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If you’re all fired up for change, it can feel like a blow when your loved ones aren’t on board. Whether they’re veg averse or just unsure about trying anything new, Slimming World nutritionist Laura Nolan offers real-world advice on how to get your whole family benefiting from eating nutritious food. 

Jo Edgeley, 50, who lives in Leicester with her husband, Cliff, and their two teenage sons, had this question for us: 

“I’ve lost nearly a stone, and with another five to go, I’m determined to succeed so I have the energy to enjoy life with our six children and two grandchildren. I enjoy planning meals and trying new recipes, especially curries! While our two sons love eating Slimming World meals, my husband, Cliff, prefers to stick to his old faves, like pie and mash, full-fat burgers and ready meals. The only vegetables he’ll eat are carrots, peas and broccoli, and if we have curry, it has to be made from a particular shop-bought sauce that contains Syns. It’s hard work – and expensive – to make separate dinners. I think part of the problem is that Cliff doesn’t see how eating Food Optimising dinners together could help us be healthier as a family. I’d love all of us to benefit from eating good, nutritious food. Any ideas?” 

Expert spotlight 

Laura Nolan

Laura Nolan is a registered nutritionist from Slimming World’s nutrition, research and health team, and she helps to ensure that our services are in line with the latest scientific advances in health and weight management. 

Laura says: 

“First of all, well done on your weight loss so far, Jo! It sounds like you’re doing a brilliant job of juggling, too. A top tip if you’re eating separate meals is batch cooking and freezing Food Optimising dishes that just need heating up, like pasta bakes and curries, to save yourself extra work in the evenings.  

In the longer term, you know it would be much easier if Cliff was on board, so you could try involving him in some meal planning, where you come up with compromises everyone feels good about. There are lots of slimming-friendly versions of classic recipes on the Slimming World members’ app, and you could agree on a main meal, then lay everything out in serving dishes so people can help themselves to the bits they like best. That way, you can stay on plan and everyone is eating the food they most enjoy. Remember, too, that nothing is off the menu. You can always use your Syns to share a meal Cliff loves, as a way of showing him that the changes you’re making doesn’t mean you never get to eat those foods together – they just might be occasional for you rather than every week.  

Some people are put off eating veg because they’re haunted by childhood memories of over-boiled cabbage. Besides, our taste buds change as we age, so he may begin to enjoy some of the foods he thinks he dislikes. You could introduce new veg more subtly by serving them in different ways – blended into sauces or finely chopped in stir-fries. Likewise, the word ‘salad’ can conjure images of limp lettuce and a few slices of cucumber, but there are so many inspiring recipes on the app and in our recipe books. Maybe just don’t call it salad!” 

Family favourites to try 

Slimming World chicken curry 

Steak and mushroom pie 

Slimming World burgers 

Join the Slimming World family 

Our members will find a wealth of expert advice and practical tools on our exclusive app and website – along with hundreds of recipes for family favourites. Join today to unlock the following features… 

Five easy family meals for £25 

Feed the family and still lose weight 

How to get support from your family and friends 

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