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7/26/13 1:43 P

I have been in that boat. My kids had to take at least one bite of everything. I just gave them choices after that. You may eat your dinner or a peanut butter sandwich (on whole grain bread....because I am mom, I am in charge and that is how I roll) and a fruit or veggie. If you choose to throw a screaming fuss, you may stop at once and eat your dinner nicely or sit quietly at the table or go to bed. emoticon

As far as husbands go, I buy the groceries and do the cooking and I cook healthy. I experiment with new recipes and try to ad foods that everyone likes, so there is some balance there. I couldn't stomach feeding my family foods I thought would someday make them sick or kill them. We have occasional treats and Izze's bought in bulk at Costco.....they can have one a day. But there is no soda, no junk.

7/26/13 12:59 P

My situation is a little like yours. You probably don't eat as poorly as we did. We had a pretty bad diet the first couple of years we were together. We ate too much meat and way too much junk/processed food. When my (now almost 3 year old) daughter started eating table food exclusively, we knew we had to get our act together asap. Also, my boyfriend is underemployed and we were really struggling to make ends meet. We *had* to find a way to save money on our food bill.

The solution for us was to eat vegetarian 3-5 days a week. We started that last October and are still going strong. We're not vegetarians. We just choose not to eat meat every day. Once not having to have meat at every meal became a habit, it got easier. What kept us going in the beginning, aside from saving money, was our conscience. We both dislike how cruelly livestock is kept. Every chicken we don't buy is a small victory for us. We really do save a lot not having to have meat every day too. I have to find vegetarian recipes to make. My boyfriend will eat most anything that I cook as long as it "tastes good" lol. I have a couple of cookbooks and I look for recipes on the internet.

My daughter is slowly learning to eat vegetables. She sees vegetables on tv and likes them. I let her help me wash them. She holds them in the shopping cart. We talk about "eating your colors". She has a veggie book she loves. Yesterday I forgot to give her some broccoli. She took some off my boyfriend's plate. She didn't eat it lol but she wanted it. She has learned to eat corn, apples and bananas, and tofu. She has learned to LOVE beans especially hummus. Hummus and homemade mashed dark beans are a great way to "hide" boiled veggies. On a good day she will taste a tiny bit of something new like a grape or cooked carrot slice. At mealtimes, on one plate I give her a little of what she likes, like half a tortilla or slice or turkey or a bit of whipped cream cheese...and a bit of what we eat. I don't push her. I just keep consistently presenting the food along with her food. When she ate her first full bite of tofu after months of watching it sit on her plate, I was like yeah this is gonna be ok. It takes her literally months to try something but I've learned that if I hang in there she will taste it eventually.

When I first said "vegetarian food" to my boyfriend, he was like NO WAY. I just started cooking it. He started to love our new lifestyle. In the beginning we made more rich vegetarian food. I fried tofu lol to get him to eat it (see Chinese salt and pepper tofu, serve with sweet and sour sauce). Really, I fried it exclusively for maybe 3 months. Now he makes tofu scrambles with veggies. I used cheese and margarine somewhat liberally the first couple of months. Now that we're used to eating more veggies, we're slowly making the veggies healthier. I recently bought a vegan cookbook. After two or three vegetarian days I'll make fish or something with ground pork or homemade pizza.

The hard part is doing it alone most of the time. I LOVE to cook but some days I'm like arggg I don't want to do this. He does help, but the job is mine. To save money I make A LOT from scratch. All that work makes me the boss of food in our house lol. My motto is, if you don't like what I cook, fix it yourself and get me a plate while you're at it. Be sweet but be strong. What worked for me might not work for you. Figure out what you have to do to meet your goals and sweetly, consistently do it. They'll come around. :)

MYKIDSRSWEET SparkPoints: (12,017)
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7/9/13 10:59 P

We are on a pretty strict budget. Here are some of my go to cheap items everybody likes...

Refried bean tacos...much less expensive without the meat, salsa adds flavor, better for you with fat free refried beans

Eggs, cheap, cheap, I'll make them pancakes to go with it, I have eggs and whole grain bread. Or make a quiche, there are many healthy recipes and it is a cheap meal.

Whole grain spaghetti kids haven't noticed the difference, especially since I it a ton of cheese on theirs.

Baked Potato Bars... You can have lots of choices for toppings and choose healthier ones for yourself.

Fajita bars: sauté chicken in fajita mix or just add some cumin and then have lots of veggies, cheese, sour cream, black beans for people to make their own choices of what to put in it.

Anything with black family loves black bean and salsa soup, recipe on sparkpeople, or black bean burgers. Beans are cheap, healthy, and provide a lot of protein.

We are not vegetarians, but a lot of these ideas are. We only have meat 2-3 nights a week because of the expense, but the kids are starting not to miss it!

SOCAL_LEE SparkPoints: (43,325)
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7/1/13 5:09 P

That's a difficult situation to be in. A couple of positives are that your children are young enough so that they can make the switch to healthier eating without the battles that teenagers would give you, and that your husband is on board, at least in theory.

There are some helpful resources out there. Are you familiar with Lisa Leake, who writes the "100 Days of Real Food" blog? She transitioned her two children, who were about the same ages as yours, and gives these tips:

There are great tips in the comments, too.

My advice would be, don't let your children dictate what your family is eating. Unless they have a sensory processing disorder, they will eat what you serve when they're hungry enough. They may sit out a couple of meals, or ignore one element of a meal (the broccoli) in favor of another element, but they won't actually starve themselves. I remind myself, and my kids, that we eat this way to be healthy and strong. Your husband, being, one hopes, a reasonable adult, should be able to understand that he needs to set a positive example for your children and that he can help by 1) eating the healthy food that is cooked for him and 2) helping you plan and cook healthy meals. Getting your family involved in meal preparation is a good way to ensure that they'll eat at least some of it.

This blogger is feeding two boys healthily, and there are some posts especially about her younger son, who is a, let's say, selective eater. She posts meal plans and lunch ideas as well as stories and advice:

Eating well on a budget: there are lots of threads here on SP about that. A fun website is "Poor Girl Eats Well":

And this one:

Good luck!

MELABELLA9 SparkPoints: (4)
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6/28/13 10:51 A

I'm wondering if anyone has helpful advice concerning meal planning for a non-supportive family. My husband kind of wants to & needs to eat healthy, but it has to "taste good". I also have two young boys 3 & 5, who are pretty picky eaters. I exercise hard & often, but have not lost one pound because of the way my family eats. We also have a very small grocery budget & I can't afford to buy what they want to eat AND what I want to eat...

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