What Do I Feed My Picky Husband?! – Reader Question

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on January 10, 2011

Jaime writes…

My husband is very picky when it comes to food. He only eats Pork, Steak, and Chicken, which then limits me to what I can make. He does not like cheese, or any type of pasta…so mixing the chicken with pasta wouldn’t work. No rice either, the side dishes are just potatoes and corn. I run out of ideas and I can’t keep the meals intersting for myself. I sometimes make myself something different but because that takes more time, I usually just eat what I fix for him. If you have any ideas for picky eaters please let me know.

I wish I could be of more help to Jaime.  I can sense your frustration and I would certainly be frustrated too!

I am married to the world’s most “un-picky” husband…the man will eat anything and everything…and usually likes it.  So I’m really not an expert on picky husband ideas.

But I might suggest trying these recipes…

1. Mexican Chili Topped Potatoes…serve with a side of corn.

2. Couple of Pork Chop Ideas

3. Chicken Nachos…minus the cheese

For those of you that deal with picky husbands…what advice do you have for Jaime. Help her out, wouldya?

Photo Credit – Yes, this picture clearly depicts a child that is a picky eater. But I laughed as I saw it…and had to wonder if Jaime’s husband was a picky eater as a child.

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

LW January 10, 2011 at 10:51 am

Hello,
When dealing with picky eaters (as opposed to people with allergies), I try to test their boundaries and I get deceptive. If they don’t like the idea of certain vegetables, I’ve blended them in a food processor or blender and added them to tomato sauces or braising liquids. Also, making new side dishes with only a few servings (small broccoli and rice casserole or a pasta side dish) could get him used to the idea of other dishes. Perhaps compromising once a week or so and having a new food that he “dislikes” to get him to try it out and you some variety. Plus, using different spices and seasonings might be helpful as well, especially to keep the boredom of eating the same things away. Also meals that have different components (like soup and make your own sandwiches or tacos or pizza) could add variety to the week.
Unfortunately with picky eaters they usually had a bad experience with a food early on or were not introduced to varied foods on a regular basis. Luckily if they don’t know what’s in their meal, they will usually eat a “hated” food item with gusto.

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Sarah January 10, 2011 at 11:10 am

I dunno… tell him he’s a grown up and he can cook his own frickin’ dinner?

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Amanda January 10, 2011 at 8:11 pm

That’s what I was thinking…

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LizAndrsn January 10, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Precisely! But we call it “he who complains cooks next.” In 25 years of marriage, it’s worked like a charm —- and Reservations don’t count!

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Shelly January 11, 2011 at 10:30 am

I agree. Either eat what I cook or you cook. He’s an adult and can/should try new things. How can you get your children to try new things if you aren’t willing to. I don’t like many veggies, but I do cook them and I do eat a small portion so that my children will eat them.

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Shannon January 11, 2011 at 11:06 am

I agree. He’s a grown man. Buck up and learn to like different things. There’s picky and there’s ridiculous and he falls in the ridiculous category.

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Amy W January 10, 2011 at 11:12 am

I wish I could help but I am in the same boat. My husband basically eats no vegetables, only meat and bread and potatoes. He will eat pasta but not rice. Sneaking veggies in doesn’t work, he knows! A few of the recipes that we both like are meat dishes with fruit. I make sweet n sour meatballs with pineapple ( I eat it over rice). I am looking forward to hearing other suggestions’

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K January 10, 2011 at 11:17 am

I would treat him like a child and tell him this is what is for dinner. If you don’t like it tough I will not be fixing another meal for one, you will eat this or go hungry and it’s a long time until the next meal. If this picky husband is a father he is teaching his children to be picky too. He needs to man up and get over himself.

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Jo January 11, 2011 at 5:30 am

Exactly what I’d say..at our house I plan meals two weeks at a time (started when we lived paycheck to paycheck so I knew we’d eat) and everyone in the house gets a say in a meal or two but they have to also give their choices on the sides, veggies and dessert. Whatever is on the table that night is what’s for dinner..two choices take it or leave it! And with kids there was NO snacking until the next meal..if something was left untouched because of an absolute refusal to even try; I wrapped in plastic wrap, stuck in the frig and brought it out for the next meal while the rest of us ate whatever was served next time..worked like a charm and about one time for each child did they test the parents..
With a hubby it’s a bit more difficult..I’d say probably an unadventurous parent cooking at home and he was a bit spoiled and got his way. Still, my theory is not every meal has to be a “chocolate chip cookie”..meaning we eat thousands of meals over a lifetime and not every one has to be your favorite..that’s putting YOUR desires above everyone elses, YOUR choices over what is financially or nutritionally a smart thing to be doing. So I’d make a weekly menu letting both your husband, yourself and children have a say, I also check my freezer, pantry and weekly sales to determine what might be within the financial means..and then cook ONCE and whatever is served that is what WE are eating. Sometimes his favorites, sometimes yours…I believe that teaches respect for differences, respects the cost of the food, who spent the time shopping and cooking, etc. God provided it, Dad earned it, I cooked it, We’re eating it…

