Before I spotted Will on the school bus this afternoon, I spotted his two tall white bunny ears. And even though I didn’t send him off to school wearing those ears, I knew it was him. No, I couldn’t see his little joyful face through the darkened bus windows, but I just knew. Maybe it’s a mother thing. Maybe it’s that he was sitting in the front seat of the bus where he often sits. Maybe it was a combination.
When his bus driver pulled the lever to open the door, she smiled brightly. “I don’t have a Will on the bus today, but I do have this bunny,” she yelled to me over the roar of the school bus engine. I laughed, and said I would take him – ears and all.
My little bunny bounded off the bus and off we went, down the winding driveway to our house.
Whenever I hear the phrase “eat your rainbow,” I think of my kids. They do, and not because I force them to, but because they want to. Fruit makes a regular appearance at breakfast (strawberries this morning for Will, grapes for Paige and I), and Will’s lunchbox always has at least one — often two — fruits or veggies in it. Bananas, apples, pears, grapes, berries … they love ‘em all.
When it comes to working five fruits and veggies into our daily diet, it’s pretty easy. When these are a regular part of your meal, like it is for my kids, then it’s simple to get all the servings in.
Here are a few ways that I ensure that we get enough “color” in our diets:
- Fruity pancakes are a breakfast favorite around here. In fact, pancakes rarely make an appearance without some sort of fruit cooked into it — raspberries, blueberries and bananas are all favorites. Grated apples can be a delicious addition too. If we are cooking with fresh berries, then raw ones are served alongside the pancakes as well.
- Whenever I make a salad, I make sure it has at least two colors in it. That may mean tossing in carrots and red peppers with the lettuce. Or it might be romaine lettuce with sliced strawberries. Or it could mean a much more complicated salad. But it’s never just green.
- Dinner means two veggies. It’s rare that I will make a dinner that doesn’t include two vegetables. Salad and corn. Roasted sweet potatoes and another veg in the main dish. Often it’s salad and a veggie side dish.
- Almost never say no. When it comes to fruits and veggies, it’s rare that I will say no to a request for seconds — or even thirds. Bananas (which are binding) and grapes (which are very much not) are my two exceptions.
- Plan for a few veggie-rich meals each week. Rice bowls are a favorite of mine for lunches, and not just because they are so easy. They are also perfect for loading up on the veggies, as in my Korean-Inspired Rice Bowl.
How do you make sure to get your 5-a-day in?
Be sure to check out the other ELB bloggers lunches too.
- Cate O’Malley from Sweetnicks
- Joanne from Eats Well with Others
- Chris Arpante – Melecotte
- Faith – Blog Appetit
- Jenna – Stop, Drop and Blog
- Casey – The Starnes Family
- Patsy – Family, Friends and Food
- Claire – Cooking is Medicine
- Allison – Sweet Flours
- Jen – NJ Epicurean
- Rivki Locker – Healthy Eating for Ordinary People
- Claudia – Journey of an Italian Cook
- Jennifer Schulz – Lick-a-Plate
- Sarah Rogers – Sarah’s Sweet Creations
- Denise and Lenny – Chez Us
- Gwen – Simple Healthy Family