Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

How to Feed a Husband Real Food

January 29th, 2010 · 52 Comments · KS lifestyle

dad and paul sled I’ve been asked many times to explain how I got my husband “on board” with the traditional foods eating habits we’ve been adopting over the past year or so.  Is it a nearly universal question?  Many in the Real Food Face-Off have mentioned the difficulties of convincing the husbands, and I’m beginning to think it’s a major issue.  We’re called to be partners in marriage, so it’s vital that we work hand in hand. The way the man of the house reacts to the food being served can impact not only the peace of the marriage, but also the way the children accept the food and respect the mother.

It is not this way in every situation, but so many of us wives are the ones doing the reading about nutrition and/or following our gut to determine our family’s nutritional goals.  What’s a husband to do?  When we put something a bit off the grid on the table, do they just have to eat it?

My apologies to the 2% of men out there; this post is not exactly for you. Ladies, read on for inspiration to get on the same page with your husband in the kitchen, no matter what it takes.

Husband Quips

Has this ever happened to you?

  • I asked some friends if they wanted to get into a CSA for this summer, and one said, “We’re very interested!! (We meaning me, and I’ll talk my husband into it later.)” and the other replied, “I read your first line to my husband, and he groaned.. Our hardworking hubbies just don’t know how seriously we take the job of caretaking their health!!”  Is that typical of many homes, or what?
  • When I first started reading about real food last December, I shared information about raw milk with my husband.  He listened politely, thinking any big changes would be a long way off. I have a habit of taking a long time to make big decisions. Suddenly by January, we went to the farm and I was asking for his blessing to take the plunge.  Poor husband.  His jaw sort of dropped, and he grinned sheepishly:  “I thought this was more of a pipe dream…” he admitted.
  • My husband also has to deal with wondering if I’m hiding something in his food, the results of many various experiments (dishwasher detergent!), and the re-makes of some of his favorite dishes.  He can tell when I’ve tried something new; I’ve got no poker face.  “What did you do…?” he’s fond of asking.  He keeps wondering where all the chips have gone, and he looked at our last few boxes of cereal in the basement recently and cried, “That’s ALL the cereal we’ve got left?!”  He added in dismay, meekly:  “You’ve effectively killed my cereal habit.”  This from a man who used to eat two bowls with skim milk, every morning and sometimes for snacks.

So beyond womanly wiles and bulldozing your ideas through, what’s a real foodie mama to do to keep peace in the marriage? Sometimes there are a lot of changes to make to transform a standard household to a whole foods diet.  It really goes against the paradigm of seducing our men through their stomachs.  A good meal is traditionally (and truly!) like a love letter to a man, whether during courtship or marriage.

If you’ve read my story, you know part of the craziness that happened within my own head and in my home as I learned more and began to make changes in our diets.  When the dust settled, my husband was tentatively on board.

I probably did some bulldozing.  I may have used some womanly wiles (here is one example).  Ultimately, I do have a few tactics that I can share with the masses.

Real Food and Husbands:  It’s About Teaching, Trust, and Trickery

Teaching:

My husband is a computer guy, an engineer who truly appreciates cold, hard facts.  I try to be as up on the science behind the nutrition as I can, and I lay it out for him as plainly as possible.  He doesn’t have to know everything I know about what we’re eating, but he wants to know enough to understand why our food budget is expanding slightly and some of his favorite treats are disappearing.  I explain to him how certain foods will keep us healthy and the rationale behind purchasing decisions, whether for the environment or our health.  He knows enough to stay afloat about raw milk, coconut oil, and his own triglycerides.

My advice for others?  Know how your husband likes to think.  Talk about food.  In manageable bites.  He deserves to know.

Trust:

My husband knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have our family’s best interests in mind when I work in the kitchen.  He sees how much I care, how hard I work, and he honors that in how he reacts to the food I serve.  This is not something I can make a bulleted list about for you.

Building trust is simply part of our marriage, based on open communication, prayer together, and a foundation of faith and love. Just as we discuss our family size and our goals for the future, we can discuss our health concerns and desires openly.  He hears me pray for our family’s health and for guidance on what to buy and what to eat.  He knows I’m doing my very best, and that is of the utmost importance.  If you don’t have a foundation of trust in your marriage, stop working on real food and start with your relationship with your husband with God as the guide.

Trickery:

This may sound mutually exclusive with the previous point, but it’s not.  It’s about allowing yourself to be in control of the kitchen.  The trust you’ve built means he doesn’t feel he has to micro-manage.

