how to please all the eaters in your household

December 11, 2012

A question I frequently find myself answering is: “Do you and your husband eat the same types of food at home?”

Answer in a nutshell – absolutely not. We both have foods that we like and don’t like, and our palettes are not in sync at all. And you know what? That’s okay!

When we first got married, I tried a little too hard to push my eating habits onto John. No matter how many times he told me he didn’t like mushrooms, raw tomatoes, or tofu, I still tried. Aaaaand, it didn’t work. Unfortunately, this was not really the way I should have gone about it. My husband is NOT a toddler and can make his own food choices, no? Just like I’m not a fan of meat, he’s not a fan of tofu. No big deal.

Over the past two and a half years we’ve developed a system that works for us. While others might scoff at it, it makes our household run much smoother.

1. I cook meat – AND I’m okay with it. A lot of people think it’s weird I have no qualms about cooking meat for the Husband. In fact, I think it’s kind of normal of the situation I grew up in. My mom has been a vegetarian since I was younger (I think when I was 4 or 5?), and she always cooked meat dishes for the family. She felt that just because she didn’t want to eat meat didn’t mean that the rest of the family couldn’t. I feel the same exact way. I don’t feel bad cooking meat, and the main reason I don’t eat it is because I’m not a big fan of the texture. While others may disagree (and that’s okay), I’m not going to feel bad about cooking up a pot roast for the Husband because I know it will make him happy.

2. I often cook two meals at night. Again, this is just what I’m used to doing. Some of the times, our meals can mesh together. I often cook dishes where meat can be added to them if necessary. A stir fry is a great example of this. The rice and veggies and be cooked together, and then the meat can just be added in at the end. Sometimes the Husband wants brats or burgers for dinner and all I want is a salad and sweet potato fries. Do I shove vegetables down his throat? Sometimes. No.

3. Sometimes we’re all vegetarians for dinner. In the same way that I cook meat for the Husband, the husband also makes sacrifices for me. He often does not complain if he has to eat a vegetarian meal or two throughout the week. We often eat things like pastas, soups, or chilis which are an easy people pleaser in our neck of the woods.

4. The Husband buys his own snacks. Okay, the dude’s cereal preferences change at a moment’s notice. I rarely know what kind of snacks he’s into at the moment and I honestly do have a hard time spending money on the “junk” food. But, the poor man has not had homemade cookies for a long time because of my hectic schedule, so I don’t “ban” foods from the pantry. That would just be insane. Again, he’s a grown man – he can make his own choices. This month we’ve tried to cut my grocery budget by $50 so he can use that money to buy his snack foods for the month. We’ll see how it goes!

5. Balance is key. Even though we both have different tastes, I do try to make sure my husband is fueled with healthy foods. I will often time swap out butter for olive oils, try to add in extra vegetables for bulk, and serve up healthy vegetarian dishes he has shown a liking too (he’ll tell me if he doesn’t like it 😉 ).

Here are a few dishes we both enjoy…

Cheesy Chickpea Quinoa and Spinach (I typically add chicken for the Husband)

Vegetarian Unstuffed Cabbage Casserole

Lentil Stuffed Pepper Soup

September 14, 2011 018

Squachili (squash bowl chili)

There are obviously many other dishes that we can enjoy together as a family, but these are the few that stick out to me the most!If there’s anything I’ve learned over the course of the last couple years of marriage, it is definitely to let your spouse/significant be themselves – food and all! :)

Question: Do you and your family/spouse have the same eating habits? Has this ever caused difficulties?

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