We have twins on the way and one of the things we're both very conscious of is wanting our kids to have a healthy relationship with food. My husband was raised in England and his mother is a nice lady but is the epitome of a bad British cook. He grew up with everything boiled to within an inch of it's life, hardly any fresh produce, no seasoning, etc. When he met me he'd never had a raspberry before!!! He still has a very limited palate, he'll pick garlic and onion out of things I cook, etc, but he's such a good sport about trying new things. One of his absolute favorite things to eat these days is raw kale salad with lemon juice, olive oil and parmesan. I consider this a huge victory for someone who never ate salad even once growing up.
That said, some things are still a struggle: He's a total carb addict. He says this is due to his English upbringing, and it's true, they do eat a lot of toast -- but it makes me crazy. He never finishes his dinner, we eat at around 7p, and then at 9:30pm he wants supper. Supper consists of cornflakes and two pieces of toast. My mother is Mexican and we were raised with "cena" -- a small quesadilla or tortilla with avocado at around 7/8pm, but this was after "la comida", our big meal, at 3ish. I say that the two traditions are very different nutritionally, he insists it's the same thing.
I feel like if I could get more protein into him he wouldn't get the carb cravings, but it's difficult. He says he is absolutely starving when he wakes up in the morning. He eats two bowls of cereal and toast in the morning, and scrambled eggs if he has time. He won't eat yogurt, refuses beans and doesn't love nuts. He's usually hungry an hour or so after breakfast. His job is manual labor so he needs a big lunch but he's picky so I end up packing what he'll eat: two turkey and cheese sandwiches (but he only wants one piece of turkey and one piece of cheese on each sandwich), celery sticks, carrot sticks, a portion of fruit (banana, melon, berries) and a babybel cheese.
He comes home starving, devours more toast and/or popcorn (air popped), a banana, and if there are any tea biscuits around he'll have four or five of those with his cup of tea.
Then we have dinner -- I try to keep it healthy, our dinners for the last week have been: roast chicken with veggies, moroccan butternut squash couscous salad, steak with beets and kale salad, spaghetti bolognese with peas, chicken "fajitas" and raw veggies, and kasha varnishkes (buckwheat groats and pasta in mushroom gravy).
He never finishes dinner and insists he can't eat "that much" in one sitting. Then he's hungry again two hours later and away we go.
What can I do Mamas? I'm in charge of the cooking and I feel a responsibility to help him but I'm not sure what to do. Relevant information: He is underweight, not overweight, very active, and constantly exhausted and hungry. :( We only eat grassfed meats and pastured dairy. I'd love any ideas you have to help me fill up my picky eater!