  • It’s okay *not* to tell your husband when you’re trying something new, at least until after he’s tasted the meal.  I don’t lie; that would be detrimental to the health of my marriage, even if he never finds out…but I do put organ meats in his spaghetti.  He’s kind of learned not to ask!
  • I serve tasty alternatives so often that he doesn’t notice his habits have been broken. I soak oatmeal or pancakes more than half of the time, so breakfast is determined before we wake up.  The rest of the time, I prepare scrambled eggs and toast or try to persuade him to have yogurt or sourdough toast.  Luckily, my husband loves oatmeal, so it’s a great alternative to cereal.  He hardly notices the dwindling supply until he’s confronted with the lack of boxes in the basement.
  • I tentatively upgrade certain meals, hoping the end result will be as tasty as the original (or better, in a perfect world).  We’ve had great success with Homemade Hamburger Helper, Pepper Steak, and Skillet Lasagna.  If I make a failure, I’m generally careful to wait at least a few days before trying something new!
  • I make sure we still have good treats around, but they’re all upgraded nutrition. I bake cookies, but I use whole wheat flour, less sugar, and healthy fats.  We have delectable hamburgers with grassfed beef and homemade buns.  One meal like that is enough to keep him happy for a week!
  • Distract him from the weird stuff with normal stuff. I keep us stocked with frozen fruit to put in our yogurt, which is always available.  We eat lots of soups that taste great, and I work Mexican meals in as often as possible because they’re his favorite.  Homemade refried beans, whole wheat tortillas and farm ground beef make for a great real food, husband-approved meal.veto jar tacos (1)
  • What’s the theme here?  Serve food that tastes good most of the time so the husband doesn’t pay as much attention to (a) the food that is not so good and (b) the food he’s not getting anymore that he used to eat.  Between knowing what he should eat and having so many good choices to fill him up before he gets distracted by what he shouldn’t eat, he hardly has time to eat poorly.  (It’s a little like feeding a toddler in a non-condescending way.)
  • And when I push too far?  Veto jar:IMG_8641IMG_8642

My friend mailed him this for Christmas.  You’ve got to have a sense of humor about the whole thing!

Partners in Life, Partners in Food

The bottom line in feeding a family, as in everything that has to do with running a household and growing children of God, is that you and your husband must be on the same page, or at least close.  When I wanted to start raw milk, he said, “I’m never going to be more in favor of this than I am now.  I’m still skeptical…but if you think it’s important, then let’s do it.”  I love my husband.  In my opinion, it’s good that he’s more skeptical than me, because it keeps me grounded.

It helps me remember that we cannot add a day to our lives by worrying, and that the Lord counts every hair on our heads and will feed us well, just as He cares for the birds of the sky and the flowers of the field.  He keeps me balanced, and this is vital in a field where I am constantly coming across conflicting information and research.  Who’s to say what the perfect diet is?  Be a team with your husband; peace in the household is more important than the most perfect meal on the table.  Giving up (for a time, with more prayer) may be the answer, if that’s what it takes.

UPDATE: In January, 2013, I posted a new treatise on real food and husbands with two more strategies for the toolbox: How to Boil a Husband

Other bloggers have even more depth of wisdom on the topic.  Check out Keeper of the Home’s Making Healthy Changes When your Husband Isn’t on Board and Local Nourishment’s Helping a Husband Choose Healthy Food.

How about you?  What are the biggest challenges in helping the men buy into the real food changes?  What have been your greatest successes?  We cookin’ wives need all the help we can get!

———————————————

I’d love to see more of you!  Sign up for a free email subscription or grab my reader feed. You can also follow me on Twitter.

If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.

Kitchen Stewardship is dedicated to balancing God’s gifts of time, health, earth and money.  If you feel called to such a mission, read more at Mission, Method, and Mary and Martha Moments.

I’m pleased to link up with Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade and Finer Things Friday at The Finer Things in Life.

Tags:

52 Comments so far ↓

  • emily

    it’s all so funny and so true! i love my hbby and respect him very much, but if i sat arond and explained all the reasons for this food and not that he wold be so annoyed by me and feel like i was pushing my beliefs nto him. so if i happen to be not buying cereal anymore i skirt the issue in an honest, but non-obtrusive way ie. “well honey, the kids jst seem to be loving eggs and bacon in the morning instead!”. or i try and make things really extra deliciuos so that refined foods arent missed. itsdefinitly a balancing act though.
    .-= emily´s last blog ..Ceasar Salad-esque Dressing using Real Food Ingredients =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Paula

    My husband was a picky eater as a child. We got married so young and I was a horrible cook. After the first few disasters, my husband learned to have a great poker face and just eat what was served.

    I’ve come a long way since and when we decided to lose weight, it was upon his encouragement…but that’s all it was. It was left up to me to figure out how to feed us all.

    He doesn’t usually ask what I’m cooking. He says he likes to be surprised when he comes home LOL. I try to have good food prepared for him to take to work to snack upon. I’ll inform him of the newest information I’ve learned and give him the option to try. He never discourages my experiments and even if he doesn’t like something, he’ll give it a whirl.

