DH makes weird statements about food when I try to discuss our food choices, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 02-24-2014, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am posting this here because I wasn't quite sure where this fit- It sort of has to do with family nutrition, meals, and 'parents as partners' and 'mental health'....  

 

Nourishing my family has always been a big deal to me, and often times I feel like I fall short- on multiple levels. Part of it has to do with finances- I am a SAHM for the most part, so we rely heavily on DH's income for food. I also feel like I fall into a rut of making crummy food vs making more whole foods from scratch, because I am busy and overwhelmed a lot! I often find myself thinking back to the time I met DH when i had a huge garden, was vegetarian most of the time, Made whole and healthy foods from scratch for me and my two oldest boys who were preschoolers at the time. DH has always said one of the reasons he fell really hard for me was my cooking! As time went on and after blending our families, It seemed like our diets morphed to be more like DH's & DSS's prior to our relationship. Especially as I began to stay home, money got tighter, etc. Obviously one big change was DH likes meat, and any time I have tried to make mos tor all of our meals veg it is apparent that he is not happy. 

 

SO I have been struggling to find a happy medium, to find somewhere where my heart and mind can settle about our food consumption and the healthfulness and ethics surrounding our choices. Essentially, I am trying to become comfortable with making meat a regular part of my cooking routine, at least some of the time, so I can make more wholesome whole-foods meals, because right now I tend to go for partially prepared meats because I don't like handling it, because I havn't come to an ethically sound place in my head about it. But I know it's not the healthiest thing for  my family, and if we are indeed to remain omnivores I need to look into locally sourced, humane, and grass fed options.

 

So instead of butting heads with DH forever on out (because so far I have not been able to win him- or two of our four children- over to vegetarianism), I'm trying to meet him halfway, and do so in a way I feel at peace with more or less. I know it will take a lot more work and time in the kitchen, but honestly I look forward to it if we're all on board/ on the same page. 

 

So I tried to talk to DH about it, and his response?

 

"I hate food. I hate having to spend money on food, I hate that we don't have enough money for food".

 

 

I got pretty mad. Why? because this is the second time he has stated that he hates food. Last time it was during another come-to-jesus discussion and he kind of broke down and said that to me, and at the time it was shocking and I kind of backed down as he vaguely explained himself- he had told me he has "always had issues with food- hates eating, hates making food, hates looking at food in the fridge, hates worrying about food, etc." I was NOT expecting him to say those things, so I got concerned, and asked a few questions- like hey, I thought you fell for me because of my cooking? What? To which he replied he LOVED my cooking and that was huge for him because he has an "unhealthy relationship with food".  So I felt especially weird after that, and have been struggling with how I feed my family ever since.

 

But here's the thing. DH does have some poor eating habits- when he is working he doesn't eat all day, he just drinks coffee and energy drinks. We have argued about this because it effects his mood and isn't healthy. He isn't the first guy who works a desk job that I've known who does this. However, when he IS home, and on weekends, he eats heartily. I wouldn't say he overeats, and he does eat fast food sometimes, will eat junk food watching tv at night but not an ungodly amount and not all the time. He loves going to restraunts, trying new things, and eating at other people's houses- and I SWEAR it isn't forced, he genuinely seems to enjoy eating good food and will go back for seconds, get excited for bbqs, and so on. 

 

I'm just trying to wrap my head around these "hating food" and "having an unhealthy relationship with food" statements- because they are serious if they are true, but by all appearances he seems to have a totally normal relationship with food, albeit not always the best choices and the whole skipping lunches at work thing. He is also a little overweight, but doesn't try to exercise or comment negatively on his appearance or eat better on his own. Both of his parents have been cooks by profession in the past and I know he grew up with awesome home cooked meals. The only time he seemed to struggle was that there was a time in his life when he was somewhat depressed (years before we met) and he was living with roommates and ate really poorly, gaining quite a bit of weight (that he has lost and kept off for a long time) I feel like a lot of people go through that, especially when they first leave home!

