Wow! This is my 800th post! I guess I write a lot.
And it's only fitting that #800 should fall on Wifey Wednesday, my favourite posts. We talk marriage! I introduce a subject, and then you guys all write your own posts on marriage and link up, so that we can help and strengthen each other.
Sometimes we talk gender differences, or intimacy, or resolving conflict. Today I want to talk about something much more basic and everyday. What do you do when you don't like the same kind of food?
When my husband and I were married this was potentially a huge problem, but thankfully he decided to try new things. He grew up in a meat and potatoes house, where most vegetables were from a can. I grew up eating more exotically--Asian, Mexican, etc. And I liked seafood. He did not.
I wasn't big on potatoes and gravy. I was big on noodle dishes, or something lower fat. I liked veggies. He really hadn't eaten very many other than peas and carrots. So it was a big adjustment.
One of my sisters-in-law found it hard because her husband only wanted unhealthy stuff--chicken wings, chicken fingers, etc. etc. How can you cook a balanced meal that way?
Or what if you've been married for a while, but it's clear for health reasons that your diet has to change, and he isn't in to that? Then what?
So here are a few thoughts from someone who has gone through this (though granted, my husband was open to change):
1. Start small. Don't try to tell him he's a disgusting unhealthy beast right at once. If he's into the chicken wings-chicken fingers-fish sticks thing, then try to find other foods that are also tasty that he'd like. What about homemade meatballs in a really good sauce? Homemade shepherd's pie? Spaghetti? A lot of these can be made healthier simply by using lower-fat meats and not using too much butter or oil.
2. Introduce one new thing every few weeks. Don't overwhelm him. If you want to eat cauliflower, and he's never had cauliflower, serve it along with something he likes. Don't do cauliflower and brussels sprouts and green beans in a medley altogether.
3. If you're really worried about vegetable content, but he isn't open to it, chop up vegetables very small to go into sauces. I have a food chopper that can make carrots miniscule. You still get all the benefits, but you can barely see them in a sauce. You can do the same with onions, mushrooms, or peppers.
4. Switch to lower fat varieties of certain foods. If he's really into cheese, find a tasty lower fat one to buy. Switch to lower-fat milks to cook with. I actually buy skim milk powder to use when I cook. You can't tell the difference when it's cooked in something, but it is healthier, and you can even use extra to fortify the calcium. Then, even if he likes drinking 2% milk, at least you're not cooking with it.
5. Agree that you'll give him one meal a week that he really likes, if, in exchange, he gives you one that you really like. And stress to him that when you cook at home, it's so much cheaper than going out! If he doesn't like the diet, at least he may like what it does to his wallet.
6. Make meals into an experience. Especially when you're newly married, and food may be more of an issue, make it special. Use candlelight. Put music on. Get romantic afterwards (especially before children arrive on the scene). Don't just eat in front of the TV. If children are already on the scene, every so often eat a salad or a snack at 5:30 and then wait for dinner until 8:30 or 9:00 after they've gone to bed.
7. Realize that there are some things he just may never like. My husband still doesn't like seafood, although he will eat salmon when I cook it. He knows it's healthy, and he should have it every now and then, but I don't push it often.
8. Make an effort yourself to like things he does. When I entered our marriage, I know this will sound strange, but I didn't like cheese. I had a milk allergy growing up, and had never eaten it. So I just didn't have a taste for it. My husband, on the other hand, loved it. I learned to cook casseroles and things with cheese on one side and no cheese on the other. Gradually I started putting a little bit on my side, too, and now I can eat SOME cheese (though I still don't like it drenched in melted cheese). When you make the effort, he's more likely to make the effort back.
9. Resist the urge to label his eating habits "stupid", "crazy", "gross", etc. etc. It's just what he likes, and that's because it's familiar to him. Over the years my husband has gotten to the point where he enjoys my meals as much as his mother's (though her gravy really is good). In fact, there's some things he likes better, and he knows that it's healthier to eat like we do. But it takes a while because it's not what your body is used to. So remember you're in it for the long haul! Exercise some give and take, and over time you will see changes.
Now, what about you? Do you have marriage advice, on any subject, that you want to share? Why not copy the picture above, write your own blog post, and then come back here and leave your link in the Mr. Linky? We'd love to hear from you!
Otherwise, just leave a comment about food--or anything else you want to talk about!
Labels: cooking, marriage, wifey wednesdays