I’m headed out of town for a girl’s weekend getaway. I am so excited, but I’m afraid of what my husband will feed my daughter. He doesn’t cook and eats meat. Any suggestions?
—Susan, Louisville, KY
I COMPLETELY understand! My husband is newly vegetarian and runs from the kitchen like it’s a disease. I was in your situation recently when I went away for the weekend. I wasn’t sure if I should cry about missing my babies or scream with excitement. I went with the latter. I was so excited about not having to hold a baby on my lap on the plane that I didn’t even mind that it was a red eye. I even—gasp!—had a cocktail on the plane!
What this meant, is that my husband was in charge. Don’t get me wrong, Mike is an amazing father. We just have, let’s call it, different parenting techniques. I’ll pack in as many educational field trips in as possible. I’m sure it’s borderline neurotic. Mike, on the other hand, is all for the “stay at home” tactic. My A.D.D. won’t let that happen on my watch. But, this is probably why we balance each other so well. My kids might actually play with the 50 bins of toys they have. I appreciate that Mike has a different approach. However, I will still maintain control of their diet. My husband has been known to eat Domino’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for days in a row.
My solution was to prepare three days’ worth of finger foods that don’t require an oven or microwave. Before we were married, my husband didn’t use his oven for five years. Seriously. To keep my kids from eating pizza for three days straight (not that they would argue), I prepared the easiest menu possible. I have a muffin pan that holds six muffins. My husband had to fill each with anything from the following list: almonds, prunes, pistachios, hummus, seeded whole wheat bread, almond butter, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherry tomatoes, carrots, grapes, avocado, bananas, homemade raisin walnut muffins, homemade spinach muffins, homemade trail mix, or squeeze pouches filled with homemade dal puree.
The most difficult item on the list was to spread almond butter on a piece of bread. That’s it. Everything else is finger food. He had to fill all six muffin cups for a meal and 2-3 for a snack. Honestly, I didn’t even care if all six were filled with grapes; that just meant no more grapes later. I picked my battles. All the options provided were healthy choices—and I made sure to provide options from all food groups!
Guess what? My kids loved the idea, and so did my husband, and now we do this often. You can pick and choose any items you wish, but the key is to focus on easy finger foods so your husband doesn’t have to resort to fast food every day. Good luck, and I hope this works for you!
Erika Lee Krebs
Ask Erika is exclusively featured with Generation Veggie