 

I don't want to minimize his statement or issues if they are real, bu tit's hard for me to wrap my brain around right now, with all the evidence seeming to suggest he doesn't have a huge issue with food. And it's really hard for me to not feel like it's his way to deflect me attempting to have a discussion with him about better eating and better/ more ethical food choices. I feel like he just never has really considered it for himself and has some adversity towards discussing it. really, it's just weird, and I feel like I keep getting shut down when I bring up this really important topic that regards our whole family.

 

 

Thoughts? 

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#2 of 22 Old 02-24-2014, 09:40 PM
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At times I hate food too.  That is my mentality anyways.  I hate dealing with it.  I don't like grocery shopping or food planning.  I feel frustrated when it seems impossible to feed the family without someone complaining.  However, I love eating good food.  I like cooking (when I have time, ingredients on hand, and a plan in place).  But, I really do hate dealing with it.  Currently, I can add to the list that I am overweight -- I hate eating because it never feels right.  There is something bad about nearly every type of food.  Veggies are safe --but most ways of preparing them are taboo.  I eat salad a lot (I actually love salad) but will argue with myself about dressings, what would be most beneficial to put on it.  I like cheese, but have been avoiding it.  I have an auto immune condition that could (potentially) be helped with reducing animal products to little/none.  However, the family isn't on board with veganism and it is hard to do that without everyone on board, especially when the other stuff still tastes good to me.  It is also hard when the evidence is sparse and debatable.  It feels like there is very little than I can/should eat.  It feels like a giant hassle to provide good, quality meals for the family when someone is bound to complain.  

 

So, in short, possibly he is like me.  He really doesn't want to be bothered with it.  BBQs are nice because you show up.  You might bring something to share, but for the most part, it is taken care of.  Regarding his days at the office, perhaps get him some quick snacks to bring.  My dh brings bags of raw veggies to much on.  He also keeps some trio bars, yogurts, etc on hand.  That way, there isn't any planning to do for lunch, he eats something, and it is reasonable healthy. 

 

Good luck, 

 

Amy


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#3 of 22 Old 02-24-2014, 10:14 PM
 
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#4 of 22 Old 02-25-2014, 06:41 AM
 
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My answer is pretty similar to AAK's. I recently realized that food is our family's second-largest monthly expense after the mortgage!! That really hit me, and stressed me out about how much we spend on food. Like you, I like to feed my family high quality food, but it's stressful trying to buy that while worrying about cost. And although I love to cook in general, there are times when it feels like a drudgery.

My DH is pretty neutral about food -- I tease him that if he could just swallow a pellet morning and night, he'd be perfectly happy. wink1.gif But meal planning is a big job, and someone has to do it every week, and it shouldn't fall to me all the time, so I enlist his help. One thing that's helped us is that I wrote about 40 of our frequent and most liked family dinners on slips of cardstock, and once a week I have DH and the kids look through them and each select 1 or 2 meals. Once that's done, I'm in charge of shopping and cooking, so I can make the dishes as healthful as I want. That might be a good compromise for you guys.

Like AAK, my DH keeps a few fairly healthy snacks at work: bars, oatmeal, fruit, and yogurt.

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#5 of 22 Old 02-25-2014, 07:02 AM
 
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It does sound like maybe he'd rather just not think about or have discussions about food, that he'd just like good food to appear before him. Would he eat lunch if you packed him one?

 

If you are doing the majority of grocery shopping and food preparation, I'm not sure you have to have any sort of big discussion with dh about it. If he fell for you because of your cooking, maybe it was because he thought he would have meals show up without any effort or thought on his part. (And I really don't mean anything snarky or judgmental by that. I'd love it if someone prepared tasty meals for me.) 

 

Food really is overwhelming when you think too much about all the issues. I can understand your dh not wanting to talk about it and I really hate having to deal with food and limited finances, myself. So maybe you can just do whatever research into food you want and figure out how many meat meals and what type you are willing to make. And you have my sympathies because it is hard trying to find that balance between feeding your family healthy foods and feeding them meals they like. Maybe a baby step approach would be good instead of trying to make big changes in how your dh eats.


