IF - Clumsy

Illustration Friday word for this week is Clumsy. Yep, that's me.

Two Scoops Deluxe
9 x 12
pastel on paper


Five a Day - We Know We Should, but How?

It sounds easy enough - eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day for better health. But, the truth is, between the busy schedules of today's families and a myriad of not so healthy temptations everywhere, it can seem like an impossible task. Plus, if your family's anything like mine they'll just go for what's easy. For example, we have the most delicious oranges in the world growing in our own back yard, but do you think anyone would go outside and pick an orange? At my house, if there's a $4 bag of chips in the kitchen and oranges on the tree, the chips will be consumed in a day and the oranges would rot away. But if someone cuts up the oranges and puts them on a plate, they're gone in a blink! So, what do you do to encourage yourself and your family to eat five a day? Here are a few habits that have helped me and my family eat healthier.

Make it hard to eat the wrong foods:

I'm much better off if I leave the cookies, chips, candy, and ice cream at the store! I find it's a lot harder to give in to temptation if I have to make a special trip to the store, in fact I probably won't do it. And I make it a point to never, ever shop hungry!

Make it easy to eat the right foods:

It always pays off when I add 15 to 20 minutes to my grocery shopping routine to wash and cut up fruits and veggies that stay fresh in the refrigerator all week such as:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Jicama
  • Celery, carrot sticks, radishes*
  • Cabbage - shred or chop
  • Lemon & lime wedges
  • Lettuce/leafy greens**
If a sign helps... whatever works!

These ones will last several days refrigerated after they're cut:

  • Tomato
  • Cucumber
  • Bell pepper
  • Summer squash
  • Peaches
  • Nectarine
  • Apricot
  • Mango
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Citrus
  • Pineapple

From the book, We Eat Food That's Fresh!

If fresh fruits & vegetables are ready to eat, we're all much more likely grab some for a snack, to top a salad, or toss in our sack lunch. And if I have fresh lemon or lime sections handy, I'll squeeze them on salads, Mexican dishes, and in water or tea. When I'm approaching the end of the week, I'll use what's left of the cut up veggies in a soup, casserole or stir-fry. We don't often have left over fruits, but they can be used in a smoothie with bananas and yogurt.

Get Kids Involved

When children take part in the shopping and preparation of their food and they'll be more interested in eating it too.

From the book, We Eat Food That's Fresh! ***
  • Even small children can help wash fruits & vegetables, place them on a platter, or stir a salad or dip. Make if fun!
  • If they're old enough to write, have them make a shopping list of new fruits & veggies that they'd like to try. Or, cut pictures of fruits and veggies from grocery adds, then let little ones past them on a list.
  • Children can help find the foods on their list at the grocery store produce department.
  • Take the children to a local U-Pick farm. Or, if you have access to a garden, let them take part in planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting. It's a wonderful experience for a child to watch a seed grow into a food bearing plant!
  • And, of course, I recommend that you read "We Eat Food That's Fresh!"*** with kids at home, in the classroom, and play the CD with them so that the catchy tune will ring in their ears, "...try something new!"

Do you have any tips of your own? Please share!

* Carrot & celery sticks and radishes are crunchiest when stored covered in water in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

** Fresh lettuce tip: wash lettuce leaves, allow to drip dry in colander, then tear into bite size pieces. Place in airtight container, put a couple of paper towels on top of lettuce, seal and store upside down in the refrigerator. You can also store in a zip lock bag.

*** We Eat Food That's Fresh! Picture book with song CD: A whimsical chef introduces young children to fun food experiences that stir up their interest in fruits and vegetables. More about We Eat Food That's Fresh!