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Please help me meal plan with a fussy family!

(11 Posts)
Trickymoments Sun 15-Jan-17 11:45:47

My new year's resolution is to make much more effort with what we eat as a family. I have tried & failed to meal plan several times. I know to many people it's probably easy but I
find it difficult due to the following reasons and so end up giving up:

1. DS 9 & DD 4 are fussy so trying to plan one meal that the whole family likes is near on impossible.

2. DC like different things eg one will
eat peas the other won't, one likes fish the other doesn't, one likes pizza the other doesn't so even if I cook their meals separate to ours they still want different things.

3. DS in particular hardly likes any veg so I just don't know what to feed him in this area. He likes sweetcorn, potatoes and will eat carrots & green beans under duress! If I try anything else he just wouldnt eat it so feel its a waste although then I feel I'm limiting what dd has or cooking portions of veg just for her.

4. I have rheumatoid arthritis and have seen a nutritionist who suggested a meditaranean diet would be good for me & may help
reduce my symptoms. I don't even know where to start with this as i've got a recipe book but most of the meals in it the dc definitely wouldn't eat & dh wouldn't like them all so it would mean making separate meals
just for me.

5. I work part time hours every day and have days where I am extremely tired or in some pain and just don't have the energy to cook big meals from scratch or 3 different meals!

6. I go to sainsburys nearly every day after work to buy food for that day as I am so rubbish at planning ahead. I have tried online shopping which I liked but takes me hours as I just can't work out what meals to cook! Also there have been a few times where they've delivered food
that has to be eaten within the next 2 days which isn't always possible.

Sorry for the long post but I'm really hoping for some suggestions from others who have this sorted.

I feel quite upset that I'm not doing the best I can to feed myself and my family well & I really want to change this.

smilingsarahb Sun 15-Jan-17 11:51:18

I find meals which reheat/can be left stewing for longer good as I struggle to get us all in for one sitting (stews, bolognaise, chilli) I also find keeping items seperate and not caring if everyone likes everything easier too. I do wraps and just put out a range of stuff to go in them or make shepherds pie without peas and carrots in it..They are served on the side and I genuinely don't fuss if peoole don't eat the meat, or the potato etc as long as they ate something

GinAndOnIt Sun 15-Jan-17 11:59:49

That sounds really tricky. My NYR was to start meal planning too, but there are only two of us to feed, and although DP is quite fussy, there's enough things that we both like and I just have fish/eggs (what he doesn't like) for lunch or when we eat out.

I started by writing down all the possible meals we like. I then tried to pair up meals which uses, for example, the same meat or the same veg so I can buy a larger pack and spread it over two days. For example, I'll do a chicken stir fry, and then use any leftover chicken in a creamy pasta dish with bacon the following night.

I try and make sure I roast a big bit of meat on a Sunday, so I have a few days worth of meat for DP's sandwiches in the week.

DP would eat roast potatoes as a side with every dish, but I only like them a few days a week. So I cook them a few days a week, but if DP would like them another day too, I have a pack of frozen Aunt Bessie's in the freezer that he can shove in with whatever we are having.

Now I write down on a Saturday what meals we will have next week, then work through each meal to see what ingredients I need and then order a Click & Collect shop.

Do your children have hot school meals? Can they just have a smaller dinner like sandwiches so then you only have to cook a meal that fits the two adult specifications?

Could your children just 'put up' with having a night of a dinner they don't really like? For example, if you were doing pizza, you could tell the one who isnt keen that they will have their favourite the following night. You can't cook four separate meals, you'll be exhausted.

smilingsarahb Sun 15-Jan-17 12:00:28

I read your post more carefully. I think that 3 possible veg is quite good! I wondered if yours ate 'on toast' so we have beans on toast, cheese on toast, mushrooms on toast, scrambled egg on toast..especially on days I am very tired which with rheumatoid you must be. Offer carrots and cucumbers etc as a snack when they get home and a fruit for pudding. They dont need all nutrient at every meal it just needs to balance overall. The wraps I mention are nice as pizzas too which your 9 year old might help with and they can control what goes on them so the non pizza eating child might eat them (not as doughy either)

Artandco Sun 15-Jan-17 12:24:41

I would do eat to reheat dishes but keep some elements seperate. Ie bolgnese serve on table in pots, meat in one, plain pasta in another, and two side vegetables. Then they pick what parts to eat

Things like grilled fish or chicken, serve with several vegetables, seperate sauce, seperate carb. They pick what they like

Namelesswonder Sun 15-Jan-17 12:38:18

I have this problem too, although only one picky child ( no veg, no eggs, no wet food such as soup or sauces) and that child is gluten, dairy and soya free too! Only veg she will eat is sweet corn so always have sweet corn as well as other veg for the rest of us. We eat a lot of rice as that is something we all eat and I bulk cook things fussy child can / will have and serve them when the rest of us want something different, We have a list of around 5 meals we can / will all eat and we do them frequently, but it all gets a bit boring really!

wowfudge Sun 15-Jan-17 12:40:04

Get the children involved in planning and helping with cooking.

AppleAndBlackberry Sun 15-Jan-17 12:46:17

Could you write down everything you buy in Sainsbury's for a week and then do an online shop with all of that stuff in? Then you could vary it a bit the next week once you've got a base list. I have a fussy child and so I plan some meals that she will eat part or all of but also keep chicken nuggets, pizza and fishfingers in the freezer so that I can make her something easy if I need to. Also keep tomato soup and baked beans for DD1 so she can have a lighter evening meal when she's had a school dinner. So I plan 4-5 meals that DH and I like and 2-3 family meals.

228agreenend Sun 15-Jan-17 12:49:00

I have a milk intolerant dc and a fussy dc. I try to cook th same meal,for everyone, but vary it slightly.

Ie. Potatoes and veg for all, fish for dc1, chicken nuggets for dc2

Macaroni cheese - dc2 will eat the pasta plain, rest of us have cheese sauce

during the holidays, I try to get them to try something new.

I also sometimes can't be bothered to cater to everyone's fussiness, so cook a meal and they can love it or lump it. Or if they try a reasonable amount, then they can have some toast afterwards.

Trickymoments Sun 15-Jan-17 13:04:58

Thank you for all the suggestions, I will read through them properly when I get home.

Trickymoments Sun 15-Jan-17 18:56:17

I've had a good read through now thank you again for the suggestions.

Yes my DC do have hot school dinners but I'm not they eat very much of it. My ds is absolutely ravenous when he gets home & wants snack after snack and will still then want tea.

Nameless I know what you mean. If If I do jacket potatoes every week or two ds will moan that 'we always have this' and I do get bored doing them the same things all the time but I'm so stuck for ideas and they aren't exactly receptive to new things!

The on toast is a good easy idea and one you would think most people would like. Of course mine aren't that straightforward! One likes beans, the other not & vice versa with cheese but I guess it's not tricky to do both in one sitting.

They do like wraps so I might look at some ways I can vary those a bit.

Artandco could you suggest some sauces I could do with the fish & chicken? Again they probably wouldn't like any but dh & I would.
I like the idea of putting things in bowls for them to pick what they like but what if they don't pick any veg at all?!

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