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#6 of 22 Old 02-25-2014, 07:23 AM
 
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Quote:
"I hate food. I hate having to spend money on food, I hate that we don't have enough money for food".

 

Me too really. It's not that I really hate a good cooked meal but it really is an extremely stressful subject for me, between being low-income and having numerous food allergies/intolerances in our family it kinda just sucks. Not to mention all the eat this, don't eat that, eat it this way, not that way message that our society gets every single day. Blah. I am tired of it.

 

As far as daily cooking, if you and the kids don't eat much if any meat, maybe once a week or month you can make up several meat dishes and freeze in portions for your husband. Then when dinner time comes fix it up for him along with whatever veggie dishes you have.


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#7 of 22 Old 02-25-2014, 09:15 PM
 
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Typing fast because I have a bout 1 minute before I have to check on the baby. . . . please forgive me it I don't make sense!!

 

3 things struck me when reading your post . . . well, maybe 4

 

1 - My husband feels frustrated and ashamed that all his hard work results in pay that barely makes ends meet.  I am grateful that he makes enough that I can stay home and our kids are not being raised by someone else!  I do struggle with the same food challenges you mentioned, and I also just want to bounce ideas off DH so I don't feel alone in all these decisions.  His response has been an angry/frustrated "I don't want to talk about it."  That's so out of character for him . . .and I don't need to be treated that way.  I said so, and he responded that he feels ashamed that he can't provide enough money to make feeding our family wholesome/ethical/delicious food an easy task for me.  So ashamed that he doesn't want to face it and I just reminded him of it.  Whoa . . . all I wanted was that creative fun partner I used to have when dealing with challenges.  It's nice to feel like we are working together to put food on the table.  This one was too much of a trigger for him.

 

2 - I have friends who grew up with professional cooks for parents.  From some of their stories, I could see how that might provide fuel for an unhealthy relationship with food.

 

3 - Is your DH willing to talk with you about his food issues when he is not in the midst of being upset or triggered by them?  Sounds like an opportunity for you two to get to know each other even more intimately.  Maybe a therapist could help?

 

4 - I just want to support you in asking for what you need from your partner.  He may have some issues to deal with around food, but that does not mean he gets to be unsupportive of your work or display an attitude that gives your children permission to criticize or refuse your cooking.  He should be eating happily and complementing your meals, if only to set a good example for the kids.

 

tip - I learned that the meat dept at my local grocer not only carries local meats, they will cut anything into whatever size I need!  Thin slices of grass fed beef for stir fry, cubes of chicken breast or thigh.  Custom cut pork chops.  Ask!  I had no idea!  So I don't have to use the more expensive pre-prepared meats.  It's still raw but I don't have to cut it!

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#8 of 22 Old 02-26-2014, 01:22 PM
 
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i am not exactly clear what you expect out of him? Does he object to the things you cook? Is he happy with what you put on the table?

 

i would say you guys are on opposite ends of the food spectrum. i would not expect him to care about food the same way that you do. i can see how passionate you are about food. the whole food thing - research, shopping, cooking, planning takes up a HUGE amount of time and resources. 

 

i really dont find his comment weird at all. 

 

it sounds to me that he never had to worry about food. he got used to having delicious nutritious food handed to him and then you came along and did the same. he didnt have to put in any effort and when he was on his own he didnt. sounds like he'd rather not. to me that sounds fair. one person can be responsible for the research and creating nutrition of the family. 

 

i also think you are taking him too literally. he doesnt "hate" food. he "hates" the process of providing for food and its still not enough. 


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#9 of 22 Old 02-28-2014, 08:31 PM
 
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In addition to the comments below, I wanted to add that I don't find meat unhealthy or unethical, so I just couldn't get behind my spouse wanting to change that aspect of our eating.  I don't require meat at every meal, but it would be a change that would stress me out because I feel pretty strongly about it.  That said, grass fed, local, etc. meats are expensive, so I can also understand that stressing out the working party.  You know your husband best to know whether this would impact him in this way. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by meemee View Post
 

i am not exactly clear what you expect out of him? Does he object to the things you cook? Is he happy with what you put on the table?