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Rachel January 11, 2011 at 11:11 am

If only it were that easy… my husband would just go to the gas station and buy some disgusting “food” if I told him that. He has some odd picky tendencies, that I am sure were developed in childhood because of parents who didn’t make him eat his veggies, or what not. I’ve also noticed that its more the texture of certain foods that deter him… for instance – he likes raw broccoli but not cooked. He likes tomato sauce, but not if there are chunks of tomatoes in it (then I puree it in the blender). He would prefer a diet of red meat, potatoes and bread, but thats not going to happen as long as I am cooking for both of us. I always sneak some ground turkey into ground beef (I tried using just the ground turkey before but he could tell). I dice onions and other veggies for mixing with meat, rice, pasta, etc. SO fine he won’t notice. And if there is no way to sneak anything in, well then I go to my plan B – a side of green giants frozen steamer veggies or similar, for me :-)

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Emily E January 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I’m with K and Sarah. If he really is that picky, he needs to make his own dinner. My husband doesn’t like beans (like black, or pinto not green). I usually accommodate his wishes and don’t use beans . However, every once in awhile I really want to try a recipe with beans. He will either just eat dinner with me or eat some leftovers. He’s never bugged me about it.

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Karen Hiebert January 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm

I’m glad my hubby is not picky, and he is open and honest about what I make so that is not so bad! but he does finish it. I know as a child he gave my mom a holy terror! But then he decided to behave himself…..

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courtney January 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I’d tell him to grow up and make his own meal. I’m not a short order cook, and I can’t cater to my kids’ pickiness as well as a spouse, so if he wants something, he’ll just have to make it himself. You aren’t his slave. He can eat what you make, starve, or get off his toosh and cook something.

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Becky January 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm

I agree with some of the others. I aam not a short-order cook. You cook a balanced meal and he can choose what he will eat from that. I have apicky child and that’s the way I feed him. He doesn’t have to eat everything. I try to provide something that I know he will eat, but the entire meal is not catered to his preferences. Thankfull my husband will eat anything I put on the table.

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Jennifer January 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm

She should try the book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfield (the wife of Jerry Seinfield). I bought and have not had a chance to use it yet, but the recipes look easy and delicious all while adding all kinds of nutrients. http://www.amazon.com/Deceptively-Delicious-Simple-Secrets-Eating/dp/006176793X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1294686932&sr=8-1

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Jenn January 10, 2011 at 3:10 pm

I have a two yr old who will eat almost anything, but a very picky hubby. I bought this book for use with my hubby. LOL! It’s great!

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Ceci January 10, 2011 at 2:17 pm

I would just cook whatever you want to cook. If he doesn’t like it, then he can make something that he likes. You are not a short order cook for him or your kids. He will learn to like more. My husband has. My kids will go to bed hungry or eat left overs from dinner if they want something to eat before bed and they haven’t eaten their dinner. Hence, that is why I don’t have kids who are picky eaters.

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Stephanie January 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm

My husband is picky in that he won’t eat anything “white”..like sour cream, ranch, cream cheese, etc. He also won’t eat any cooked veggies (except corn and green beans). Unfortunately, those are all things I like :-/
I have 5 kids, too, so pleasing everyone is a challenge everyday!!
Normally, I cook to please my husband and myself. At least the main dish is usually something he likes. The sides, he can take or leave..or make his own.
One night a week, it’s “mom’s choice” and I cook what I feel like, rather anyone else eats it or not. They can make their own if they don’t like it…LOL

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Cortney January 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I agree…make your own if you’re that picky. I have an extremely unpicky husband but a semi picky 7 year old. If my 7 year old doesn’t like dinner he starves or makes his own, tough luck but I am not raising a picky boy to grow into a picky man to expect his poor wife to cater to his palate. Extreme pickiness shouldn’t tolerated.

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Cortney January 10, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Just to clarify, I am not making liver and brussel sprouts every single night. I make sure there is something mister picky likes on the table. I watched my mom cater to my extremely picky brother his entire childhood and adolescence, mac-n-cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches every day. She would make regular dinner then spend 15 more minutes making him his special dinner and he expected it. While he was in college she stopped. His pickiness stopped.