    He hated kombucha and water kefir. He’s not a big fan of sauerkraut, but he LOVES my lacto-fermented salsa and brags about it to the “salsa experts” at his work. He’ll eat homemade yogurt, but I have to prepare it for him. He counts on me to buy only foods that are good for us, and he doesn’t have to worry about it at all.

    Since we’ve found a slaughterhouse that sells grass fed beef, I’ve basically turned him loose and told him to order what cuts he wants me to cook. He’s totally loving it too! He and the butcher are getting to be good friends. He even asked the butcher if the hogs were local/grass fed (yes!).

    There’s hope for him yet. I wish he were as passionate about food as I am, but that’s ok, he’s a good sport and has a good appetite. :)
    .-= Paula´s last blog ..Who Owns WhoDat? =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Trina

    One day last summer my normally quiet husband surprised me by explaining to me out of the blue why he supports my obsession with the Nourishing Traditions cook book and all the new recipes and purchases, etc. Despite not having read all the literature and websites I have, he had taken in enough info to come to the conclusion that these food choices and techniques were not a NEW ‘fad’, but a going back to the way things were done for thousands of years – a way of life that did not produce so much obesity, disease, and malnutrition.

    Realizing this was the thing that impressed him about what we were eating and doing, I use that interest and acceptance as a base point for further discussions. When he looks at me funny for my beet kvass and kombucha, I tell him they’ve been drinking this stuff for hundreds of years in Russia and the health benefits are…etc.

    He’s really great, and actually prefers me to bake with %100 whole wheat and doesn’t mind natural sweeteners. He loves my soaked tortillas and pizza crust (recipes on my blog) He’s been a real sport, though he won’t eat beans or fermented stuff yet, and definitely not my fermented bean paste!! :) I try to bake him cookies once a week and that keeps him happy enough that he lets me experiment and supports me really well.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • The Raven

    I’m always trying to convince my husband of something or other–from homebirth to raw milk, from homeschooling to growing a huge garden. What I find really amusing is that although I often ask the questions to begin with, my husband is the one who really carries through–and often becomes an even bigger zealot about things than I am!
    .-= The Raven´s last blog ..In the Pot =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • WK Aiken

    Apology accepted . . . and even though I’ve lost 45 pounds and no longer snore and have overcome the depression w/out meds and all that good stuff, I still come home to find spray butter in the fridge and Little Debbie in the pantry. So, it isn’t just us guys who seem to be ‘immovable objects . . .”

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    WK,
    *grin* Point taken. What an amazing testimony – are you saying all those improvements are due to real food? Fabulous!
    :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Allie Zirkle

    My Hubby has been flexible, up until fats were changed. He can’t fathom using butter over canola oil. It makes it very frustrating to influence foods when he’s uncomfortable with butter in the house…

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Allie,
    Keep trying! Remind him that butter comes from cows, and canola comes from the rapeseed plant, which is totally toxic until it’s processed. If you haven’t seen my posts on the issues, try these for a little more down-to-earth info for hubs:
    http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/10/05/monday-mission-switch-to-butter/
    http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/10/21/mental-mission-why-is-canola-oil-healthy/

    Good luck/God bless! Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Cara @ Health Home and Happiness

    Mine loves documentaries, so watching Future of Food and Food, Inc after I’d been trying different things out helped.
    .-= Cara @ Health Home and Happiness´s last blog ..Review: Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Amy

    We have been eating this way of life now for about seven years. It was a slow journey for my husband. But what I found out was most helpful was feeding him bits of information.

    The only thing that he will not budge on is giving up his coffee and beer. But when I replaced it with the organic verison, he was not to sure but enjoyed the flavors. He was really sold on eating healthier when he was offered coffee and beer from other homes and could not believe how “off” they tasted compared to good organic stuff.

    I agree that watching documentaries really was a big help for my husband as he is not a big reader.

    Prayers will do wonders as well!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Virginia

    I am very lucky in my husband, he is always game with changes I have made over the past 20+ years. He does have control over the stuff he eats for lunch and likes to eat out (fast food). I have not make all the changes I would like to … I am trying different sweeteners to replace refined sugar. Whole grains have been the easiest change and I am beginning to soak (when I remember to;) All in all the kitchen is my domain…. i don’t try to tell him how to do his job and with the delicious and healthy foods I provide for him to eat… he doesn’t tell me how to run the kitchen. I definitely have a long way to go and appreciate all the encouragement, advice, information and examples you provide.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • My Petite Chefs

    The other day we were enjoying some popcorn popped in organic virgin coconut oil and drizzled with pasture butter- and he says ” I don’t think I could every go back to microwave popcorn.