 

i would say you guys are on opposite ends of the food spectrum. i would not expect him to care about food the same way that you do. i can see how passionate you are about food. the whole food thing - research, shopping, cooking, planning takes up a HUGE amount of time and resources. 

 

i really dont find his comment weird at all. 

 

it sounds to me that he never had to worry about food. he got used to having delicious nutritious food handed to him and then you came along and did the same. he didnt have to put in any effort and when he was on his own he didnt. sounds like he'd rather not. to me that sounds fair. one person can be responsible for the research and creating nutrition of the family. 

 

i also think you are taking him too literally. he doesnt "hate" food. he "hates" the process of providing for food and its still not enough. 

 

I agree with this whole post and that's how I took it, too.

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#10 of 22 Old 03-01-2014, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for the insight... I do agree that a lot of it probably stems from the financial and planning aspect of food stressing him out, and that he has more or less gotten used to food just being made for him and he doesn't put a lot of thought and effort into it himself. However, i didn't quote him word for word, but the tone and emotion and choice of words he used with me gave it a very weighted, serious feeling- he made it sound like he had a psychological aversion to food and eating. Which is a pretty big deal. He referenced that he's been that way since he was a teen, that food pretty much disgusts him (so not just a financial/planning stress). But he does not behave or eat like someone with an eating disorder? I'm just saying the impression he left me with was that he had an eating disorder of sorts- and I am trying to navigate how serious that may be, or if it was a deflection from the reality that the planning/money/process/providing imbalance in food values between us is the real underlying culprit to his aversion towards talking about it.

 

The conversation was meant to better bridge our differences so we were on the same page and alleviate some stress of our planning, meals, health, and budget. That's why it was so disheartening to get shut down- I was trying to find common ground. 

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#11 of 22 Old 03-01-2014, 05:20 PM
 
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Mamakitsune- do you think your DH would be open to a follow- up conversation, brought up when the mood is light and you're not trying to figure out meal planning, budget issues? You could mention to him that his comments about food worried you a bit and that you'd like to explore it further with him. Not sure if he's the kind of guy who would be open to that level of discussion, but maybe it's worth a try? He's the only one who really knows his issues with food and how serious they are.

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#12 of 22 Old 03-01-2014, 05:23 PM
 
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It sounds like food is a big topic of conversation and arguments. What about just not bringing it up for awhile. He's an adult and knows it's not healthy to not eat all day, why argue over it? Could you say 'I'll take care of all things food for awhile, just let me know if you'd like me to pick something up for you or if you'd like to talk about anything else'? Then do just that, take care of all things pertaining to food and let him eat if and when he wants to. Maybe when you budget you could create a line for all household expenses so he doesn't have to see the exact amount spent. Pay for everything in cash so no debits on an account from grocery stores to look at.
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#13 of 22 Old 03-02-2014, 09:57 PM
 
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Sometimes I hate dealing with everything about food, mostly with the guilt if I don't feel like I'm cooking & feeding my children well enough, even though they are old enough to do the cooking themselves at this point.  My husband has is own oddities around food, and I don't have to deal with his food for the most part, except when he brings it home and offers it to the kids, although he asks me first. He shops and cooks for himself, and for several years he was eating very few carbs, but now he is on a fasting plan where he only eats every third day. Tonight he is all excited because he gets to eat tomorrow, so he is oddly happy.

I feel that US society spends a lot less money and time worrying about food than other cultures, though, and I don't like the idea that we shouldn't have to spend money on it or be aware of all the ethical, political and whatever other implications there are around food on a global scale, but at the same time I do feel like so much is out of our control and I do kind of want to bury my head in the sand at times.