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Amelia May 5, 2012 at 8:55 am

I’m 23 years old, and my mother somehow worked a full time job, and made what could have been a gourmet dinner every night for 18 years. If I “refused” to eat something for dinner, it was no problem….because it would be on my plate for breakfast! Twice was enough for me!
Also, try this: Brussell sprouts don’t have to be boiled until mushy- try slicing them thinly, and pan frying them with olive oil, adding some proccuitto (very thinly sliced salt-cured italian ham) for flavor. Flash fry the proccuitto at the last minute with the sprouts. Top with a small amount of Romano or Parmesan cheese. Delicious!
My 24yo boyfriend is a picky eater, and I have employed the same tactic with him; my mother taught me to cook amazing food that is both good for you and tastes great- if you don’t want to eat it, that’s fine (more leftovers for my lunch at work!) but I won’t be cooking you anything else. He insisted for months that he hated linguine and white clam sauce, which happens to be one of my favourite foods…I finally got tired of hearing it, and made it the way Mom taught me. Guess who had a second helping!! ;)
He’s even started cooking dinner for ME once in a while! He knows 5 whole recipes, and he’s actually pretty good! I went so far as to buy him a small cookbook for Christmas, and he’s taken the hint. Make him what he wants once or twice a week, and let him have input on the other meals. I’ve started asking my boyfriend to come to the grocery store with me if he wants to be included in the planning, because after the money is spent, I won’t be spending any more, so he should get his requests in early! Persistence, and being firm with your decision not to make anything special on a nightly basis will eventually work.

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Mary Beth January 10, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Well, I do have a son with allergies who is also moderately picky. That said, I often have to cook something different for him, but I try to stick with the same flavors and similar ingredients so he doesn’t feel alienated or that he is always going to get special treatment! This also saves time and money. It’s a little tough for me to respond because I have a husband who will really isn’t picky at all. If you’re making two separate things, definitely try to keep it in the same “theme” if possible! So if you’re making tacos or something like that, you can offer a variety of side dishes, black beans, corn, rice. Then everyone can separate or mix as they please! The leftovers can be used in chili or some kind of soup!

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Christina564 January 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm

My husband isn’t a bit picky, but if cooking was my agreed upon household chore, I would try to accommodate my husband. Ask him to sit down, and help you make menus. If not, then I’d try to fix things that he likes while making dinners that I desire too.

My father-in-law only ate hamburgers every night.

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Courtney W January 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm

My husband is picky too, although fortunately not that picky. For a while I just went on strike and when he asked what was for dinner I’d shrug and eventually he’d make dinner. Of course now the kids need to be fed. Try having him research some recipes he thinks he’d like and have him cook one or two nights. Other than that you can take his dislikes into consideration but he can eat what you make or make his own. My hubby doesn’t like onions so I use dried minced to add some flavor and he’s never caught on. Just be creative and add food pieces in tiny amounts.

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Rachel January 10, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I have a very picky husband also (meat, potatoes, corn, no other veg). There have been times where I’m stressed out and tell him that this is what’s for dinner. Take it or leave it. But I also realize that as a stay-at-home mom, it’s part of my “job” to cook for the family and try to be sensitive to different tastes. I would be rather upset if someone cooked me brussels sprouts when they knew that I didn’t like them! What I do personally is make the “main” part of the meal something that everyone enjoys (it’s usually seasoned meat, chicken, pork chops, etc) and make serveral sides that I know he will enjoy and that the kids will eat (mashed potatoes for him, and veggies for the rest of us). I hope that helps… It’s just a matter of being a little creative in the kitchen! :)

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heather January 10, 2011 at 2:29 pm

I don’t know if this question is about someone with kids or not.
My dad was really picky my whole life. I think if you let him he’ll eat only the same 3 or 4 foods over and over.
What I remember growing up was that every now and then mom would make something special for him and his picky eating, but most of the time she cooked for the rest of us and if he didn’t like it he would make himself a sandwich.
In my opinion, if you have kids you can’t accomodate a picky husband. You need to make meals for everyone and introduce your kids to a variety of foods so they don’t become that person who will only eat 3 or 4 things.

But if there are no kids I guess it is up to the wife (or couple together) to figure out what works best so that they both feel happy with meals.

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mandie January 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Wow, a lot of “my way or the highway” here. I try to make a variety of things for everyone. I’m a mother and a wife & it is my job to feed my family. It really isn’t a big deal to make something different to make sure everyone is nourished & fed. I wouldn’t make anyone eat something they didn’t like or tell them to starve. I also wouldn’t make something different knowing the person will eat it but just didn’t want it at the time. I just don’t see the problem in making my family happpy at the dinner table.

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Sarah January 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Well, there’s a difference between, “Hey, this recipe isn’t my favorite, please don’t make it again” and “I hate everything except these 3 foods.” If it’s my job to make sure my family is NOURISHED and fed, there are going to be some vegetables and a variety of foods on the table.

I’m just mean that way!

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Jo January 11, 2011 at 5:43 am

Believe me, I haven’t seen a child or husband starve..the more you cater to anyone’s insanity and self righteousness, the more you get to live with…Do I make elaborate, over the top meals for the birthday person..you bet…but do I think it’s normal someone won’t eat white foods, soft foods, beans, or whatever…not at all..they didn’t choose to eat it, avoided it for however long until their mind put a road block on the food….

