Please Help Answer a Reader’s Question

I received a comment/question from Tiff and I could use a little help from everyone in answering it.

Tiff :o) said…
“From what I’ve read, your family is pretty open to the way you eat but was it always that way? It’s just me and my husband but I have such a hard time getting him to eat this way…I am making separate meals and he’s complaining that we don’t eat the same things, yet won’t try my foods. Do you have any advice for getting him to make the switch?”

I have to admit, that I am probably not the best person to answer this question. I have been pretty fortunate that my husband has been receptive to most of the food choice changes that we’ve made. When I first started looking into Nourishing Traditions style foods and reading the book by Sally Fallon I shared a lot of my readings/education with Joe. He was a little wary about some of it but thought a lot of it made sense. As I started to make changes I did it very slowly and didn’t actually make too big of a deal about those changes. I did little things like stop buying margarine and vegetable oil and I started making bone broth and more of our breads. The changes seemed so minor that I’m not sure anyone (including the teens) really took notice in the beginning.

Then I began to ‘branch out’ a bit. When we found a source for grass fed beef and started eating that, everyone was way good with it. Joe said it was the best beef he’d ever eaten so that was for sure a winner. As I added other new things most were accepted well by Joe and the girls but some things one or another didn’t care for. Ferments and cultures were hit and miss just depending. Joe likes fermented veggies such as sauerkraut but the girls not so much (everyone loves fermented salsa, carrots and lemons though). One of my girls loves kombucha the other and Joe could take it or leave it. Water kefir was a hit with the other girl while the kombucha lover doesn’t like it at all and Joe would rather not have it. Even though Joe isn’t a huge fan of either of those beverages, he is still okay with me preparing them and will drink them on occasion.

I think what has worked well for us was slow changes and still trying to prepare foods that looked as much like what they were used to as possible. There are still plenty of times I’ll prepare a meal or a component of that meal that one person will not really care for. If Joe asked me not to make something again, I wouldn’t but understanding that teen and toddlers tastes are still developing I do tend to keep making things that they might have indicated they didn’t care for. Funny thing is next time they may actually tell me that something is good.

One thing that I might do if my husband wasn’t sure about real/whole/traditional foods is to think about his favorite meals and consider small ways that it could be improved upon keeping the meal looking and tasting as much like he is used to as possible. As I mentioned, grass fed beef was an easy change for us. Buying better quality beef and using it in our favorite dishes was a super easy change. At that time, the meal might not have looked like it does now but just that small change (grass fed beef) is a better choice nutritionally.

Of course, everything I’ve written is just my opinion and how we sort of do things here. I try to defer to my husband as head of the house and be obedient to him while he gives me a lot of lead-way to make the food/nutritional choices for our family as long as it doesn’t blow our food budget out of the water. What works for us may or may not work for others just depending on your own choices/beliefs (that is my disclaimer ).

What suggestions do you have for Tiff? Have you had a similar situation at your house as what she has?


  1. Soli

    >Tiffany, what kind of meals are you making for yourself right now? What might be a good starting point is making meals like you did before, only with traditional food type ingredients.

    for things like fermented foods, I'd say just keep trying and sampling. What really helps is being on the same page though, and hopefully that will come in time.

  2. Tiff :o)

    >For myself, my dinners are usually chicken or fish with a side of veggies and some kind of sauce to add flavor. I usually cook up some brown rice for him too. That's all something he'll eat and not complain about too much, except that I have it a lot because it's simple after a day of working hard. He doesnt like having the same thing too often.

    I also make a lot of broth based soups most of which he'll eat and salads which he doesn't like.

    But then, I also eat things like liver and onions on occassion, or lots of veggies that he doesn't like (beets, corn, sweet potatoes, squash, cabbage, kale and others I can't think of off the top of my head).

    He doesn't like whole wheat bread, pasta, pizza dough, tortillas or anything like that because they're heavier and more dense. I like dense bread so it's never bothered me.

    For me the biggest problem is that he enjoys eating foods covered in sauce made out of Velvetta, or Campbell's cream of stuff soup, or store bought sour cream (doesn't like creme fraiche). Foods that are sugar based and white carbs are also at the top of his list. He's pretty picky on the veggies I can use. These are the kinds of foods I used to cook…and lots of frozen foods or out of boxes. He doesn't like changes in his food (texture, color, taste) and he can always tell when I change something. Some things he tolerates better than others, like he'll eat whole wheat pasta and brown rice now. I also started making corn tortillas and he loves those so that is definitely a keeper. Because of that, I think we'll be having a lot more Mexican dishes. That's easy enough to put LF salsa on and maybe sneaking creme fraiche on there to see if he notices the difference…and he'll eat beans with Mexican…

    I definitely plan on sticking with it and hoping that he comes around.

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