I'm wondering if maybe he was hoping when he married you that he would share your enthusiasm for your gardening and healthy eating, and he feels angry that he doesn't. I feel like food should just be easy, and sometimes it's not, and I can't figure out a better way to manage it all.

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#14 of 22 Old 03-03-2014, 07:18 AM
 
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It's actually refreshing to hear that so many other mamas feel the way I do (overwhelmed by food due to budget and ethics issues, and the stress of meal planning.) I know that wasn't the intent of this thread OP, and I don't want to highjack it- it's just reassuring to know that I'm not the only one with a love/hate relationship with food (I love eating, but hate that it feels like so much of our money goes towards food when we don't eat nearly as well as I'd like)

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#15 of 22 Old 03-03-2014, 10:11 AM
 
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carrying on the OT...

 

yes viola you are absolutely right. with all the subsidies food is cheap in the US. if we had to pay what other countries pay for food (yes even the poor countries) it would be like buying only organics. 

 

gitanamama - YES!!!! i struggled with food for YEARS. the guilt. everything. for me its more about teh ethical issue of food. not so much the money .... coz lets face it i just cannot afford to eat what i would like to eat. but then i struggled with - i am still better off than others. why should my child be better off than other kids (i was volunteering in a poor community so even though i am poor too, not as much as them and i felt VERY privileged to have the limited choices than they did)...

 

anyways ... i've mostly gone off the organics bandwagon. hah. our groundwater is so contaminated that organic is a joke. however i do follow the highest contaminant rule. if i cant buy them organically.. .i dont buy them at all. 


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#16 of 22 Old 03-03-2014, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Gitanamama-I totally relate! I guess that's where I'm coming from- actually it's probably where both me AND DH are coming from, but we just deal with it differently. I'm trying to be proactive (I feel like I know what my ideal is with feeding my family but am willing to work with my present situation, vs DH who I think if more frustrated about the financial aspect of it and would rather not think too far into it). 

 

Viola- I have never heard of fasting and eating every third day... Your DH eats totally different than the rest of the family??

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#17 of 22 Old 03-13-2014, 05:07 PM
 
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I totally feel for you!

 

On a personal side: I earn very little money and we're still on food stamps.  It's hard to make good food choices with the budget (whatever it might be) is set in front of you.  especially when you would feel better about meat if you could buy local/grass-fed/whatever meats, dairy, eggs.

 

On a Food side: I've done a lot of work as a cook and in the food world.  Not trained professionally but I did manage a $32,000 annual budget for a fraternity that had about 30 guys to feed for two semesters (read 32 weeks per year, for all meals for young adult, growing men.  who also loved meat/hated vegetarian dishes.  That comes out to approx. $1.58 per person per meal.  not much.  but I did it and they ate really well even by my standards!)  I also own and operate a small veggie and livestock farm which sells direct to consumers.  Yes our meats and eggs are definitely more expensive than the grocery store commodity versions.  Yes I can also guarantee the taste, quality and happiness of my pigs and chickens.  Yes I am also willing to work with my customers to find solutions to get them my quality food.  I would suggest on that front that (for meats and veggies) that you find a farmer's market or some markets and TALK to the growers and develop relationships with them.  Be honest with them and explain your budget restraints and that you understand they need to make money also but is there some way they can bend their product to meet your needs.  For example:

 

A veggie CSA is awesome if you're willing to be a creative cook and use lots of veggies. We ask for a down payment up front and then the balance by a due date in the spring.  However I make it clear that if they need a payment plan that i'll gladly set one up.

 

If you have or can spring for even a small-ish chest freezer, (or a freezer space at a locker company isn't too bad either!) and look at buying a whole or half or quarter of an animal.  Beef is common, pork is becoming more available and lamb has always been around for custom cutting.  You'd have to check into the laws to see how you're supposed to buy it and work your network and farmer's at the markets often know of someone doing custom animals for folks.  The price difference can be huge.  We sell our pork for retail at the markets for between $5.75 a pound and $10.50 per pound depending on the type of cut.  Our custom hog price in your freezer comes out to around $6 per pound for all types of cuts (sausage, bacon, ham, loin, etc.).  Lamb can be more significant, I cannot personally speak to beef.