It takes several times to develop the taste of new foods..and if we don’t start now we aren’t making any progress…and my hubby was not insanely picky when we met..but ate very limited and junky growing up…now, there isn’t a food out there he won’t eat, I can try any recipe, we can travel around the world, eat at people’s houses, raised our kids to eat anything..and I’ve never been embarassed by anyone in my family picking things around on their plate..pulling apart sandwiches/pizzas because it has the “forbidden” food on it..

Adults should act like adults, be respectful and not so egocentric..and kids..well, they need their parents to teach them about life out there..including food choices and flavors..it’s a disservice not to. I promise they won’t starve!

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Shannon January 11, 2011 at 11:21 am

Did you not see the list of things he won’t eat? It’s not just a couple things it’s the majority of things most people eat. My husband is not fond of onions. I can work with that but pasta and rice? Give me a break. My son doesn’t like veggies but he has to eat a spoonful every meal. Why? So that he can learn to like them and so when we eat at someones home he can eat somthing he doesn’t care for and the hostess will never know it.

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Susanne January 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Does he like stuffing? maybe try chicken with crm soup casserole topped with stuffing? sweet potatoes (think like the casserole for T-giving with sugar and cinnamon)? twice baked potatoes (minus the cheese)? Soups are great if he will eat them — lots of variety there. Or Steak fajitas, bbq sandwiches, meatball subs, even hamburgers or hot dogs to break up the monotony of chicken/steak with potatoes. Would he eat wraps or salads with the meat on top? Chicken parm. with your pasta on the side — he could have his as a sub? What about hot chicken/turkey in gravy — he could have his as a open face sandwich and you could have mashed potatoes. Maybe that is it — substitute some kind of bread for your rice or potatoes????

As for me whether it is my husband or my picky 8yo (I have four kids), I make sure there is something on the table that they will eat — even if it is only sliced apples and buttered bread for the 8yo ( I think she could love off straight carbs and fruit). My husband will NOT eat peas but we have them on the table occasionally … and yes the kids ask why THEY have to eat them and he does not … I tell them when they are an adult they can choose. But you know what? They ASKED For them in my homemade pot pie last night! Otherwise, I save stuff he (husband) REALLY doesn’t like for when he is not home.

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Traci M January 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm

I wonder what you want out of this, recipe ideas, tips to let you eat a wider variety, or tips to get him to eat more variety. No matter what I think it’s best to communicate to DH and let him know his limited diet is causing you stress. Then brainstorm how to ‘fix it’ together. He may have idea you have never thought of, he may step up to the plate and fix food himself, or he may be willing to be a little more adventurous. Some of his food issues may revolve around the way things are cooked. If he has only been exposed to overcooked pasta, maybe al-dente pasta would work for him. Or not sauces, just a little butter. Or raw veggies /w a ranch dip instead of cooked.

We are in a relatively similar situation, our main sources of protein are chicken, pork and beef an occasional fish, but not for everyone. My mom and middle son are lactose intolerant(no cheese, or dairy for my mom, and my son can tolerate a little). Some meals I feel like a short order cook. No pasta/rice is tough, but not insurmountable. And we all have other little food quirks.
I started with a list of meals I can make and that everyone likes. I was surprised how big this list was. It took a while to compile and I add to it whenever I have a dish that is a keeper. Just having the list has helped overcome the menu planning process question of what do we want to eat this week/ I need some inspiration. Have him help you with this list.

Perhaps you could make up a larger serving of rice and/or Pasta for you and have a supply of baked potatoes for him. to keep in the fridge for an easy reheat. So if you make pasta /w meat sauce for you. He can have the meat sauce with a potato. or spaghetti and meatballs, he can have a meatball sub or hero. If you so stir fry /w rice, he can have it /w potato. Or you can have what ever with the rice and pasta leftovers from earlier in the week. Same with other veggies, make enough for 3 servings, and eat over the course of a week for you. Like Sun Broc & Carrots, Mon Beets and Peas, Tues, Broc and Beets, Wed, Carrots and Peas, Thur: Broc and Peas, Friday Carrots and Beets Saturday: any veggies left. Also if it is a spice issue, I can take out some of the cooked meat before I add the spices for the rest of the family.
Or like Chicken and dumplings, you can just put potatoes in the stock.
recipes we all love: Chili, cock pot pulled pork, Crockpot rotisserie chicken, burgers,
salad bar (have cubed chicken, corn and pot, for DH and what ever you want). There are others, but this is a start! Good luck.

