Fruit and Veggies.

I really don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but I do find after the holidays I want to reassess my family’s eating. I still haven’t stopped drinking my nightly glass of wine from the holiday habit of drinking, but that is another story. While I try to break away from the power of the grape, I am also trying to add more fruits and vegetables into our diet. We all know you need 5 servings a day of fruit and vegetables. But have you ever counted how many you are eating? It isn’t easy to do every day. Most of us eat veggies at dinner (I hope?) but do you have veggies at lunch? Snack?

I have decided to up our fruit and veggie intake in two ways: 1. increase the volume of veggies in our dinners, and 2. Offer fruit and veggies that are not necessarily part of the meal. Number 2 is not natural for me — I definitely come from a cohesive meal background, where the whole meal sort of goes together. But then I realized if I just slice an orange and put it on the side of whatever I make for dinner, my kids and husband eat it. And so do I. And there is a +1 serving. I am trying to make more salads to go on the side of whatever we eat. Growing up I had salad almost nightly. I love salad, and finally in the last month Kyra has come around to lettuce, so now all four of us like it. But it takes so long to make it! I don’t like all the prepackaged salads; I find them half rotten most of the time, unless I go to the more expensive grocery stores. But I am trying so far to take the time when I can. +1

Snacks are harder around here. I like fruit for a snack, but my kids look at me like I have four heads if I suggest anything related to veggies or fruit for a snack. So I do what all good lawyer parents do: Make a deal. My son wants a snack. I suggest cantaloupe, and he groans. He wants a cookie. I say he can have one cookie if he eats some cantaloupe with it. Deal!

Now granted, he is having a cookie. That has no redeeming value whatsoever. But he can eat only one (not me!!), and he ate a ton of melon.

It is these little things that add up, I think. Putting a slice of tomato on your sandwich, or even some arugula if you can get away with it. Throwing peas into the mac n’ cheese. It all counts, and it adds up at the end of the day. How do you get your five servings?

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