I like my boyfriend, but I don’t like his food!  I typically eat very healthily, but it’s really hard to do so at the pubs he likes to go to, when I’m surrounded by beer, French fries, and chicken wings.  How can I make this relationship work while still eating the way I want to? – Pub-averse

It can be a real challenge to find something nutritious to eat at a bar!  At places where burgers and wings are the focus, salads are usually pretty bland and loaded with high fat dressings.  If your boyfriend truly loves eating this kind of food, you’re going to need to do some serious compromising or some serious education—or both!

  • Eat before the bar.  It’s fine if he likes to grab a beer and watch sports at a bar, but it doesn’t have to dictate what either of you eat.  Cook dinner together beforehand, or go to a restaurant with healthy options.  This way you can accompany him without feeling the pressure to eat the food.
  • Recreate the pub feel at home.

    Baked sweet potato “fries” taste just as good (or better!) than the real deal, with less fat and all the flavor. (http://www.simplyrecipes.com)

    Does he like the pub for its cuisine or because the game’s on?  If it’s for the sports, then why not invite friends over and make your own spread of food?  Homemade guacamole with whole grain tortilla chips, veggie pizza on whole wheat pizza crust, and baked sweet potato “fries” are all healthy choices that also happen to be major crowd pleasers.

  • Gently teach him about nutrition.  Most importantly, you need to explain to him why you value healthy eating.  I find the best way is to cut out articles for him to read about the benefits of eating healthy and knowing where food comes from.  Watch the documentary Food, Inc., or share any of Michael Pollan’s books with him.  This enables him to discover what you are already committed to!

The bottom line is that you need to make sure he values your health and his own for this relationship to be sustainable.  There are many challenges in life and as a couple—why add food to the list?  Perhaps a New Year’s resolution is in store for you both.

– Stacey Antine, MS RD, author, Appetite for Life, and founder, HealthBarn USA

As we begin a new year, we have a resolution of our own: this will be the final post in the Eater’s Confession Booth series.  In keeping with our commitment to healthy eating and living for families, we are going to start a new weekly blog post for hands-on activities for the whole family.  The new weekly series will begin next week.  Happy New Year!

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