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Shalene January 10, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I have a picky husband (won’t eat vegetables, except say onions if they are cut VERY small and are completely cooked so they are not crunchy–in other words, only as spice.) I also have 5 kids, one of which has Sensory Processing Disorder, and is also very picky because of the oral part of that disorder. I usually make whatever I’m going to make with vegetables as a side, and for my 5 yr old with SPD, I will make something related but different (i.e. quesadillas when we have tacos or burritos, etc.) It works out because often whatever I make for the 5 yr old works for the 1 yr old also. I tried the mixing things in on the sly, and that didn’t work. And hubby is very good about just making something for himself, if he doesn’t like whatever I have made. The only problem I have with that is that it adds to our grocery bill. Maybe the pastas he’s eaten before were overcooked, or something. See if you can get him to try them. And maybe he’s only tried Sharp Cheddar or something. See if you can get him to try another flavor. Sorry I have no better solution.

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Terri Baker January 11, 2011 at 5:08 am

We have the same problem here! All the males.. hubby, 19 yr old son and 6 yr old son all have the sensory issue with crunchy foods! Its something they cant help. Its like telling a person to run their nails over a chalkboard.. uhh.. torture! They cant take the crunching and popping in their mouths.. its too much! I cant make peas for them, or salads, but i make them a meal they like, and my pregnant daughter and I eat the salad, and add all kinds of crunchy goodies!. Since our family is larger ( 5 adults, 1 child.. daughters BF lives here too) I can make 2 smaller meals and often have leftovers for lunch the next day. When I make tacos, i give choices.. soft shells or hard, veggies or non..and a big dish of ground beef is set on the table. Everyone assembles their own tacos. Leftover ground beef is then used for pasta the next day or frozen. When making soup, I make a big pot, then divide and add the crunchy type veggies to one, such as peas etc, and the sensory guys can have theirs with the mushy veggies! When we have pizza, I make several, and everyone helps me assemble their own special half with toppings they like. That way I can have my green peppers and olives and they can have theirs with cheese and peperoni. It can get expensive making 2 meals, so I make smaller servings or just make a bunch and freeze the rest. It can also get very boring just eating what the sensory guys can eat, so even if its opening a can of corn to add to a boring dinner, it changes things up. But we do encourage “try new things” and even have special dinners with a fave and a small serving of a new dish. If they try it.. awesome!! If they don’t, then I have a really good lunch the next day! It gives me a chance to experiment, but not totally ruin a meal if no one likes it.. there’s that old family fave standing by!

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kim January 10, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Some picky eaters you can’t change – they are happy with the same things over and over so you don’t get to try new things or have what you want. I would make his favorite dish with enough that he has leftovers for himself the next day, then you get to make something you like when he is eating his leftovers and you make enough leftovers for you the next day. This way you only cook one meal a day but get to try new things! I have a picky eater – she won’t eat most meat so I call her side dish as that is what she eats. She gets a veggie, usually some sort of starch and I make her add in a fruit of her choice. She will eat chicken nuggets and hot dogs but that stuff is served at school for lunch so I don’t want her eating that for dinner too.

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Kelly January 10, 2011 at 2:51 pm

I agree with what someone said about having the picky eater pick out NEW recipes that they are willing to try. This has worked for my husband and I. My husband was very much a meat and potato only man when we meet. That has changed slightly over the last couple of years. He will now eat several veggies and salads. I still can not get him to try a casserole but by having him pick out the new recipes every month I have been able to get him to try new foods. (that and my mother forcing him to try new foods when we eat at her house, – which in the end he ended up loving. lol)

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Missy_in_WV January 10, 2011 at 3:05 pm

I guess that I’m going to be the minority. I will accomodate a picky eater and don’t think it’s any different than accomodating a diabetic or somebody with food allergies.
How about chicken parmesan, don’t put the cheese on his and micro a potato, you have yours with pasta and both have salad.
Roast a whole chicken or Roast a pork loin or chops with potatoes and carrots, warm him up corn. He could eat the leftover pork the next night while you eat something totally different lol
Does he like tomatoes? Brown cube steak and cover with tomato sauce and flavored diced tomatoes and a little tomato paste and cook until tender (1 – 1 1/2 hrs), good with mashed potatoes or noodles.
What about pulled pork or pulled beef sandwiches?
I’ve had really picky eaters over the years (ex’s kids) and I just didn’t give them a lot of variety. They were happy and I found it easier lol

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Bethany January 10, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I also married a very picky eater. His tastes are actually genetic (his dad that he didn’t grow up with had the exact same hang ups according to my MIL). Luckily his go to foods are all fairly easy to prepare. I go back and forth between making a main dish that we both eat and seperate side dishes, making similarly prepared foods for each of us, or just making two meals. He will try new things on occasion but not usually.

Examples: Last night I made steaks. I made instant mashed potatos for him and pasta with sauce for me (he likes pasta but not as a side to steak). Tonight I will make him a hamburger and myself a salmon burger (same cooking process). Tomorrow I will make tacos using ground beef for him and turkey for me (which I made last night).

