Having more than one mouth to feed can be a conundrum. He likes this, she won’t eat that, and those two can’t eat something or other… It’s what makes feeding the whole family so difficult: we are all different. It’s not only our age, hormones, our taste buds or our allergies. It’s also the simple everyday things like energy expenditure, quality of sleep and response to stress. All of these differences affect our food choices and our needs. But the list doesn’t end there. Toss in family schedules, diet fads, peer pressure, medicines, the almighty science of food processing, the media and the messages of thin - and you get a cascade of exhaustive decisions on how to feed the family.
5 Steps To Success:
- Have an open discussion as a family about what healthy means to each of you and WHY you are making any changes. Just throwing away favorites or adding new items to meals without a collective discussion is ripe to backfire in frustration for everyone.
- Make the kitchen home a sacred place: the health zone. Remove food-like substances that do not nourish your family. Set those guidelines together as a family - perhaps picking one thing at a time. Pick something to remove: like high fructose corn syrup and shop for replacement upgrades like using pure maple syrup and ground nut butters.
- As a family, create a list of 5 to 10 meals you all like. This might take some discussion.
- Plan the meals ahead. At the end of the day, our decision making capabilities tend to be exhausted. Base the meal prep timing based on the family schedule.
- Ask for help. One person doesn’t have to make all the decisions or do all the prep work - share the load.
3 Bonus Tips:
- When planning, start with veggies first - it’s what we are missing most on our plate. Then add the protein source. Use the fresh veggies at the beginning of the week and the frozen later in the week if you don’t get to the store.
- Cook once, eat multiple times. Batch cooking is a key to reducing stress in the kitchen. If everyone likes rice, soup, broccoli - cook in bulk and freeze portion sizes.
- Put condiments on the table so people can ‘dress’ their dish with their preference.