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  • Writer's pictureKate Killion

Meal planning for picky families

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

Two people chopping vegetables, with a variety of vegetables in different bowls.

If you live with a partner, spouse, child, parent, friend, or anyone that you share meals with, you have dealt with this problem before: Not everybody in the same home likes the same foods!

Taste preferences have been described as the body's "nutritional gatekeeper," because we eat what we like! Human taste preferences are affected by over 25 genes that determine how sensitive we are to bitter tastes. So, broccoli might taste great to one person, and really bitter to another.

At Killion Family Nutrition, we aim to affirm these natural differences in taste preferences. We want everyone to nourish themselves with food they genuinely enjoy. At the same time, we don't want you to cook multiple meals every night! Not only is that exhausting, but acting as a "short-order cook" can lead to more picky eating (but we can save that for another day).

Instead of cooking multiple meals, we encourage families to try "build-your-own" meals. Rather than cooking everything together in one dish, separate ingredients for family members to pick and choose from. Here are some examples:

  • Taco night: Prepare tortillas, meat and/or beans, chopped lettuce and tomato, and condiments. Every family member builds their own taco!

  • Pasta night: Prepare plain pasta, red sauce, chopped chicken, broccoli, and parmesan cheese. Every family member can choose if they want each ingredient!

  • Greek Pita night: Plate warm pita, chopped grilled chicken, tzatziki, chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, and feta cheese on separate plates. Maybe one family wants a Greek salad, and another wants a plain chicken pita! Everybody wins.

You can use this same formula for a range of different cuisines and taste preferences.

For more support in meal planning, and how to build meals that support your unique health needs, schedule an appointment with our dietitian. And yes, we take health insurance!

Scheduling is supported by LWell. Call (833) 516-0454 or email to book your appointment!

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