 

As far as cooking it and maybe you'll find it true also.  Perhaps your husband might find it noticeable true also.  I feel that with our pastured pork, lamb, eggs, etc. that it is more filling.  And more flavorful.  Both traits mean I don't use as much in a recipe.  For example when I cook eggs for our family of six, I add lots of things like onions and potatoes and then sometimes other veggies like broccoli or spinach or Zucchini and then will use about 6-8 eggs total to add protein and bind it all together.

 

From a kitchen/cooking standpoint, something I will immediately recommend to anyone, especially those on a budget is to start building a pantry.  Staples that you use in lots of different dishes and can improvise with should fill your pantry.  rice, potatoes, onions, flour, your canned standbys (tomatoes in our house), etc.  If you don't already, you can start building a pantry by for example, buying the cheaper rice this week, but buy two bags instead of one and stashing one in your pantry for next week or for "emergencies" when you can't get to the store.  at least you can build a pretty good meal from rice.  If you use a lot of flour (for those lucky enough to have time to bake their own bread for example) try and talk your husband into buying an appropriately sized storage device (garbage bin with lid) and a whole 25 or 50 lb bag of flour.  then you will probably get a price break overall per pound of flour but you won't have to buy flour either for a number of weeks.  Eventually you will get to the point that you're replenishing a backstock rather than just shopping for the week or couple days and will find your grocery bill a little lower overall or maybe more room in it to spring for the pricier but happier meats you would like to have.  It will create a peace of mind also knowing that no matter what, if you can't afford the time or money to go to the store today at least you can come up with SOMETHING to eat for dinner.

 

And building a pantry will allow you to eliminate things from your diet you can't or don't want to have (gluten, allergies, etc) especially if you get better at scratch cooking.  fuller stocked pantry means fewer trips to the grocery store that cut into your time and mental and physical energy you have for scratch cooking.  I know I hate having to come home and cook also after having to stop at the grocery store.  we often will buy a pre-packaged type meal to cook the night we go grocery shopping and then i have what i need to scratch cook the rest of the week perhaps with exceptions for hte one item i forgot for a particular meal.

 

Kind of a long post: sorry!  Hope i'm helpful!  Anyone wants more info, I am working on posts for my farm's blog/website towards these topics and you're welcome to check it out: www.omachefarm.com.  there are lots of other helpful blogs on these topics too.

 

You CAN come to an agreement!  Sometimes it just takes a while to find the compromise. :)  good luck!

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#18 of 22 Old 03-14-2014, 02:58 PM
 
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Me too really. It's not that I really hate a good cooked meal but it really is an extremely stressful subject for me, between being low-income and having numerous food allergies/intolerances in our family it kinda just sucks. Not to mention all the eat this, don't eat that, eat it this way, not that way message that our society gets every single day. Blah. I am tired of it.

 

That's so hard!  We have a group of friends who all have some sort of celiac and/or gluten intolerance and many also have other food challenges in addition. One cannot drink fizzy things, like soda or beer, at least two have diabetes also, one can't eat many eggs or dairy, etc etc.  Bringing dishes to potlucks is always a creative challenge but they also have some fabulous recipes that appease everyone or mostly everyone.

 

I think many of them and we do also, take what the USDA and anyone else puts out as "eat this, not that" or eat so much of this daily type stuff with a huge grain of salt and then throw most of it out the window.  I think the general consensus in that group is that if you've eaten a variety of foods in some sort of least-processed manner and you feel full and healthy, then you're probably on an okay track.  And if kids eat SOME of the things we put in front of them and decline the rest for one reason or another, fine.  if they're hungry, they'll eat.  :)

 

Anybody have good sites or sources for nutrition while dealing with lots of allergies/etc?  or awesome recipes for gluten free foods? (that's always a really hard one!)