    -jen
    .-= My Petite Chefs´s last blog ..Why We Eat Gluten and Process Sugar Free (Mostly) =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Jen

    Great thoughts! And I will add for us anyway, it’s some compromise too. My hubby is pretty much okay with whatever I make for dinner and really pays little attention to what I buy from the store. BUT there are certain things he likes – and try and make sure to have those on hand. Some are pretty healthy – he loves ginger ale mixed with pomegranate juice or green tea mixed with pomegranate juice to drink – yea, water might be better but it’s way better then coke or beer all the time! He will not eat anything but BEST mayo – so I buy the BEST brand made with olive oil and haven’t ventured into making my own yet.
    Little steps are key, before long you’ll be getting close to where you want to be and in the long run, little things can make a difference and are worthwhile too!
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..Chips and Dip =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • chanelle

    I can totally appreciate this post and the comments. It does help – for everyone- to make changes a little at a time. And we compromise. I bake with half white half wheat most of the time, as a compromise, because it’s all about taste for my husband, and that’s what he’s used to. I can relate to My Petite Chef’s comment above too- there are certain foods my husband has grown to love. And the biggest payoff yet was when we ate out, and it just didn’t taste as good to him. He said “This isn’t as good when you know how real food is supposed to taste.” *happy sigh* we’re getting there!!
    .-= chanelle´s last blog ..One moms "healthy snack" is this mom’s nightmare =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sheila

    I had to compromise, because in my case my husband had a very reasonable objection: budget. We just can’t afford organic food, and we have to shop from the cheap-o places. So our compromise is this: I can cook what I want, as healthy as I want, so long as I stay under budget. It actually makes cooking healthy food a more exciting challenge, because I have to do everything completely from scratch to get the level of nutrition I want. And I know how important saving money is, so I completely respect my husband’s decision on this.

    I wrote a post about how my husband’s pickiness and budget-consciousness have made me a better cook: http://agiftuniverse.blogspot.com/2009/12/cooking-lessons-from-my-husband.html
    .-= Sheila´s last blog ..The Real Food Religion =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Mary Ann

    My husband is not picky at all and has really been ok with my healthy eating changes. He is fine as long as the food is good. And it has been for the most part. I recently got a package of grass-fed liver and he has made it clear that he hates liver! So either I’ll cook it for me or sneak some into something and fess up later, after he likes it. :-)

    He still thinks I go a bit overboard and keeps talking about how an occasional “bad” food is fine. But I feel like I had a success last weekend. We were out of town and needing breakfast. The hotel only had honey buns and Cheerios. McDonald’s was across the street. I was fully prepared to go to McDonald’s and just eat the best of the worst, you know? He surprised me by suggesting we go to the grocery store instead and eat something a bit healthier. “You know, without all the HFCS and bad fats and stuff,” he said. So we did. The grocery store’s deli had a breakfast bar where we got breakfast bowls which consisted of eggs, grits and bacon. Not organic or NT but definitely better than McD’s!!! We also ate some tangerines and added some cheese that I’d brought with us, so it was a pretty good and hearty meal. The truth is that he feels better and stays fuller longer when he eats healthier foods. And after a while of eating mostly home-cooked foods which are prepared a bit differently, the other foods that we used to enjoy don’t satisfy us the same way as they once did and we both have noticed feeling sick after eating some restaurant and junkier foods.
    .-= Mary Ann´s last blog ..Frugal Tools: A Calculator =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Lori

    I gave up pop (soda) years ago for Lent. The 50 cents a can that I spent at work went into an offering cup…(that tells you how long ago that was) and during that time, I was listening to a radio program that had household tips and one suggestion was to pour the little bit of pop left in glasses and/or cans/bottles after parties in the toilet for cleaning. My first thought was, “Now why would I have thought drinking that was a good idea at all?” Needless to say, it is a habit I never picked back up. I will admit to ordering on occasion at a restaurant, but rarely. Now if I could only get my hubby to go without the pop…I no longer purchase for home, but during supper this evening he mentioned that he was buying it at work 3 or 4 times a week! AAAAAAHHHHHH! He now EATS healthy with no objections, but I’ve gotta to figure out the pop angle! (btw, pop is an EXCELLENT toilet bowl cleaner!)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • My Petite Chefs

    Sheila-

    I am with you, we are so low on funds, too.

    But I have found that I can integrate some organics and more nourishing foods at a price I can afford with a few tricks.

    Our local .99 store has produce and while most is not organic they routinely have organic lettuce.

    Walmart Superstores are now carrying organics and my local health food store just had 3 lb bags of organic pears for $1.50- that’s a good price for any pears, really.

    And lastly I learned a great trick that I am going to look out for from now on. I would like to switch raw milk- but I find it sours so quickly (like in a day and a half) in our fridge that I am trying to at least switch to organic/pasture fed at this point. Organic Valley seems to be my best bet in our area. From what I can tell from their website their cows are at least partially grass fed. But the milk is $6 a gallon.

