How to Fix Healthy Meals for a Family of Picky Eaters

You have to get creative, and then share the responsibility.

How to Fix Healthy Meals for a Family of Picky Eaters

Q: Help! I want to provide my family with healthy meals that we sit down and eat together, but it seems impossible. One kid won't eat meat, another only likes spicy food, my husband is a meat and potatoes guy and I'm a lonely fish lover. Any ideas that might help me get a meal on the table we can all enjoy?

Welcome to the American dinner table. We are so used to eating out and ordering exactly what we want that we've forgotten how to go along and get along at a family dinner table. Our advice: Don't be afraid to set some rules for your table: No red meat—skinless poultry and fish are your go-to animal proteins; no highly processed foods; no sugar bombs. Fortunately, that leaves you with a world of tasty foods to prepare; you just need to get a little creative and kinda sneaky.

Cook in Bulk & Freeze

Cook big batches, freeze in individual portions and serve as needed. Make a delicious chicken, carrots, onion, mushroom and garlic chicken stew to serve over rice or whole wheat pasta. Give that to meat-eaters. Make up vegetable lasagna, a Thai veggie curry or a bean and peppers mixture for tacos and freeze in individual portions for your vegetarian—and others. Keep frozen salmon burgers on hand for you. Also, make up some flavorful condiments with a kick — say, pesto with avocados (freeze individual cubes in an ice tray). When your routine is thaw, heat and serve individually, it becomes pretty easy.

Share the Responsibility

Also, make each family member responsible for one dinner a week (even kids can become Top Chef with your guidance). When they become cooks, not just critics, they may expand or adjust their pallet. And don't give up — your children's success at school (there's a correlation between diet and grades), your ability to avoid weight gain, your husband's heart health all depend on having healthy, home-cooked meals.

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