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Struggling with meal ideas

(10 Posts)
emptycup Tue 25-Aug-20 10:53:37

I absolutely loathe the time of week when I have to meal plan. Does anyone else have a mixture of dietary needs, picky eaters etc to cater to without cooking for each individual rather than family meals?
I have to plan around -
Myself - gastritis, very new to low carb, minimal meat
DH - Likes big flavour (which I can't have due to gastritis) and big portions
DS - autistic, very picky, reluctant to try new foods
DD - will eat most things but is becoming picky naturally with her age, she is 2

I have no idea what to cook every week. I don't mind cooking a family meal for DH and DC and something different for myself. But I draw the line at 4 different meals every meal. I'm the only one who can cook in our house so it's down to me every week and I'm just feeling overwhelmed by it!

OP’s posts: |
Ricekrispie22 Tue 25-Aug-20 12:58:03

If I were you, I’d make yourself a separate meal from the rest of the family. Obviously gastritis isn’t compatible with big flavour, and low-carb isn’t compatible with fussy Dc!
Night A: cook 2 portions of a meal for yourself. Eat 1 of these portions, and save the other for the next day (night B). Your DH and Dc eat leftover portions from previous night (night B)
Night B: cook 6 portions of a meal for the other 3. Save the other three portions for next day (night A). You eat the meal that you cooked/prepped the previous night (night A).
I did something similar. Here are some recipes for things that the DC liked that serve 6, that I could freeze or would keep well in the fridge and get re-heated:

Lasagne realfood.tesco.com/recipes/dan-and-liams-made-for-you-lasagne.html
Burgers www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/homemade-burgers-sweet-potato-wedges
Chicken pie realfood.tesco.com/recipes/chicken-and-sweetcorn-pie.html
Pasta bake realfood.tesco.com/recipes/penne-pasta-and-tomato-bake.html
Shepherds pie realfood.tesco.com/recipes/healthy-shepherds-pie.html
Enchiladas www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/chicken-and-bean-enchiladas

emptycup Tue 25-Aug-20 13:34:07

Thanks for replying smile
Those meal ideas will work for DH and DD but DS would only eat a burger off that list. He won't eat anything with a sauce, nothing mixed, nothing "wet", will only eat pasta with a little butter on. Some meals I can sort of deconstruct for him. But a shepherds pie for example he would only eat the mash that hadn't touched the meat mixture and wouldn't touch the bottom layer. I think myself and DS are the hardest to feed!

OP’s posts: |
emptycup Tue 25-Aug-20 13:34:46

Batch cooking is definitely something I need to look in to though!

OP’s posts: |
MoMandaS Tue 25-Aug-20 13:37:03

Will DS eat plain meat or fish?

emptycup Tue 25-Aug-20 13:39:14

He will eat plain chicken on a good day, doesn't like fish

OP’s posts: |
MoMandaS Tue 25-Aug-20 13:41:47

Because if he does you could kind of build a meal for each of you out of protein cooked simply; separate sauces (batch cooked - bland enough for you and DD, big flavour for DH); carb of choice like pasta that can be mixed with sauce or left plain for ds, jacket potato, roast potato, rice; and whatever veg anyone will eat!

MoMandaS Tue 25-Aug-20 13:44:45

Will he eat egg in any form e.g. Omelette? Also, how old is he? I ask because my autistic DS diet has gradually expanded as he's got older (now 7) so as a side note, take heart and don't give up trying him things outside his comfort zone when you can. I know it's really difficult.

AtleastitsnotMonday Tue 25-Aug-20 20:24:18

How about chicken skewers? DS could have plain chicken, others marinated or with a spice rub and skewered with veg, pineapple, chorizo etc

everythingstaken123 Tue 25-Aug-20 21:46:02

I can completely relate to this. It can become completely overwhelming when you're having to do it every week. I am also low carb with two fussy children and a husband who loves carbs.

I have a recipe app called Organizeat and I tag everything with "kids" or "family" etc for easy reference so I can search those tags to remind me of things to cook.

I try very hard not to cook too many meals for all the different requests round the table. As much as possible I try to get us to eat the same things and put potatoes or rice out for the carb lovers. About once every week I cook something completely new - always when we are all at the table so the children are encouraged to eat it when they see us eating it - and just do something different to stop the monotony.

I do curry and poppadoms once a week. I make it with spices but no hot spices at all. If they don't like the curry they eat the poppadom. Kebabs are good. Stews. Chicken nuggets but make with almond crumbs not breadcrumbs. Spatchcock chickens and tray bakes. That kind of thing.

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