    Yesterday I was at a health food store at about 8:30 am (after I dropped my girls off at preschool) and they had several gallons of Organic Farms milk for $1.99 each- because the ex date was in 2 days. I didn’t have them but Organic Valley offers $1 off coupons on their products on their website. So $1 organic/at least partially grass fed milk is a great deal.

    I also was able to pick up 5 lbs of grass fed bison meat at the same store on sale for $5 a lb- not cheap, but still a good price.
    .-= My Petite Chefs´s last blog ..Why We Eat Gluten and Process Sugar Free (Mostly) =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    MPC,
    If you ever try raw milk again, know that the “cold chain” is very important. Even if you only have a 15-minute drive, you should transport in a cooler with ice. That makes a HUGE difference and yr milk should last at least a week. What amazing deals you’ve found – well done! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Kari Reply:

    Thanks, Katie, for that info. My raw milk is souring, too, and my cream soured after only 3 days! I thought maybe my fridge is not cold enough. But, I drive 25 min. to get my milk. Didn’t use a cooler, because it’s been so cold outside! :)
    .-= Kari´s last blog ..Too Young to Date? =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Kari,
    Don’t be afraid to talk to your farmer, too, to make sure the milk is fresh, like that day, and that they are cooling it quickly and immediately and keeping it cold. See this post for more info: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/recipes/safe-handling-of-raw-milk-keep-it-fresh/
    You’re paying a premium, so they should serve you well! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    tonya Reply:

    very correct on keeping raw milk cold. by law, a grade a dairy has to cool milk to the appropriate range within an hour after milking (pretty sure i’m remembering that # correctly). i’m hoping you’re getting your milk from a grade a dairy. i would not recommend getting it from someone who can’t make grade a. you should definitely transport it in a cooler.

    remember that milk spoils when the bacteria load reaches a threshold where it impacts taste. unpasteurized milk will reach that threshold quicker than pasteurized milk.

    organic milk is really not worth the premium price. the organic milk standards are pretty loose. aside from the standard organic measures, it says the cows must have access to pasture. no stipulation on how much, or if they have to be eating grass. they could be getting access to a pasture that’s been over grazed. your premium is best spent elsewhere.
    .-= tonya´s last blog ..rcwant2be: climbing laundry mountain one load at a time! =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Jennifer

    Giving them the facts does help. My husband just couldn’t understand why I would want to pay $44 a gallon for real maple syrup. I saved money each week from our grocery budget until I had enough to buy the syrup but when we went to the farmer’s market he wouldn’t let me.

    Fast forward a couple of weeks when we were going away for a night together. I looked around on the internet and printed some stuff about the health benefits and brought it along. I read everything to him in the car and he was quickly convinced. They do like their facts LOL.

    Great tips!
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Reducing your Sugar Consumption =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Jennifer,
    THAT is one fabulous story. Although I thought it might be going somewhere else when you got to the part about the night away…! ;) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sonia

    My husband is pretty on board with most of the changes I’ve suggested/made. The hard part is the meat. The organic grass fed stuff is always so much more expensive. Even the cheap stuff is expensive! So convincing him to buy (he is the one that does the grocery shopping) the grass fed /organic is not an easy battle, esp. on a food budget.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Wendy (The Local Cook)

    I feel really lucky that I have a husband who lets me do pretty much whatever I want with our food budget and what we eat. I haven’t gotten into organ meats or soaking yet, but over the past four years of marriage (which, ironically enough, is when our quest for healthy food began – we both put on a lot of weight during our dating stage) we both cut out junk food and convenience items. He is now a huge advocate for CSAs and raw milk, local meat and other local products. He was skeptical a lot of times but the proof is in the taste. The one thing I haven’t been able to convince him of is getting a grassfed half cow. It’s SO much more expensive than a regular local grass finished cow, nonorganic.
    .-= Wendy (The Local Cook)´s last blog ..Fit Jerk Friday: The Information Diet =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Jassica

    I can totally relate.

    I had quite the success the other day when he thanked me for making fried chicken livers! He used to think he would never like liver. Now, just to work in more organ meats!

    Then yesterday I brought home a free range chicken for 7.74 Euro, and he saw as I removed it from the bag. He was not happy. “Do you know how much that is? That’s like $12!! No. No.” I’ve been trying to convince him that we need to raise chicks this spring for that very reason. Maybe this drives home the point. So, how much does a free-range (not organic) chicken cost in the states I wonder?

    He still eats a lot of junk food and eats out for lunch on workdays. My main peeve though? Energy drinks. I feel very strongly about them, and he thinks I’m overreacting.

