Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How Colorful is Your Diet?

I'm using the old computer, so we'll see how this goes. (I actually started this on Wednesday - in case the computer shut down on me or was too slow!)

My Thursday Thought is about nutrition. This is a subject that I feel quite passionate about because as Americans - we are horrible eaters. Everything is supersized or fried. Our country is significantly overweight - more kids than ever are obese. Parents often teach their children to "clear your plate" - encouraging children to over eat. Then we have the opposite side of things - young girls starving themselves, detox diets, misuse of diet products for quick results.

Also - this may be a passion of mine - but that doesn't make me an expert. I enjoy reading books/articles on fitness and nutrition. I have as big a sweet tooth as anyone I know, but I try to eat in moderation and I try to live a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle. I enjoy finding new ways to cook something to make it healthier and I enjoy learning new exercises that challenge me. I love that feeling of being so sore I can hardly move - knowing that a new workout that I tried challenged me that much.

Anyway, I could go on and on and even get a little fired up about things - so I am going to ask one question.

How colorful is your diet? The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that for the average 2000 calorie diet you eat 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit. Do you regularly follow this suggestion? Also, our fruits and vegetables should take up about half of our meal. We have so much produce available to us, but are using a variety of them in our meals?

What are your favorite foods that are colorful?

I try to make colorful meals. I am trying to encourage the girls to eat a variety of fruits and veges - it's a little hard because Kevin is not a big fan of vegetables (he likes corn, green beans, and lettuce). I also try to add extra vegetables in certain recipes/foods. I make my spaghetti sauce with shredded carrots and zucchini. I buy vanilla yogurt and add fresh pureed fruits. My girls do like their sweets, but we are trying to teach them "everything in moderation." Norah knows that too much sugar is bad for her body and teeth and she reminds us of that regularly (like last week when Kevin brought donuts home one morning).

We always have a fruit with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We have vegetable with lunch and dinner - sometimes 2 at dinner (salad and something else). I should probably try to get another serving of vegetables in and maybe not as much fruit. Although, for me, eating the extra fruit is better than filling up on carbs or extra meat.

I LOVE berries, pumpkin, green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, and squash.


Unknown said...

We are better with fruits than vegetables. The boys love grapes, bananas, and apples. I can get them to eat watermellon too. Will will eat other mellons, Ryan is more picky.

Ryan will eat vegetables at school. I think it is more peer pressure. Will eats just about anything.

Matt doesn't like vegetables, so I have a harder time getting them to eat them at home.

heather said...

We were actually pretty good until the last year or so. As a toddler Savannah would eat every fruit and vegetable under the sun. I had never met a child who loved things like broccoli, tomatoes, lima beans and pineapple the way she did!! Now Sawyer is the pickiest kid alive I swear, and Savannah seems to be following suit. I think the only veg. Sawyer will eat willingly is cucumber. I have to sneak a lot into breads and sauces if I want him eating a colorful diet. We still offer them all though... I try to offer lots of fruits and raw veggies as snacks rather than always muffins, crackers and carbs like that.

Nicole said...

My kids get fruit probably twice a day and vegetables once, plus whatever I can sneak into their dinner. They're pretty good about trying a bite of almost anything put in front of them, but won't eat a whole serving of anything except peas, corn, maybe green beans and cooked carrots. Fruits are less of a problem, though neither of them likes berries.

I'm always sneaking milled flaxseed into things, too, like pancakes and muffins.

Since we don't drink much juice around here except orange juice in the morning, the boys really like drinking V8 Fusion drinks that are a whole serving of fruit and vegetables per 8 ounces. I'm willing to let them have some extra calories from something like this (or like dip, to get them to try vegetables) when they're also getting the benefits of fruits and vegetables.

Melissa (aka Kitty) said...

All 3 of us do Juice Plus. 17 fruits and vegetables in 4 capsules. This is my way out b/c I know there's no way I can do what the dietary guidelines require of me. Ryder gets tons of protein and fruit. He lacks in veggies. Won't eat them at all.