Nutrition & Dieting/dinner issues


During the day my husband and I can eat pretty clean ( healthy), dinner is where the issue hits.. He likes fish and I don't, I like chicken and he cant just eat it by itself.. then we have our 3 year old.

Dinner just seems to be such a hassle, if ever we try and keep all meals "healthy" we have to cook 3 different meals.. one for my husband, one for me and one for our son. My husbands main goal is to lose his weight and build muscle again. He went from being 210lbs and a weight lifter to getting stuck behind a desk and gaining 70lbs of husky, only in the stomach region though.

My main goal is to gain muscle, mostly in my legs, and keep my stomach lean. Do you have any suggestions as to how we can maybe find harmony during dinner? Or is this just a common fiasco time for most families with different ages and tastes?

We never really eat anything bad at dinner, we never use butter, never fry food.. but pasta is our weakness. We will usually eat it several times a week, in any form.

Or if you have any suggestions for websites with healthy meal ideas, that would be great. Just trying to stay away from steamed fish and plain grilled chicken.

Hi,  I can certainly relate to your dilemma and I am sure that most other families can as well.  The issue is that you are trying to please everyone.  That is not your job.  Your responsibility (and your husband's) is to make sure that you have provided a well balanced healthy meal.  That's it.  You don't want to waste your time or money so when you put dinner on the table there are a few things that I recommend doing so that you can move through the dinner hour with ease.

First, always make include one item that is a sure bet.  You mention that pasta is a popular item in your house. It is quick, inexpensive and easy to keep.  That's great but how about switching it up and using it as a side dish. Incorporate brown rice and/or sweet potatoes into the mix.  It should not be the main dish. Try whole wheat pasta with some tomato sauce and vegetables.  Chicken can be transformed into many healthy dishes. If you prefer grilled chicken how about tossing it over a salad or into a wrap loaded with veggies and low-fat cheese. Instead of chicken try ground chicken or turkey meat and make some meatballs, a grilled burger or brown the meat and add to a whole grain.  You mention that you enjoy fish.  How about making fish tacos and including some salsa and avocado and beans.   

This may not be appealing to your young son so my suggestion is NOT to make a separate meal. Use what you have and melt some cheese on a wrap for him and give him the chicken and cooked veggies on the side.  I find that a lot of times if children are involved in the cooking process they are more likely to at least try new foods.  At this age that may mean mixing, or tossing a few of the ingredients in the bowl.  Typically you have to expose kids to new foods between 8 and 10 times before they give it a chance.  

The point is this... you are doing a great job.  You are not a short-order cook.  Once you find a main source of protein then there is nothing wrong with having it a few times a week. A few of the websites I enjoy are, or use Pinterest.  

Thank you for your question.  If I can provide you with any additional information please let me know.  

Nutrition & Dieting

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Stacy Ostrager, M.A.,M.S.


I am qualified to answer your questions on nutrition, medical nutrition therapy, disease management,obesity and obesity related issues. I am experienced with nutrition aspect of managing the following: Celiac disease, lactose intolerance, pregnancy, allergies, IBS, diabetes, heart disease, fitness, wellness, healthy cooking, and many more.


Over 20 years in premier hospitals, consulting and private counseling practice for nutrition.

New York State Dietetic Association, Long Island Dietetic Association, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Center for Science of Public Interest

Masters of Healthcare Administration from Hofstra University (Hempstead, N.Y.) 1999 Masters of Science in Nutrition from Eastern Michigan University (Ypslanti, M.I.) 2012 Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration from Ithaca College (Ithaca, N.Y) 1994

Past/Present Clients
NYU Medical Center, Long Island Jewish Medical Center

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