Family’s food issues hard to swallow
Dear amy: My wife and I have a blended family. We both have adult children from previous marriages, and these children have children of their own.
Food seems to be our only issue. The children have mixed nutritional wants: One won’t eat meat, another fish, one is vegetarian and another family is vegan. Their children seem to be omnivores. During family gatherings at our home, we try and accommodate everyone’s preference, but it can be difficult, as no one is willing to budge off their own diet.
However, when we visit their homes, they serve only what they eat and do not take into consideration our preferences. If they are vegan, we eat vegan.
It seems to be a one-way food street, with us trying to go in both directions. It can get frustrating, to say the least.
I’d like to say something to everyone involved, but I don’t know how without causing discord. Do you have any suggestions on how to keep everyone happy? Or, is this not possible?
— NOT Quite Nourished
Dear Not Quite Nourished: confronting this shouldn’t be an insurmountable challenge, except that you are going to have to abandon the idea of keeping everyone happy.
these adults are responsible for their own happiness. you only need to rustle up some chow.
the simplest solution is for you to offer a vegan meal to all during these group meals. this is the most restrictive diet, and everyone can eat vegan food (certainly for one meal).
Otherwise, assign dishes. Send an email to all of the offspring: “We’re having trouble keeping up with everyone’s diets. So we’ll provide meat (and/or fish), roasted potatoes, and beverages. candace, can you bring a vegan dish and a fruit salad to share? Victoria, can you bring a vegetarian or vegan casserole? bradley, please bring dessert?”
and then yes, when you are at their house, you should eat what they serve.
if you need or want to eat meat at the vegan or vegetarian family’s house, then you can bring a dish to supplement what they are offering.