Just because you’ve decided that keto is the way to go, doesn’t mean that your family will happily jump on board too.

So it’s important to have a plan (however rough that plan may be) to help you stick with your new found way of eating without causing the extra stress from having to cook two or more separate meals each meal time.

When I started eating the ketogenic diet, my husband was a vegetarian and my three boys, aged 10, 7 and 5 pretty much ate whatever. And by whatever, I mean typical kids meals. Fish fingers, baked beans, pasta and sauce (with hidden vegetables when I had the time) – that kind of thing.

And for the first couple of months I really struggled. Not only was I dealing with the whole keto-adaptation phase where you essentially feel a bit crap, my workload at mealtimes had doubled. On top of that, in the first few weeks the temptation to just have a little bit of what they were having was very strong.

But I did manage to find a balance, and actually, my husband has now given up vegetarianism and jumped on board the keto train!

Here are my tips for dealing with a non-keto family when you’re starting out – some may not be relevant to your situation but hopefully there’ll be something here to give you a hand!

  1. Make a decision to put yourself first for a while.

    For the first few weeks there will naturally be a period of adjustment. If you’re like me and so many women I know, you will automatically try to make sure everyone else is ok before tending to your own needs. Well, now’s the time to put yourself first!

    It’s important that you are eating enough fats (and enough calories), and for a while you should just make sure that you are doing this. Even if it means that you eat first, or meals are specifically catered to you. Nothing bad will happen by putting yourself first for a bit. Explain to your family that this is what you’re doing.

  2. Ask for help

    If your other half or your children can help out by being in charge of what they eat for a while this can help enormously. This period of adaptation will only be temporary, and nothing is going to fall apart if your children make themselves sandwiches or your other half makes dinner for themselves and the kids.

  3. Plan ahead

    Weekly meal planning is my saviour these days, and if you’re not doing this yet I highly suggest you start! Planning ahead not only saves you a lot of stress each day when it comes to meal times, it actually saves you money because you only buy what you actually need each week.

  4. Make 3 piece meals

    This is something I do a lot now. I’ll make a meal that is served in 3 dishes – one meat, one veggies and one carbs. I will obviously eat from the meat and veggies only but my family can help themselves to any of it depending on what the want. Thus we can still all sit down together to eat.

  5. Be flexible

    Some days it may be best for you to just cook a keto meal and insist that this is what everyone is eating – take it or leave it. Other days you can cook a combo and on other days you might want to indulge everyone and just cook separate meals. There isn’t a right or wrong way to do this. Work with your family, plan ahead and remember to keep your stress levels down!

At the end of the day, you’ll need to find a way to eat that suits you and your family. It is definitely worth taking a bit of time to give this some thought so you can make a plan of action that works for everybody.

The great thing is, as we’ve gone on I have found that my family started to eat what I’m eating more and more, because let’s face it, one of the best things about the ketogenic diet is it’s totally delicious!

Framed image linking to ketogenic diet guides and plans


4 thoughts on “Dealing with a Non-Keto Family”

  1. I am currently breastfeeding my 19 month old daughter and in due next month with my second daughter. My husband is overweight by about a hundred pounds so he asked that I create a diet for him and that he will eat whatever I give him and that’s it. So I’ve decided on a keto diet for him and even though I can’t follow it as strictly as he does I can still eat the foods that I make for him. For myself and my daughter I add some more carbs as a third portion like you mentioned above. I do enjoy a Bulletproof Coffee myself in the morning and by that I just mean coffee with added fats. I do look forward to the time whenever I can join him on this diet, but since it’s almost been two years breastfeeding our first daughter I expect it will probably be about the same for our second. Cross your fingers I don’t get pregnant again. I think it’s completely doable to have a whole family partake in the keto diet and then just add more cards for those that shouldn’t actually be in ketosis.

    1. Everyone is different. While you are pregnant and breastfeeding you might need to have some healthy carbs more often than a woman your size who is not doing those things. I like fried plantains every so often, maybe baked sweet potato or even a corn tortilla from time to time. Looking back ( my kids are now 11 and 13 ) I think a more keto diet would have helped me a lot during pregnancy and breastfeeding. So many digestive issues surface for you and the baby. Pretty sure my kid had colic for 6 months because of the carbs and sugar ( mainly from fruit ).
      Since it is your husband with the weight problem, I would focus more strictly on his intake of carbs and ensure you are all getting enough high quality fats, protein and organic veggies.

  2. I’m looking for guidance as I try to transition to a keto diet.

    My husband and I live with my family currently, and I do all of the cooking for us 4 adults, mostly just dinner meals but others take dinner leftovers for lunch the next day. I also work out pretty heavily so I have a big appetite.

    My personal diet is pretty healthy, and dinner tends to be a compromise, about 80/20 healthful for the pickier eaters.

    Being that I’m cooking for everyone, I tend to stuck to a budget and can’t get crazy with food ingredients or complexity. Does anyone have advice on how to continue cooking meals that will feed us all, while sticking to budget and keto rules? Everything I’ve read on the internet is geared toward those who are single or unmarried, which isn’t helpful in my case.

    Thank you!

    1. Hey Becky, I hear you! For me, the easiest thing is to separate the carbs from the rest of the meal and serve them in the middle of the table for non-ketoers to help themselves!.

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