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Share your tips for feeding a family with different dietary requirements with Flora - £300 voucher to be won(259 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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Batch cooking and colour coded cooking utensils so know which set to use for who.
I do a shop once a week and I make batches which I label and freeze. I make a huge pan with the main ingredients then I separate off half of it into another pan at the end and include extras into each one such as meat in one, quorn in the other, etc.
We have a veggie and meat-eaters, so I just used a different pan and utensils to make similar foods. EG, I'd do pasta with sauce, one pan with meat, the other without / with quorn or similar, steak, chop, etc and quorn fillet / bean-burger etc.
It's really not as hard as some folk make out!
I'm veggie, but I'm also the cook, so everyone gets veggie!
I'm allergic to wheat, so it's really important that if the rest of the family are having something with wheat in, I prepare my food first and make sure that everything is properly cleaned down after the meal. However, we rarely eat separate meals, it's really easy to have wheat-free food if you cook from fresh - ready meals are a definite no-no in our house.
I find planning meals so much easier since I changed my focus from what each person can't eat, to what we can all eat. It's a very subtle switch but has made planning so much easier.
I do tend to cook one thing that everyone can eat, and sometimes add in or take away any differing requirements on the appropriate plates.
Dd1 has dairy intolerance, Dd2 & dd3 are vegan so I've got used to adapting family recipes to suit them. It makes it so much easier when the dairy free alternatives are as tasty as the original ingredient.
We adapt by adding cheese to dishes at the table. We have multiple butter spreads and everyone knows which belongs to them. We have specific bowls we use so things don't get mixed up and contaminated. Some foods don't get brought into the house or used at all as we don't want to risk it. I use olive oil a lot now in my cooking as everyone can have it.
I have a few meals I know work and repeat them when I can't be bothered to think. Other than that usually I don't worry too much, we are vegetarian but one child likes meat. So sometimes I'll cook something separately. Another child has a mild milk intolerance so ensuring if there's cheese in a meal then the next one doesn't have any.
Lots of meal planning for me (lactose intolerant), DS (tomato allergy) and DD (vegetarian). DH eats most things but just has to fit around the rest of us. Batch cooking and freezing in portions works well, so that if a meal doesn’t suit one family member they can have something different easily.
Going online to track down alternatives has been really useful too. We now use a bulgarian pepper sauce to replace tomatoes on pizza for DS.
Most importantly we cook from scratch so recipes can be adapted to suit us.
No one has a specific needs so we all eat the same foods, maybe the condiments might be different.
Definitely batch cooking, and having options in the freezer.
We all eat the same, we have no specific needs. I like to think that if we did have, we would all bow to the person with dietary needs & eat the same still
I find making lots of food in bulk, or making a base recipe and adding the things to suit each family member. For example, my partner eats meat and I don't. So I make a curry, then split up the sauce and add quorn to mine and chicken to his.
Luckily we just have a veggie so quite easy to cook around, simply either adapt a dish so it's veggie and we all eat it, or just cook a meat replacement to go with their meal
Try to make meals where I can simply omit some of the ingredients without it affecting taste too much.... takes planning, and a limited repetoire!
I tend to keep it basic, I cook meals where most of the ingredients are liked by all, and then add a few side dishes so that everybody gets a good selection and a balance healthy meal
We're all vegetarian, so family and friends know that they will get veggie food when they come over to our house.
Any kind of pizza is easy to make and it contains a protein, vegetable and carbohydrate in one bite. You can buy a pre-made dough, if you are vegan, just get a vegan crust and don't add the cheese.
When dealing with allergies or other dietary restrictions, it is wise to shop for whole foods such as chicken, fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods because you can better control what is going in the family's dinner. No matter what diet a person is following, more whole foods over processed foods. Processed foods are filled with sodium, fat, preservatives, food colouring, chemicals, etc., to keep the food fresh for longer. They are often lower in fibre, higher in calories and provide little nutritional benefits.
No food problems in my household, I sometimes think you can instill problems in children by fussing over them if they don't like something.
this is hard. every meal time we resort to the same old things. what helps is online shopping - making sure i get soy milk as well as normal milk, and making sure theres always enough snacks and stuff in the freezer. sometimes I find theres nothing to eat that everyone can eat, thats when we have to run to the shop and its really annoying
We have one vegetarian and one ‘prefers vegetarian and really ought to be dairy free (me ). The other two are in agreement that being more plant based is good for health and environment.
- We meal plan with at least half the days meat free
- I often make the main vegetarian and do the meat as ‘a side’ for instance a veggie chilli or curry and chicken marinaded in jerk paste or tikka spices
- I often make cottage pie and lentil cottage pie and because of the size of most meat mince packs, I make one to eat and one for the freezer
- the other day I made Nigellas sweet potato macaroni cheese, but for a dairy free version I whizzed up some cashews and water in the blender and used that and some nutritional yeast to replace the cheese sauce.
I have one daughter on a Ketogenic diet, medically prescribed, for intractable epilepsy. Her diet is essentially 70% fat with minimal carbs. The diet is known to be one of the hardest medical diets to do and is so strict that we have to weigh every ingredient of every meal to the gram. I also have another daughter who is fussy about typical kid food - e.g. Fish fingers, beans etc and prefers things like vegan curries. My husband hates fish. Top tips are, draft in some help if you can (although I know our situ is quite extreme). My mum helps us by batch cooking stuff. I also try to meal plan. While I try to get all the meals looking the same I have had to accept that sometimes I cannot achieve this. What I'd love to be able to bang a fish pie down in the table (this happens to be my fave meal and not one of my family can eat it!!). Batch cooking is prob my number one tip!
We plan meals and leave things out that anyone is allergic to
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