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Ashley G January 10, 2011 at 4:22 pm

Amen!!! Not only does my hubby loathe tomato, onion, and avocado, but he is lactose AND soy intolerant on top of that! Plus he’s very hard to please, despite having had not-so-great cooks during childhood. For the longest time I felt guilty over preparing good foods for him, but we’ve decided that i will make food for us and he may take it or leave it. I don’t want to stiffle our kids’ culinary tastes either. It’s still a bit of a sore subject, bit I’m at peace with it. MIL admits to messing up his palate. ;)

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Fiddlesticks January 10, 2011 at 4:27 pm

I agree with having him help with the menu planning. I also liked the suggestion that I few of the other people had about having several side dishes….something you like and will help with variety and then something he will eat.

My husband and I are both kind of picky, about different things, so when we were first living together it was difficult. Over the years, we have both gotten better. We have just made ourselves try things, somethings we end up liking and others we don’t.

Another suggestion, if it is in your budget, is maybe try and go out once a week or every couple weeks. That way, he can order his boring same old thing and you can have some variety.

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Tina January 10, 2011 at 5:05 pm

I’d be telling that man….”Eat what I made or make something yourself!” :o) That is how it works in my house.

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Angelia January 10, 2011 at 6:02 pm

I have this problem as well over the years I have done many short order meals then I decided to make ahead his meals and freeze them in individual size then I mix and match. If you cook in bulk and portion out his meals there is a wide variety of meals for him to choose from and you are not having to short order cook! Then you are free to cook your meals and have him set at the table with you and after a while he may try out your foods and then they will not be forced on him. I did this for a while them my husband says he is a big kid now and I can make whatever and if he doesn’t like it he knows where the cereal is. This works the best for me!! I can’t complain any more

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Katelyn January 10, 2011 at 8:37 pm

My Fiancee isnt really picky he just has likes and dislikes. I can cook something he dislikes but he will still eat it. My advice would be Shepards pie or sloppy joes. Easy dinners and exactly what he likes.

Feel free to follow me over at: http://becomingmrsnelson.blogspot.com/

Katelyn

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Saleta January 10, 2011 at 9:28 pm

I’m so thankful that I have a husband who will eat, or at least try, just about anything I could. My ex-husband would not eat anything “ethnic”, nothing green (green chilies, peas, green beans, salad, or even chocolate chip ice cream), only cheddar and mozz cheese, and would not drink any form of tea, coffee, hot cocoa, or any juice but OJ. Frustrating! Oh… plus he hated most cream things (cream cheese, whipped cream, etc). Yikes! LOL! It’s so nice now to be able to try out new recipes almost weekly and have them not only eaten, but appreciated! :)

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Dawn January 10, 2011 at 10:45 pm

I would do a “once a month” or “once a week” cooking for him and freeze his daily meals as if they were T.V. dinners… then each night I would cook a real meal for myself and microwave his (or pop it in the oven)…

As a matter of fact, you could “once a month” or “once a week” your meals too! Then you can have all the variety you want and only cook a few times a month :) Plus, you wouldn’t have to worry about making to much since it all goes in single-servings in the freezer anyway!

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Dawn January 10, 2011 at 10:57 pm

As far as recipe ideas go, I’d look at some Low-Carb websites for recipes for new ways to make meat. Also, I’d try to find some cream sauce or wine sauce recipes that use liquified veggies to add some depth and vitamins. Here’s a favorite recipe of my family’s:

BBQ Pulled Pork
1 boneless pork loin (when on sale)
1 2-lt. bottle of orange soda
1-2 bottles bbq sauce
pkg of buns

Put the pork & soda in a crock pot & cook til the pork falls apart.
Drain the soda.
Shred pork.
Add bbq sauce until it is as saucy as you like.
Serve on buns.

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Dawn January 10, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Other ideas:

Steak with bleu-cheese butter
Steak covered with a red wine sauce (maybe liquify some mushrooms in the sauce and make it kinda gravy-like)
Kabobs – add veggies to yours :) Just meat for him… You can marinade them in Teriaki sauce one night and in chipolte sauce the next!
Sauces can be the answer to making a boring meal a NEW meal.
Beef chunks in gravy served over mashed potatoes.
Hot “wings” (I use chicken breast strips for mine).
Chicken Cordon Bleu (leave the cheese out of his)

Also, what does he order at restaurants? Try going through the menus of several restaurants (easily found online) and recreating the meals you know he’d like.

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Jenny January 11, 2011 at 5:16 am

My hubby does not like broccoli or cauliflower- I will still make it on occasion and he chooses not to put it on his plate. He will, however, eat asparagus, carrots, jicama, beans, etc.- just not tree shapes! If he’s still hungry, he needs to find an apple or some raw carrots to tide him over.

My son does not like raw cheese (melted is usually ok) or salad dressing. He chooses to eat his lettuce plain (which I’m ok with- he’s 5-8 and 105 lbs of muscle- maybe I should follow him and start skipping the homemade ranch!) and if we have tacos or chili, he skips the cheese.