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#19 of 22 Old 03-16-2014, 11:42 PM
 
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My husband loves to eat.

 

He hates food too. I the way that a hand to mouth, father of four, hates food. It's *always* time to buy more! It's our biggest bill. Yet... there is usually very little to choose from. Left-overs are short-lived, between him and two teen-aged boys. And he has food allergies. So all in all he hates food. It's not easy to make something to eat, it goes too quickly, we can't afford what we would really like. And he, more than myself, is pretty adamant about organic/whole foods.

 

To break it down for you: he's sad that his hard-earned money slips through his fingers into our bellies, and yet he feels like there isn't anything to show for it when he's hungry, and just wants something really good.

 

It is what it is. I make it better with my cooking and baking, but it's always going to be a thing. Food goes fast, and you never see it again. Kids will eat you out of house and home, and the best ingredients are not always the cheapest.

 

The sentiment is basically "I work too hard to eat like this".


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#20 of 22 Old 03-17-2014, 12:03 PM
 
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Food (meal planning, shopping, etc.) was by far the biggest issue in our relationship until I decided to stop talking/asking him about it.  I'll come back tomorrow with some ideas, need to get the kiddo from school right now.....


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#21 of 22 Old 03-17-2014, 12:22 PM
 
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It does sound like maybe he'd rather just not think about or have discussions about food, that he'd just like good food to appear before him. Would he eat lunch if you packed him one?

If you are doing the majority of grocery shopping and food preparation, I'm not sure you have to have any sort of big discussion with dh about it. If he fell for you because of your cooking, maybe it was because he thought he would have meals show up without any effort or thought on his part. (And I really don't mean anything snarky or judgmental by that. I'd love it if someone prepared tasty meals for me.) 

Food really is overwhelming when you think too much about all the issues. I can understand your dh not wanting to talk about it and I really hate having to deal with food and limited finances, myself. So maybe you can just do whatever research into food you want and figure out how many meat meals and what type you are willing to make. And you have my sympathies because it is hard trying to find that balance between feeding your family healthy foods and feeding them meals they like. Maybe a baby step approach would be good instead of trying to make big changes in how your dh eats.

This. Also, your hubby may feel guilty that the budget is a stressor to you. Men sometimes feel they're shoddy providers when their wives complain/talk about limited resources. Food/money is really tricky for us, too- it's been hard to find a sweet spot of cooking meals everyone enjoys (taste wise and food intolerance wise), that fit within the budget, are healthy, and reasonably quick for this frazzled mama.
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#22 of 22 Old 03-18-2014, 06:39 AM
 
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~~OP – I can relate to your frustrations/challenges. DH and I used to bicker about food quite a bit. DH was raised meat and potatoes, all from scratch cooking. He must have meat, period. I am far from a vegetarian but would be totally fine with some meatless meals a couple of times a week.

 

For me, the biggest stressor was that I was trying to “force” DH in to participating in meal planning. He had a hundred other things on his mind and just wanted to come home and eat a good meal. One day I just stopped badgering him and started cooking what I wanted, keeping his desires in mind, and things got a 100% better. I would give him a heads up ahead of time when I was making a meal plan and ask if there was anything in particular he was hungry for. After a while, he did start offering ideas.

 

Is it possible for you to cook your vegetarian meals and add a side like a chicken breast or a piece of fish for your DH? I understand you desire for ethically sourced meats but if your budget doesn’t allow it at this time, can you bring yourself to buy him “regular” meats from the grocery store. Trying to convert him to vegetarian AND stressing about the food budget may be too stressful for him to handle.   Whole chickens can be found for $1 or $2 a pound and that could stretch over several meals for him.

 

Wear gloves if handling meat bothers you. I also hate the feel of raw meat so I understand your reservations about handling it.

 

My DH would also go all day without eating then come home like a crazy person and eat anything in site. He is better about the no-eating thing now as he stopped smoking. I find that if I have a bowl of raw veggies or fruit on the table, he will gladly eat that when he comes home from work.

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