesome!! ThQ :)


    September 21, 2013

    Just tried this recipe with some roasted squash. My husband is not an "adventurous" eater. When I'm cooking something that doesn't look familiar he is constantly looking over my shoulder! He can't stand it when he asks what's for supper and I say "food!" :) Anyway I was able to sneak this recipe in on him without much game playing thank goodness, and was pleasantly surprised by his reaction. I knew he would like it but I didn't expect "These pork chops are awesome!" He didn't believe me when I told him was in the sauce. Thank you! This is a Great recipe! Everyone should try it at least once.


    September 26, 2013

    I made this recipe 2 nights ago. It was awesome. I even tried brussel sprouts for the first. Delicious. The husband loved it too. Thanks for the great recipes.