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Can Cooking Light readers help this busy mom with a fussy-eating family?


CL reader Jennifer Reiss in Fort Lauderdale sent this fantastic (and, I have to say, kind of hilarious) email about her biggest food challenge in 2011. Check it out and post your suggestions in the comments section. I suggested she try a family game/negotiation, where everyone comes to the meeting with a favorite dish they want during the week, and then negotiate to eat other people’s favorite dishes the rest of the week. A list of family faves can be drawn up. Everyone helps with shopping and cooking. Cook double quanties (or more), and freeze.

Anyway, here’s Jennifer’s letter:

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Dear Cooking Light:

My biggest food challenge is feeding a family of 5, all with completely different ideas of what they want to eat. I am often like a restaurant where each person tells me what they want & I cook five meals, 3x per day. They all want a different breakfast, different items in their lunch boxes & different dinners. Friends have told me to just make one thing & they have to eat it or not. That hasn’t worked when I have tried it.
 
Well, what do I do when:
 
Matt, my husband:  is on a diet, doesn’t like salmon, eats only a select few kinds of veggies, loves sweets, likes Thai, likes to eat late.
 
Heather, 12:  likes spicy foods, is a picky eater, gets bored with foods easy, won’t eat any kind of pig/pork period, doesn’t like mayonnaise, won’t eat any seafood, eats very little.
 

Dylan, 9:  doesn’t like veggies, doesn’t like mayonnaise, won’t eat any seafood, loves tacos.

Courtney, 6: likes mayonnaise, won’t eat any seafood, sometimes copies her siblings bad food habits for no good reason, loves to eat & has a big appetite.
 
Me: just got a new full-time traveling job after 17 months of unemployment, love seafood, not a dessert person (but the other 4 in the family are), like to try challenging recipes that I often eat by myself, want to provide ONE meal 3x per day that everyone will eat, would love it if someone would feed ME occasionally I could bark out orders & preferences :-0 . I am 45, work out 5x per week, like almost all food but am almost never hungry and can go a day without food, don’t eat breakfast, am not on a diet.
 
Soooooo, what do you recommend for us?

-Jennifer

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Come on folks, let's give Jennifer some help! Comment in the fields below.