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Share your tips for feeding a family with different dietary requirements with Flora(266 Posts)
Cooking a meal for the family can be hard at the best of times, so having family members with different dietary requirements can throw an extra spanner in the works. Whether it’s because of allergies and intolerances, or due to environmental, ethical or health concerns, we know that a lot of households have to think and prepare carefully to make sure their mealtimes cater to everyone around the table.
Because we think mealtimes can be tricky when you have to cater to different dietary requirements for family members, Flora would like to hear about your experiences and how you navigate through this.
Here’s what Flora has to say: “Health and wellbeing has never been so important to consumers, people care more about what goes into the products they are feeding themselves and their families, but they are not prepared to compromise on taste – and they shouldn’t have to. With a great new recipe making FLORA more delicious than ever, our new 100% Plant Goodness range can be enjoyed by the whole family.”
How does your family cater for those who have different dietary requirements when it comes to mealtimes? How can your family make sure everyone’s requirements are met without spending too much extra time, money, or effort on preparation? Has your family adapted well to managing emerging dietary requirements, or have there been any hiccups on the way?
Whatever your tips and tricks are on making these mealtimes a success, post them on the thread below and everyone who does will be entered into a prize draw where 1 MNer will win a £300 voucher of their choice (from a list).
Thanks and good luck!
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like to cook from scratch then freeze for mid week cooking when we are both working full time. Vegtables that can be used in other meals if not eaten are always a bonus
We have vegetarian and lactose free diets included in our family and I have to say we don't find it difficult at all really these days. All meals are cooked vegetarian friendly with any meat cooked separately & other family members can add meat if they want, and we just use lactose free milk & lactose free dairy products now so the whole family benefits really. It can be a little more expensive but at least we are all healthy & happy!
Agree about multiple versions. When the wider family we have two veggies, one coeliac and a couple are trying to eat a low fat diet. It's being organised and finding a base meal that most of us can eat most of and then doing some smaller alternatives.
DS has several food allergies. At first it was extremely daunting and bloody exhausting because I was always making one meal for us and an alternative for him. I’ve really learned a lot about cooking in the last few years though and now most meals are the same for all of us (and actually taste nice), and I batch cook cakes and biscuits for the freezer so there is always a wide range of treats available.
I try to make as much food from scratch as possible because the high price of allergy free food can be a struggle. People take the piss out of me to for bulk buying but when something allergy friendly is on offer I pretty much buy as much as I can fit in the cupboards because even discounted it will still be more than the mainstream version.
I also find that if I assume we can’t eat out then it’s less stressful. We take food out with us all the time. I know that things are supposedly getting better but we’ve had so many cock ups in restaurants (big chains that bang on about being stringent and allergy friendly) that have resulted in DS being really ill (I consider us lucky that his allergies ‘only’ result in D&V and eczema), that we just take enough to feed an army so we know we’ll never go hungry .
There are no big problems in the immediate family, but at family gatherings food is a nightmare- several vegetarians, a couple of teens who can’t decide 😂, luckily no obsessive carnivores, a coeliac, a diet controlled diabetic, a low-fat medical diet and toddlers. We often do a kind of pick and mix buffet, but everyone, even children, are well-trained on avoiding cross-contamination
With my children doing different activities and my husband often working late, we only eat dinner together as a family 2 or 3 times a week. My children are both good eaters, but both can be picky - my daughter likes most veg, but not salad, whereas my son likes most veg and salad, but will not eat eggs. Roast dinners, chicken, fish all go down well and I usually serve plenty of veg, salad and rice, so no-one goes hungry.
new dietary requirement for our house is softer foods to accommodate a new fixed brace for DS1. Everyone is having the same food so that he doesn't feel that he is missing out.
To be opened minded and try new and different things.
We like to have the same base meal eg pasta or jacket potato but different toppings/ additions. It saves time and we can all eat together.
I have a 4 year old with a tomato allergy and coeliac.
I make everything from scratch, no jars, make good use of my slow cooker and I have started to make him his own bread, biscuits, cakes etc, so he can still have a treat and it isn't costing the earth (free from stuff costs a bomb!)
I try to focus on the foods we can all eat and go from there. It feels easier to think of meals that way rather than focusing on what we can't share
I love rich, spicy foods but we have an in-law who stays with us who has a lot of intolerance to all the foods I love (garlic, peppers, tomatoes, etc). I now try to cook foods that can be 'pimped up' at the end. For example, I'll make something like a stirfry, but portion it off then add all my spices and preferred ingredients afterwards.
Advance planning, batch cooking, taking lots of snacks out and about, having a big freezer!
We have certain meals that everyone can eat and likes so they feature regularly. Other times involve defrosting batch portions for the child that has an intolerance. We manage ok but only with forward planning.
When the while family gets together there are a lot of different dietary requirements so I usually do a roast with a lot of choice/ sides so that the veggies, vegans and gluten free can have the same meal but without the meat. I'm also careful with the gravy and potatoes, no animal fats.
It's so much easier nowadays.
Mm multiple allergies. I think the cheapest and healthiest way to do it is to cook from scratch. We try to add cheese etc at the table but have a basic meal all can eat.it is time consuming though.
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