My husband is a very picky eater and there are very few meals he will eat. I’m really tired of fixing the same things all the time. How can I get him to stretch himself a little and try something new?
Growing up, my husband was also a picky eater, and absolutely refused to eat vegetables at all. Period. This all changed when he went to Air Force basic training. He had to eat what he was served or not eat at all. All of a sudden, he widened his tastes and decided that the foods he’d refused before were not so bad after all.
I doubt your husband will have such an “aha” moment (unless the meat shortages due to Covid get REALLY serious). Instead, here are some things to consider.
This first thought is for all of us – whether married to a picky eater or not. If you have any notion that you can change your husband to conform to your ideals, forget it. Right now. You married him for better or for worse, and unless you eloped after dating for a week, you knew what you were getting into. You cannot change him, and unless you just really like being frustrated, I’d suggest you stop trying. As long as you believe you can/should be the change agent in his life, you will be disappointed.
That said, I would hope for a happy medium here when it comes to food. Have you had an honest conversation with your husband about the difficulty of trying to please him when his tastes are so limited? Approach this in a logical and unemotional way. Can he be reasoned into trying something new here and there? You can’t know if you like something until you try it.
I’d suggest a hunt for some irresistible side dishes that you could introduce one at a time/once a week for starters, alongside the main dish of his choice. Here’s an all-time favorite at our house (if I don’t have this on holidays I might as well not show up):
Stir together: 1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, ½ c melted butter, 1 c sour cream, 1 can whole kernel corn (mostly drained), 1 can cream-style corn. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes in a Pam’d 2 qt. casserole dish until lightly browned.
Try to understand what bothers him in trying new foods. Is it texture? An association to a memory? (I ate sauerkraut as a kid and had a bloody nose shortly thereafter. I was convinced the two were connected and didn’t try it again for 20 years.) If you can identify what his issues are, maybe you can work around them, or even through them.
Is there no way to a peaceful compromise? Determine to not take your husband’s pickiness personally. As much as it is possible for you, find things to prepare that you both can enjoy. And make a standing lunch date with a friend each week to eat whatever your palate desires.
So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault. You’re certainly not going to permit an argument over what is served or not served at supper to wreck God’s work among you, are you? I said it before and I’ll say it again: All food is good, but it can turn bad if you use it badly, if you use it to trip others up and send them sprawling. When you sit down to a meal, your primary concern should not be to feed your own face but to share the life of Jesus. So be sensitive and courteous to the others who are eating. Don’t eat or say or do things that might interfere with the free exchange of love.
— Romans 14:19-21 (The Message)