Base Meals: how to simplify cooking for family members with different preferences

There is one question I've gotten over and over in my DMs and question box on Instagram, whenever I ask what you need the most help with when it comes to meal planning, prep and just getting meals on the table- "What do I do if my (husband/son/daughter/family member) doesn't eat the same as I do?"

Whether it's preference, intolerance or allergy, I feel you, mama- serving other humans always complicates cooking! So how do you put meals on the table every night, serving your people's preferences (without going crazy)?!⁠

I've got a solution (and it's one we use ALL. THE. TIME).

You serve BASE MEALS.⁠

What is a base meal?

Instead of cooking up one dish for you, one for your hubby, one for your kids (I'm exhausted for you), you choose a simple BASE, and you let THEM mix and match to create their own adventure.⁠

Is it more prep than making one meal?

Yes and no (I'm all about keeping it simple and prepping ahead for ease)-- but it's a LOT less than trying to make separate meals for everyone.⁠

Here are a few examples of my favorite base meals:⁠

→ Taco bar (super easy to use different tortillas for gluten/gluten-free, different protein options for plant-based and different topping options for dairy-free)⁠

→ Choose your own adventure pasta (boil up two kinds of pasta and provide two sauces and/or protein/veggie options)⁠

→ Burrito bowls (same variations as tacos)⁠

→ Balance bowls (choose a base or two that work for all, allow choice in protein, veggies and sauces)⁠

→ Burgers + Salads (burgers are easy to have meat/plant-based options, give choice in salad toppings)⁠

→ Baked potatoes/sweet potatoes (serve yourself toppings)⁠

→ One protein, different sides OR same sides, different protein.⁠

Keep it SIMPLE, mama. Dinner does NOT have to feel stressful!⁠ Click below to download my free 2-page base meals guide with over 30 examples of base meals to simplify dinner, this week.

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© 2020 Kristin Rugg Dovbniak for Healthy Mama Kris. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use

Headshots Marie Guagliardo Photography & Sarah Zollo Portraits