    I could go on and on, lol. Basically, he’s supportive of whatever I want to do in the kitchen as long as he has the final say on whether or not it applies to him.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Jassica,
    Free-range, not organic…I’m not sure, b/c what I see is usually both, but I get them for $2.75/lb at the farm and see them for ~$4/lb in the store! So if you had a 4-5 lb chicken, you’re really doing great. Remind him how many meals you can get out of one chicken (often 4) and how much an equal amt of store beef would be at $1.99-2.99/lb, depending on the cut. I def. pay $12-16 for a chicken, and I think I’m getting a great deal! I have to tell myself to think of it in parts: x amount for stock, x amount for chicken breast for one stir fry, x amount for shredded chicken for soups and casseroles. When I break it down, it’s frugal! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Jassica Reply:

    Interesting. Thanks for breaking it down for me. The one I got was a little over 3 lbs. So that would be on par with store prices.

    I did find it interesting that the leg bones were longer on the free range chicken than on the conventionally raised chicken of the same brand that I cooked right next to it. The free range chicken also weighed less, but the meat difference was in the breast meat. Free range had smaller breast pieces.

    I do like it now that I’m making stock too, and finding that 1 chicken is good for at least 2 meals + stock.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Katie

    I am LOVING the stories shared on this post! Wow! Amy, Chanelle, Mary Ann, what a testimony about fake food not tasting so good anymore! Woo hoo! I’m still trying to get my hubs off pop completely, too, Lori. You win some, you lose some.

    GREAT advice and encouragement here; keep up the good work, and may God bless all our efforts with abundant fruit (organic, please). ;) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Amy @ Finer Things

    I think that’s why I drag my feet on too many changes. My hubby is really good about going with the flow, but I want to PLEASE him with my meals. It’s no fun to cook healthy if he doesn’t enjoy eating it.

    Hense… no more maple syrup. That’s the ONE thing he’s commented on. Doesn’t like it. Expensive. We’re done with it.
    .-= Amy @ Finer Things´s last blog ..Finer Things Friday: Once a Month Cooking =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • FoodFitnessFreshair

    Good topic for a post. A lot of people ask me about this. “Partner in Life, Partner in Food”- This is a must. Food is something shared over some of the best conversations and best moments and rituals. To take part and enjoy the same food together is magnificent. For easing healthy food in, I agree that it’s all about the trickery.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Kari

    Great post, Kelly! :) My poor hubby has gone through alot with me and our kitchen changes! :) But, he keeps me balanced. He doesn’t mind what I make-usually-and lets me know if I never need to make it again! :) But, he’s a trooper, and knows I care about our health. The best part for me is that he keeps me BALANCED! He keeps reminding me he doesn’ t care how I choose to feed us, as long as it sticks in our budget. Somedays that’s very healthy, others it means a so-so day! I just finally convinced him to let us try a cowshare program. He was already convinced of the benefits of raw milk, just not the price! But, when my doctor told me to go off milk, and I knew soy was not an option for us, he was on board. :)

    So, it’s been a journey, it will be a journey. But, I appreciate this article, because we do need to work together, and we need to listen to what they have to say as well. I’m always reading (seems more and more lately) and learning, but the info can get overwhelming at times, and he is good at bringing me back down to earth!

    But, I know as long as I make meals he likes, he’ll be okay with whatever we do! :)

    [Reply to this comment]

    Kari Reply:

    Sorry, I said “KELLY!” hee,hee..reading too many blogs at once! :)
    .-= Kari´s last blog ..Too Young to Date? =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Kari

    Oh, and Amy-we’re no go on maple syrup, too! :) Hubby said it’s too expensive! :) Glad I’m not the only one! So, I usually keep a small jar for cooking. And, I have a recipe to make my own, that my family DOES love…it uses sugar (I use sucanat, sometimes only, sometimes 1/2 with 1/2 sugar), but it’s better than what I find at the store…all they have is HFCS choices!
    .-= Kari´s last blog ..Too Young to Date? =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Stacy

    I consider myself fortunate that my hubby usually is ok with whatever stance I take on our food choices. We have been on a long journey to eating healthier and have been through many diets. It is so hard to get past all of the nutritional advice that the government keeps dishing out! We have gone from cooking from scratch (it’s health as long as it is homemade, right?), switching to whole foods, cutting out red meat, all of the way to almost vegetarianism. I have been reading several food blogs like this one for a while and felt for a while that something we were doing was off. I finally bought a copy of Nourishing Traditions last weekend and have not been able to put the book down! What a great resource to find all of this information in one place!(Of course, Katie has been telling us all along, if we would only listen!) I do agree that it helps to read the information to your husband and let him digest it a bit. I am fortunate that I had a FIL that was a bit of a foodie and insited on buying the “best” meat from a butcher instead of the store (I don’t think that he cared a rip if it was grass fed or not, it just tasted better) and that hubby would rather support a local business over a national chain. He also realizes that you usually get what you pay for, so he is more lenient with our grocery budget which allows me to buy foods that are more nourishing for us. We still have a way to go (hubby refuses to give up his Coke, balks at banning boxed cereal, and insisted that I buy him some ramen noodles when I went shopping today- YUCK!), but we are slowly getting there. We have managed to loose weight and cure him of chronic heartburn with Barrett’s esophagus, which the doctor insisted that he would have for life and would need to be on Prevacid for life, with just diet alone. When hubby had his last scope done, the doctor could not find any evidence of acid reflux! If that is not a strong argument for better nutrition, then I don’t know what is! It is worth it to work through these issues with your husbands and pray about it together.

