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Family Meals - When You Have Food Sensitivities

Updated: Feb 20, 2022

Feeding a family can be challenging in many ways. Maybe you have a kid that doesn’t like soup, another one who doesn’t eat meat, or a kiddo that won’t touch a vegetable (let alone put it in their mouth). Navigating meal times and making sure all are getting a balanced diet is a HUGE responsibility. Then, throw in a food allergy or multiple food sensitivities, and it kind of just makes you want to throw in the towel.

I have been there, actually I am there. We have so many food intolerances in our family. One can’t have dairy, one can’t have almonds or oats or corn, some of us have a harder time eating gluten. This makes breakfast, lunch, and dinner all pretty challenging.

Here are some of my top tips for managing multiple food sensitivities.

Get everyone eating the same food. I am not cooking multiple meals, I’m just not. I won’t do that to myself. You can pretty easily substitute most things. You can sub almond milk for cow’s milk, gluten free flour for wheat flour, and there are so many companies out there that make really fantastic substitutes for some favorites! For example, if we are having tacos, my husband (who can’t eat corn) will have taco salad. I don’t have to prepare anything special, he just eats extra veggies. Or, I will make corn/gluten free tortillas that we can all eat.

Make one meal, but portion out food that needs special attention. If we are having a meal with cheese baked into it. I will put some of the same dinner, minus the cheese, into a baking dish and cook it up just the same. Or, just bake the whole dish without cheese and let everyone else sprinkle their own cheese on top. You can have a little something special on the side for sprinkling if you have a kid that can’t have cheese. Maybe a little dairy free cheese or freshly chopped herbs.

Meal planning is essential! Check your pantry and freezer, grab your favorite magazine or pull up a Pinterest board and plan! Plan for every meal, and even snacks. It is tedious and sometimes a little joy killing, but in the end, it is TOTALLY worth it! Having a plan saves money, time, and stress over what to make at meal time. Check out our meal planning subscription service here!

Branch out and try new food! Find food and genres that go beyond the normal American diet. As sad as it is, and I have grieved and pouted in frustration many times over the craziness that is figuring out how to feed my family over the years, all of these food sensitivities have forced me to try new food. Even more importantly, my kids have had the exposure to different genres and types of food since they were little, and they will try almost anything now!

Lastly, as much as you can, eat whole foods prepared at home. There are lots of options for processed/packaged gluten or dairy free food. However, these foods are often full of preservatives, food coloring, chemicals, bad fats, and extra sodium. Stick to food that is as close to nature as possible. If you are going for packed food, look at the ingredients. Choose items that have a small list of ingredients that not only can you pronounce, but also that you know what they are.

If you are in the process of transitioning your family to a gluten-free diet. Check out our Gluten Free Meal Plans. They come with 5 days of meals each week (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and sweets), and a detailed shopping list.

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