Some food PREFERENCES are ok, but picky demands are not. My son and hubby both know to be polite if they are at someone elses house and are served something they don’t like- (suck it up and eat it). They also know they need to try something new when I serve it- After the meal, they can let me know if I should recycle that recipe.

I usually am a military sargeant with my kids and tell them this is dinner and they have to eat most of it or they aren’t eating, but your hubby is not a child and giving him those same demands would probably make him feel like you are treating him as one (which could be why he became such a picky eater in the first place). You need to have a conversation with him about your frustrations and see if you can get his agreement to try some different meals 1-2 times a week. Don’t rule things out immediately but try in a different way another week- ie steamed vs roasted, red sauce vs white sauce. His limited meal choices are not a healthy balanced diet for him, you or your (future?) children. You should also find out WHY he doesn’t like those other items- my hubby thought he hated chow mein because his mom’s version was cream of mushroom soup, ground beef and crunchy noodles over rice (something my version is definitely not)- Now he hears chow mein and happily imagines crunchy water chestnuts and salty soy sauce!

Hopefully, your hubby is willing to compromise for your sanity and health!

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Crystal January 11, 2011 at 9:14 am

My sister’s husband is kind of the same way. He is a meat and potatoes kind of guy and she is a salad and veges kind of girl. At least once a week they have a “best of both worlds” dinner. She makes a big salad that her and her daughter love. Then she usually makes some rice or baked potatoes to go along with it and has her husband grill up some meat-chicken, steak, pork, whatever he wants that night. She cuts up a little meat for her salad and he gets his “meat and potatoes” dinner and usually eats a little bit of salad to appease her. They are both happy with what they got for dinner.

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ediegourmet January 11, 2011 at 11:40 am

Picky eating is a learned trait and can be unlearned. Both my husband and I grew up in meat and potatoes households where mom made one meal and if you didn’t eat it you went without. That helps develop a few tolerances for food not liked. Hubby had a job at a young age that included international travel and believe me when you didn’t even know what you were eating but were very, very hungry, your tastes broadened quickly. His mother didn’t like cheese so they never had any growing up. After years of patiently serving him cheese, he is up to all except blue types. Our son grew up with having to try everything and now he likes food we don’t even care for. I did give him a choice when he was in elementary school that he could pick three foods he did not like and I would not require him to eat them. He thought very carefully about this. He chose raw tomatoes, liver and fruitcake! Today we all enjoy a variety of foods prepared in many ways. I would be very sorry to miss some of the food experiences we’ve had trying new things. (My grandson tried escargot at seven and thought they tasted like cheese pizza!) We are very lucky in this country to have a choice of good food prepared in many ways. Let’s enjoy it to the max. Also, don’t let your family grow up to have major health issues that come with poor diet choices–heart disease, high blood pressure, vitamin deficiencies, colon cancer.

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mr January 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Here’s an idea-get rid of the husband and eat what you want! This is not the 50’s, the year is 2011, grow a backbone!

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lrs January 12, 2011 at 3:53 pm

All I have to say is….. Seriously grow up!

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Valerie January 12, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Wow some of the comments are so mean.
My husband also will not eat anything except plain chicken or plain steak or a plain baked potato. He will not eat any vegetables except frozen corn. He will not eat rice or pasta or chili any kind of casserole or sauce dish. If I tell him tough- he will just order pizza every night and we can’t afford to do that. His mom cooked nothing but casseroles and crock pot dishes and he won’t eat anything mixed together now.

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Jennifer January 13, 2011 at 11:39 am

I think my husband and yours have the same tastes. Add to that the fact that my husband grew up with many food allergies and has severe acid reflux so that eliminates many dishes from our table. I am somewhat picky myself because I don’t eat seafood so we are severely limited on meals. I can’t tell you the number of arguements in our household over what to cook for dinner. Unfortunately I will occasionally try new meals and my husband will either hate or love it. The bad part is when he loves it and then I can’t seem to recreate it.

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Lisa January 15, 2011 at 10:03 pm

It’s hard to make everyone happy at the same time…I have a really picky 10 year and an 8 year old who’ll eat almost anything. My husband isn’t much for veggies but in an effort to eat healthy he tries to each some of whatever I’ve cooked. I used to limit myself to what I could fix for dinner based on everyone’s particular tastes but I recently started planning weekly menus (in an effort to save time and money) and I’ve discovered that my girls are less picky about what we eat if they can pick 2 dinners per week. Also there’s no “can I have a sandwich instead” option anymore either. For instance my older one will now try things more readily that she didn’t before. It’s hard to say “eat it or starve” but I think for our household it’s really helped overcome the “picky” attitudes.