    Thank you for all of the work that you do for your blog, Katie! I am a convinced convert. Now, I am off to enjoy some full fat goat cheese and to fix some pastured beef for dinner.
    .-= Stacy´s last blog ..Another giveaway over at Simple Mom =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Stacy,
    Yay! I love to hear about medicinal reversals using food alone. Our bodies are made to work right if we treat ‘em right (most of the time). Thank you so much for sharing, although you are too generous in your flattery! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Kari Reply:

    Too funny, Stacy…for my husband, it’s coke, cereal, and ramen noodles, too! I feel so bad buying him ramen noodles, but I do to apprease him! I found some recently with less sodium, and crossed my fingers, and he likes them! :) But, my dh asks for so little-he really does-that I’m not going to nag him about those few things. :)
    .-= Kari´s last blog ..Too Young to Date? =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Kate

    I always share the best articles I find with my husband. I tell him about things and his response is usually “well, if you think it’s necessary.” Over time he’s gotten on board more and more, but he’s now hearing it from a lot of people other than me, and he is totally on board! He knows I drive the research and changes but when I tell him what I think we should do next and why, he will say “that makes a lot of sense to me” and is on board. He doesn’t like that he can’t have things he used to, and he especially hates not having snacks (it’s sooo hard with no grains, no nuts, no legumes, limited fruit…) but he sees these as minor annoyances that are worth it to be healthier. Maybe I’m in the minority! :)
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Following God’s Plan =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Sandy

    Well, my husband eats everything I cook. I am blessed! Our kid’s palates have changed as they’ve grown, too. No pickiness around here – even from our garden. I appreciate the work you put into this post! It’s great!

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Staci

    I have started a new carnival “Meatless Mondays.” I would love for you to join in. You can post something new, or dig up a favorite blast from the past. I have enjoyed reading many of your tips, and I am sure there are others that would love to have you share.
    http://teachingmoneytokids.blogspot.com/2010/01/meatless-monday-carnival-kids-in.html
    Thanks Staci
    .-= Staci´s last blog ..Meatless Monday Carnival – Kids in the Kitchen =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Expat Mom

    My husband is very reluctant to try new food, but he’s gradually getting used to it. He will taste it and then ask me what’s in it . . . but even if he doesn’t like what I make, he eats it so the boys will see him doing it. :)

    To get an honest reaction I ask, “So, would you want to eat that again?” And he’ll say, “Not really”, “Maybe once in a while.” or “Sure!”
    .-= Expat Mom´s last blog ..Excuse Me While I Freak Out a Little =-.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Expat Mom,
    An excellent litmus test! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Katie (too)

    I think the main thing is to make changes slowly. My husband doesn’t care too much about the health part, honestly. But he is a huge fan of homemade bread (with unbleached all-purpose flour, because we’re really not whole wheat people), chicken soup, and broccoli with butter. I’ve found that the things I really think he’ll object to turn out to be no big deal, and vice versa. One step at a time, and like Sally Fallon says, it’s not healthy if NO ONE will eat it. :)

    [Reply to this comment]

  • jason

    Having switched from being the primary breadwinner to a stay-at-home, I think there’s a different sort of mental energy when you’re home all day, dealing primarily with kids instead of adults, constantly being asked for food, dealing with family sicknesses and mood/energy swings, waiting at appointments, shuttling kids around, etc. It’s easier to do lots of thinking about how to improve the families health.

    Whereas, the working spouse is thinking all day about job related issues, spending time in professional development seminars, trying not to mentally bring work home, switching gears in the evening to be a parent and enjoy a few hours with the kids, etc.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Jason,
    That is an excellent insight. What different lives we lead as an at-home vs. at-work spouse! :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

  • Erin

    My husband is from Mexico, so going back to the way things were is heaven to him. He is total thrilled about getting raw milk, and I think he was a little shocked too ;-). His mom barely used canned or boxed or bottled anything, and though some of what I learn from these various whole foods sites are not Mexican in flavor, I know enough of how to make Mexican food to adopt it to that side of how we eat. We are both excited, but he is looking at the bottom line too. When it comes to organic produce he was a little upset yesterday when I put my foot down to non-organic produce, until I took him home, sat him down and explained that we are reverting back a little. Eat what is in season, can, freeze and dehydrate to have produce all year. He is coming around to some of it, and will to the rest. I know him enough to know that he wants organic produce because it tastes more like home, but he is worried about the cost. Like I tell him, it will take time to build up what we have and be switched over, and it will take money, but once it happens, we will end up with most likely a lower budget because I will have on hand canned, frozen and dehydrated produce, frozen organic meats, hopefully our own chickens for fresh organic eggs, grain for breads etc…that leaves room to buy fresh produce and raw milk here and there when needed.

