Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Can we talk servings?

So earlier this week, we had Rachel's 12 month check up.  Is it just me or do you feel like you're being grilled about your parenting skills at those things?

Is she around lead paint?

Do we have anything in the house that could be dangerous to a child: stairs...a pool...cable...her older sister...

Is she talking and trying to memorize the periodic table?

Do I brush her teeth...all 6 of them?  Twice a day?  ARE YOU SURE? 

Is she getting 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables every day?

WOAH!  This made me snap to attention.  5-6 SERVINGS?  Well of course, I'm nodding yes to my pediatrician, but thinking back to my meals, there is not a shot they are getting that much.

And do I count a serving based on what I put on their plate or what they truly eat??  Let me elaborate for you...
Rachel eating her birthday cupcake...she likes icing...go figure.
Breakfast that morning included a banana and pancakes.  I cut them up and put them on the high chair and then gave the rest to Elizabeth to eat.  I turned around to get the plates and, when I turned back, every single banana was thrown off of Rachel's tray and Elizabeth was using hers to color the table. Serving = 0.

Then came lunch:  mandarin oranges, pizza and green beans.  Rachel ate her green beans and pizza but wouldn't touch the oranges.  Elizabeth ate all her oranges and then Rachel's and pizza but wouldn't budge on the green beans.  Then she asked for more pizza.  When I told her there'd be no more without eating the green beans, she mushed them into a pulp and spread them under her plate.  Then asked for more pizza.  Awesome. So that's one serving for each of them there...well, two if I can count the tomato sauce on the pizza...WHICH I DID!!  So I'm up to two for the day.

Snack was goldfish and grapes.  Rachel wouldn't touch the grapes.  Elizabeth mainly likes pulling them off the stem.  I think she ate five.  Three servings for Elizabeth, two for Rachel.

So that leads me to dinner, where I have one vegetable planned...and there's a 50/50 shot that it'll get eaten.   


Not to mention I'm exhausted about trying to think about all these stupid fruit and vegetable servings.

So that got me thinking...what is recommended for ME?!  I might get 3...4 servings on a good day.  So I did some research (AKA Googled)) and found Fruit & Veggies Matter.  You're not going to believe this.

I'm supposed to get five servings too.

*Double Groan*

So now I need to look at my meal planning in an entirely new way - paying attention to the number of fruits and vegetables in my DAILY plans.  "Hoyie Moyie!" as my daughter would say .

This is going to require some organization...and for me to eat an apple as a snack instead of a granola bar...

Presently, I give myself a C in my organization of my household and meal planning.  My desire is WAY HIGH but my reality is about average.  I am attempting to put together a plan of attack.  Here is my start...with the help of some of my favorite mommy bloggers!

Jodi Furman over at Never Pay Retail Again is a super organizer and has the best ideas.  This week, she posted this little number and I thought it might help in this area.  Ok, so I really thought it was so cute and I have no idea how I'll use it yet...BUT I WILL!!

I get in a huge breakfast rut and an even bigger lunch rut.  I swear, my kids have cheese sandwiches at least 3 days a week...a stat I am not proud of.  So I purchased the $5 Dinner Mom Breakfast and Lunch Cookbook
and can't wait to flip through it.  Erin is really good about adding sides of fruits and vegetables and her meals also obviously work with the budget.  

She also has created these free menu templates that are really nice.  I think I'm going to print them off and then attach them to my new cork board...HA!

I found Once A Month Mom when I was figuring out the world of make your own baby food and her ideas on freezer cooking and meal planning is wonderful.  The best feature for me is that they also have a new diet version!  We have a lot on our plate this Spring, but I really think I may delve into this batch cooking a bit more when things slow down...hahahaha, when things slow down...  I know, I'm just a riot today.

Ok, so now for you...and my question is two-fold.  How do you go about planning your fruit and vegetable intake?  Or am I the only horrible one?  And how do I battle through this picky eating stage?  I have read Deceptively Delicious and I need to plan ahead more to be able to sneak things into their meals.  What do you do?


  1. I am a wealth of knowledge on this topic because 1) I am a vegetarian, 2) I am a Weight Watchers member and if you havent heard, they recently revamped the system to make fruits 0 points, thus making them a staple in my diet, (most vegetables were already 0, so that wasnt a huge change) and 3) I am taking a Nutrition class (for fun, because I am a nerd) at University of Memphis and am learning TONS about healthy diet options. I have been meaning to write a post on my blog about nutrition and such, but I just havent gotten around to it. I will make it a point to write this entry SOON for you!

  2. I think I'm doing about as well as you... I plan 1 fruit or vegetable with each meal, sometimes 2 if I'm really ambitious... And sometimes they eat them. I used to hide fruits, veggies, and extra oatmeal in my son's muffins which I would make for breakfast, but I have gotten out of that habit. Probably should start that again, huh?

  3. Realistically, Annie, (in my book anyway) you just have to be consistent and persistent in offering the fruits and veges to your kids. My kids all three LOVE fruit. I hate fruit. I love veges, but my kids won't touch half of them -- not even mashed potatoes!!! What kid does not like mashed potatoes!? MINE!!! But I have found that my kids go through stages and what they like for a few months, they won't after that for a while. Kids are weird sometimes. haha! But I am, too. Cause I know the fruit is good for me, yet I will not touch fruit often. My son eats frozen blueberries and salsa because he says: "That way I won't get cancer." Mainly cause once I told him that those kinds of foods helped fight cancers. But we haven't had anyone close to him die of cancer. And PLEASE GOD bless my son to be cancer-free the way he swallows up those foods! I don't want him to think I lied to him. Anyway, best wishes for sneaking more fruit and veges in...I tried it with the butternut squash and macaroni---my kids figured it out cause my husband wouldn't touch it and then in turn they sided with him and all was lost on my efforts. Oh well! PS - I love your humor in this post. Thank you for making me smile!

  4. PPS - Also, please let me know how you like that book!!

  5. You can't get your KIDS to eat fruits and vegetables... I can't get my kids OR my HUSBAND to touch them! Not even as a good example for the boys. C eats pretty much whatever I put in front of him, so I'd say he gets five servings of fruits and veggies (combined, of course!) a day. P... well, he doesn't eat five servings of FOOD a day... not even carbs, his favorite food group. Ha! My ped says to offer food consistently and they'll eat when they're hungry, but P can pick the less healthy options off of a plate in just a few seconds... every time! (My ped also says that the boys get enough nutrients from a healthy diet and don't need a multivitamin, but I give one anyway. I try to SERVE healthy meals, but I know my kids don't EAT all those nutrients!)

  6. Annie- you are amazing! Love the articles and as I read them I can really hear you say all of this. I am very lucky in that my kids do well eating their fruit and veggies. Do they get all the servings they need in one day...ummm sure! Owen eats like a bird so when he eats anything we are happy. His doctor tells us to look at what they eat over a week and not focus on one day. So, funny story, We went to a brunch buffet with the kids and Owen had some watermelon & grapes, wouldn't eat his pancake or anything else. We said, "No more fruit until you eat your bacon", yes we really said that to our son. I love that he will eat a lot of fruit and veggies but sometimes he needs some bacon.