Hands up if you have a picky partner? Me! Although it can be a laughing point or “cute quirk” that you and/or your partner has, the repertoire of foods you eat directly impacts your child. I often get asked (in very light-hearted tones) – “Will this work on my fussy husband too?” The short answer is Yes. The information in this blog is centered around family food, building familiarity without pressure and the resources in the shop will resonate with your whole family. The longer (but not too long) answer to helping your fussy partner is what this is post is all about before we hit the delish recipe for white bean soup at the bottom or the post. But first – a little story…
My husband is a “work in progress” and definitely a reformed fussy eater. He lived on plain chicken, plain pasta and not too much else during his early twenties. He met me and willingly followed me around Sydney as I tried to learn all about this new city by eating out in different suburbs and enjoying many different cuisines. He did not tell me about his fussy eating history at the time. He decided to give it ALL a try “in the pursuit of love.” I still can’t believe that he agreed to go out to Indian with me and tucked into curried prawns and a creamy paneer dish. He eventually found a great appreciation for a range of new foods over time. And it wasn’t until later and I was more of a permanent fixture in his life that he divulged his big confession about his dietary past. Do note, there are still a few things he won’t go near and that is OK. As an adult, it was easier for him to rationally think about the task at hand and decide to eat the new foods. The great part about restaurant dining is the enforced “prepare to eat routine” (by ordering and waiting for your meal at a blank canvas table). It is also handy that so many cuisines that I dragged him off to try are served “family meal style”. This meant that he was learning about these foods on his terms.
(Learn more about making your own prepare to eat routine at home)
So, when you listen / read / see me talk about my approach to helping fussy kids try new foods, overcome food jags or break down barriers to food aversions (like vegetables), there are so many ways that this can apply to all people (husbands, wives, uncles, aunties, grandparents etc.) Ultimately, these are my top 6 strategies for getting your fussy partner to try new foods with your family (and these strategies may rub off on the kids too).
- Help everyone feel prepared to try a new food in a way that suits your family. eg. Browse a recipe book, talk about new foods, make a meal plan.
- Using someone else’s suggestion to try a new food is great. You can do this by watching a cooking show, go to a new restaurant and chat to the staff about their recommended dishes or try a “pot luck” night with your friends.
- Have dinner together as a family and serve yourselves from the middle of the table. Include foods that “even daddy/mummy is still learning about”.
- Plan out some actions you can take to improve everyone’s eating competence.
- Try making foods that your partner loves at home
- Remind your partner to use the mantra “Doctors and scientists tell us we should try lots of different foods to be healthy” when talking about foods with the kids. Also reminding them that by “different” we can talk about different colours, temperatures, noises, food groups and textures. The sky is the limit when talking about all the acceptable and TANGIBLE differences that our foods can have.
My husband was never a big fan of soup until this soup entered our lives. It was suggested to us by some friends – AKA – – the power of influence from external sources ;). My friend’s partner casually mentioned how they had it at a restaurant and then tried to recreate it at home. I then googled a few recipes and tried it myself. The clincher for my meat-loving hubby was the grilled chorizo that was added to the top. You can make this soup totally vegetarian though.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large stalk of celery, finely chooped
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, finely chopped
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 1 tin of white beans
- 2 tsp mixed herbs
- Sautee your onion and garlic in the olive oil in a pot. Add the celery and carrot and stir constantly until the onion has gone translucent.
- Add the stock and bring it to the boil.
- Add the drained tin of white beans and mixed herbs.
- Simmer for 15 minutes
- Add your choice of protein to the top of the soup. Possibilities include garlic prawns, grilled chorizo, bacon pieces, dollop of natural yoghurt or some cheesy croutons.
I am linking this recipe with the lovely ladies over at Your Weekly Feed. I also have a handy round up of my previous soup recipes here. AND this one is all about encouraging toddlers to eat soup.
If you are wanting to get all my best information about how to turn your mealtime battles around, look into this package of my best information including lots of videos, printables, eCook books and more – Goodbye Picky Eating.
What times have you had a “win” with your fussy partner? What strategies have you tried in the past?