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Meal planning for a family, particularly one with picky eaters, can be a challenge under any circumstances. When you add one member’s low-carb dietary preference into the mix, meal planning can seem downright impossible. Thankfully, these strategies ensure that everyone leaves the table satisfied without compromising anyone’s nutrition or taste preferences. 

Don’t Force the Issue
Unless everyone in the family has agreed to a new dietary plan—and a new plan has been medically approved for all members—it is best to avoid drastically changing the full family’s mealtime habits, particularly for children. Creating unnecessary restrictions can create an unhealthy strain on children’s burgeoning relationship with food. Focus on gently incorporating new low-carb foods or meals alongside your normal fare with known or favorite foods available with the meal.

Go Back to the Basics
Any great dietary plan is built on a foundation of whole unprocessed foods. Go back to the basics to create a simple meal with a meat and a couple of veggies as a side. Don’t forget to add a lot of seasonings—whole foods don’t need to be boring! For your low-carb family members, green veggies such as salads, broccoli, green beans and zucchini, can be seasoned deliciously alongside fish, chicken or steak. Simply add a starchy vegetable, a simple pasta or a side of warm bread to ensure every family member can meet their macronutrient requirements. 

Try Buildable Meals
Buildable meals are a perfect solution that will fit everyone’s dietary and taste preferences. Foods like soups with toppings, taco bowls and even salads are an easy way to allow each family member to include only the items that fit their meal preferences. 

Simple Substitutes
With a simple substitute available many meals can have the versatility of a buildable meal with just a little extra work. For pasta nights, keep your sauce and veggies separate from the actual pasta. Cook the regular pasta for the carb-friendly family members and provide an option like edamame spaghetti or zucchini noodles for a low-carb alternative.