    [Reply to this comment]

  • anonymous

    I read everyone’s comments and you all are soooo blessed. My dh ONLY eats ramen noodles, chicken nuggets, frozen burritos, corndogs, hamburgers or hotdogs, scrambled or fried eggs, pork chops MAYBE hamburger helper. He doesn’t LIKE steak, or stew. He hates to go to restaurants, besides fast food. He eats absolutely no vegs or fruits, besides potatoes and very finely minced onions in a few things. He will eat pintos, no other beans. He will make a smoothie with a banana once a month. He eats no condiments, besides bbq sauce and gravy. He uses cheese for a condiment, like on meat or something. He will not eat it by itself. He will eat sugar cereals only. He won’t even eat oatmeal COOKIES. He drinks milk, but likes pop, koolaids, teas, energy drinks and coffee better. He WILL eat whole wheat bread and pasta and brown rice (not too often on the rice n pasta tho will he eat it–he simply will make corn dogs that nite)
    I can not believe he has survived his 32 yrs. And he rarely gets sick and then it’s for about 24 hrs and it’s over, no matter what it is.
    He doesn’t care AT ALL about health. I am making it all up. He is ruled by his tastes. He only eats what tastes good. Chocolate cake for brkfst and only chocolate cake is FINE. Look at him, he’s fine and he’s always eaten this way. Milk is $1.50 a gallon here and I want to spend $6 a gallon on organic!?!?!?!
    I guarantee there is no other man on earth like him as far as food goes. He is completely incorrigible on this issue. He has very high blood pressure now and is obese. He would eat 2 meals a day at a fast food place if he could afford it. Everyday. There is no changing him. He will die from food abuse in the next ten yrs but becuz he is so addicted to taste and appeasing HIMSELF, he can not stop it.
    So if you’re able to make a meatloaf with ground up organ meats in it and add onions, parsley and celery to it and then top it with ketchup, clap your hands with joy. My husband would eat the mashed potatoes that nite (or probably not even that without a gravy) and skip the applesauce and sautéed green beans along with the meatloaf. Then he would nuke a bag of popcorn in front of the kids and sit 8ft away in the livingroom while the kids smell it and refuse to eat their dinner.
    I had no idea the depth of his mental illness or I would have run.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Oh, how sad for your children and your marriage! I am so sorry to hear what stress you have at dinnertime and will pray for your family this week. He should at least go in the garage or something with his popcorn! :(
    You’re right, the rest of us are counting our blessings…

    [Reply to this comment]

    AllieZirkle Reply:

    Anon, I know the feeling! My Hubby was 27 when we got married. For his entire life, he consumed processed foods. His love for McDs, taco bell, and WhatAburger were tough to compete with! Our food budget was $2,000 per month for thr first year because he would only eat food from a fast food joint for 3 meals / day. His love of chocolate milk & chocolate pudding kills my food budget, 6 years later.

    In introducing whole foods & real foods, it took a lot of strength on my part. He happens to love Thai food (curry) so we started the veggie & non-gmo chicken in his dish. I’d buy the food, prep it, and he wouldn’t ask questions. Slowly there were more veggies added, because when it’s cut for you, it’s easy to add extra.

    I put it out there, in a “come to Jesus” meeting. 1) our budget is suffering 2) our kids need you at meal times 3) our health is suffering 4) our bodies are God’s and we are disrespecting them 5) childhood obesity & diabetes are controlled by us NOT our children (monkey see, monkey do).

    I do keep quik meals on hand (i.e. totinos pizzas) and homemade burritos with store bought tortillas. Baby steps in incorporating real foods. I’m the grocery shopper, and it’s my job to keep a balanced selection of food. It was 90/10 processed/real foods. Now it’s 25/75 with all whole foods and 25% of our budget going to fast food. That doesn’t feel wonderful, but I know it’s so much better than it was.

    Know that you aren’t alone :) Ps- God is good. So good. Keep praying and seeking out these resources. Hugs Anon!

    Allie

    [Reply to this comment]

    Katie Reply:

    Allie,
    You are amazing. What an incredible testimony to the power of a praying wife. I say you’ve made huge gains (I nearly choked when I read your food budget number when you first married. Yowza!) and have much to be proud of! Thank you so much for sharing and for the encouragement – :) Katie

    [Reply to this comment]

Leave a Comment

Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

PTE350
Squooshi reusable food pouches