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Lindsey January 18, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Wow ladies, this comment section got very harsh and mean very quickly. I like Dawn’s ideas, those are great! Food shouldn’t be a point of contention between you and your husband. My advice, ask him! Talk to him with respect and love and you’ll probably get more than you expect from him. Be honest, but be kind. I wish you luck! :-)

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Annmarie W. January 23, 2011 at 10:45 am

I agree that perhaps your husband should be doing the cooking. However, if time is a problem and you’re really the one who needs to cook, I suggest that on the weekend – or whenever your husband is home – he go thru some cookbooks/recipe sites with you and put together the meals that he would want to eat for the week. Have HIM be the one who plans out the meals. And if it’s something that YOU wouldn’t like, then have him pick something else. If he’s going to be picky, fine…but HE has to come up with the solution. And with children, you should all be eating the same meal…not “to each his own” every day!

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Karen June 16, 2011 at 8:49 am

My husband has severe food allergies, so my cooking is somewhat restricted from necessity. At first I was grumpy about my cooking limitations, but I learned attitude is everything. With your husband, it may be he has what is now recognized as a disorder. Can you view his picky eating as a “mental allergy” to food? If he is not using this as a weapon to make your life miserable but he is sincere in his limited food choices, and he’s worth the effort, I would suggest viewing it as a chronic condition and plan your menus accordingly. Include your “likes” as side dishes so you aren’t a candidate for martyrdom.

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Karen June 16, 2011 at 8:52 am

We had a long conversation soon after we were married. I said that I am not your mother, I do not cook like your mother. I ask that you try everything I cook. He did and pretty much likes most everything I cook. His two aversions are really easy to cook around and I still cook them from time to time (1 or 2) a year.

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Michelle June 16, 2011 at 9:55 am

I had a longer message but my computer crashed along with my note, so I’ll condense it…
-PRAY that he will eat according to how God wants him to eat.
-Constantly introduce and expose person to new foods. I used to always fix the same things until the Lord had me change that. We thought we were going to move overseas and I knew that we would not be eating as we do here in the States. So God had me constantly introduce new and exotic foods. They “fought” it as first, but now actually like and ask for the new foods. They will even ask for a salad for dessert. I will even ask if they are sure they don’t want a cookie or something else. But two of the 4 children will insist they want the salad. What a change in our household!
-My dght. stopped eating pasta all of a sudden. We realized it was because she had gotten sick after eating pasta in the past… He might have bad memories of come things, which is why he won’t eat it.

I’ll go back and say most of all PRAY! Pray he will like, want, and even crave to eat the things beyond what is now his comfort zone if that is how the Lord leads you to pray. Pray the Lord’s Will He always knows best. He knows what you and your picky eater needs. There might be other issues going on here that you don’t know about.

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Jessica June 16, 2011 at 11:25 am

Check out http://www.thesneakychef.com for tips, and free recipes. I have the first two books and need to get back to cooking from them; when I did, my husband ate things he says he hates, because he had no clue they were in the dishes that he likes.

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Christina U June 16, 2011 at 3:58 pm

When my husband and I started dating he was SO PICKY! He at so much processed food and hadn’t tried anything he claimed not to like in so many years, I was convinced he really didn’t know anymore. His menu has improved drastically in the last 8 years. He still doesn’t like onions in things…he can pick out the tiniest of them in anything. But he does like rice, alfredo, and a lot of other varieties. I just got the $5 Dinner cookbook and I’m planning on changing a lot around here. I don’t typically try new recipes on the family because how he reacts to new food is how the kids will, but I do let him know what he’s in for. He isn’t quick to compliment but as long as I get an, “its not bad” every now and then I keep going.

So I would either let him help in the menu process, cooking process, or shopping process and tell him that its not fun for you to eat that way all the time…you are making a sacrifice not eating how you want and he should be willing to try every once in a while too. Its not fun cooking for someone who isn’t happy about new food, or picks apart everything you make. Keep searching, I have just gotten to where I’m not worried about how he’s going to react to dinner. And remember, you can leave some things out of recipes…or change them out with something else. I have been trying to blend everything to a pulp before adding and so far so good. Nobody has noticed yet! Good Luck!

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Beth S October 25, 2011 at 11:53 am

ok the comments about telling him to get his own are not even remotely helpful if you are looking for recipes. Letting him get his own is great but it won’t help teach him to eat healthier. Sneaking however you can manage is good but has limits. However making what you make and letting him decide whether to eat it is all you really can do. yes you need to cook how he likes it but at the same time cook how you want things too. and DO NOT COOK MORE THAN ONE MEAL PER MEALTIME! Either people want it or they don’t. making sure you balance serving things he will not eat with some he will is really all you can do. However I came on here to find ideas on how to use leftover pulled pork to make something that a husband who does not like many vegetables, tomato sauce, spicy dishes, and most ethnic recipes would eat. Telling people to make whatever they want and let everyone else lump it doesn’t put dinner on the table tonight.

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