Cooking for the family when everyone eats differently

Raise your hand if you have young kids and they hate eating healthy. My hand is raised extremely high. My 3.5 year old seems to have forgotten that he used to love his veggies, and instead wants mac & cheese, peanut butter & jelly, no meat, no greens but maybe chicken nuggets on special occasions.

Now insert my hubbies diet- meat and potatoes and the only vegetable he will touch is broccoli. I prefer to eat Ayurvedically, and minimal meat and heavy foods. Does that mean I cook 3 separate meals? Not exactly. I do often create something for my son as his diet is pretty picky most of the foods he will eat are easy to make. My husband is in charge of his own meals. I know what meals of mine he will eat vs. ones he won’t. Now he does work evenings so it’s very rare he is home eating when my son & I enjoy dinner. I simply text him when I know he will eat what I cooked and he adjusts his plans accordingly. I often grocery shop for what he wants on hand and when he gets home he cooks his own dinner.

I think some of the pressure we put on ourselves is thinking it needs to look a certain way, when in actuality it might not. If you have older kids empower them to cook for themselves and teaching them what might be good meal options. I know my son loves to help me cook and I’m hoping by him being exposed to the foods and even if they are on his plate and he “tries” them he will eventually learn to love them, or at least tolerate them.

Other ideas

I’ve also worked with clients in the past who will cook a heavier meal for their spouse and enjoy that for lunch the next day. If you prefer soups or salads in the evenings but your partner or kiddos do not maybe you make something light for yourself and use the leftovers from what you made your family the next day. We just need to be a little creative when we think about incorporating our food routines.

Another idea if you want to eat earlier than your family, eat an early lighter dinner and pour yourself a cup of tea when your family eats. After all most don’t remember what or if you’re eating with them but they do remember your presence. That has worked well for many of the women I work with to enjoy an earlier meal but still be present with their families for their dinner.