One of Lynn's favorite ideas is that men have no idea what they're doing when they shop for groceries. We see this when Phil brings home a case of beer instead of food people can eat and when John buys things that Elly cannot turn into a casserole. Not only are men too male to know what to look for, they also seem unable to keep the offsprings from loading the cart with sugar cereal and other things that have the undesirable property of being something that they look forward to eating.
This leads us to take a look at what Elly thinks that mealtime is all about: trying to whine, browbeat and simper her way into forcing children into eating pile-high helpings of slop they hate. It matters not that children don't like their food to be mixed together in a gooey, icky-tasting mess or to be so stuffed, they can't play; since their mother has the bizarre and mildly unsettling ability to muscle down anything not immediately toxic without regard to things such as texture, temperature or taste, she assumes that everyone else in the world has the dietary habits of Shaggy Rogers and plans her meals accordingly.