The fact is, when mommy's eating habits change they change for the whole family. I'm in charge of grocery shopping and cooking so naturally I have a huge influence over what both my husband and son eat. That said, neither one is very interested in nutrition and my husband doesn't share my enthusiasm for low-fat, low-calorie eating.
My son is only 2 so I can pretty much dictate what he eats and I've been working on giving him an appreciation for fruits and vegetables at a very young age. However, he still gets his share of hotdogs and grilled cheese sandwiches. Sometimes it's about trying to get some calories, any calories, into my adorable picky eater.
I want my family to be healthy, but I also don't want to impose a no red meat, no grease, no fun boot camp either. They shouldn't suffer because I can't control my food cravings. These are some strategies that have worked so far:
* I find that if I fix salads to go with dinner my husband will eat one. He wouldn't necessarily make it on his own but if I make it easy for him he'll eat it.
* I make sure my son has a fruit or veggie with every meal and will often give him two with lunch and dinner.
* Both my son and I enjoy splitting a piece of fruit at snack time in the afternoon.
* When I do make something that isn't calorie friendly for my plan, I'll alter the way I serve it to myself. For example, last night I made sloppy joe sandwiches. Instead of making a sandwich for myself, I put some of the meat over a very large salad. My husband still got to enjoy his sandwich and I enjoyed a tasty salad for dinner.
* I fill half my plate with salad at dinner time, no matter what is being served. That encourages me to take smaller portions and often replaces the starch I made for the rest of the family.
* I'll ask my husband what he is hungry for or how he would prefer the protein for the evening be prepared. For example, I'll ask him if he'd prefer chicken or fish tonight or I'll ask him if he'd prefer his fish spicy or crunchy. That way it feels less like I'm imposing on him and it gives him a chance to let me know what his preferences are.
I would love to hear how others have integrated their meal plans with family meals. Please share your tips and tricks for keeping the whole family well fed and happy. This has been a real struggle for me.