My husband and I joined a local farm delivery service last fall and now receive a “bushel” (large box, really) of fresh local produce once a week. This has been a fun adventure at our house. Each week we get a variety of produce grown on several local farms in our area.
This has really changed the way that we cook and plan meals at my house. We now start with an abundance of vegetables in the fridge and try to plan meals that put them to good use. Planning ways to use the vegetables has challenged our creativity and cooking skills. Fortunately, most of our experiments have been successful! And those that haven’t been so great, have at least been good learning experiences.
We live in a country plagued by obesity where there are new fast food restaurants popping up every day. Most people would like to make healthy changes to their diets, and I propose that eating MORE vegetables is a great start. For most, this will naturally lead to eating less of other things.
I challenge and encourage you to eat more vegetables in your household! Focusing on increasing your fruit and vegetable intake will lead to healthier eating all around. The government recommends using the MyPlate guideline for eating a healthy and nutritious diet, this includes fruit or vegetables on half of your plate at every meal. I think many people find this to be a difficult goal. In my household, this has been easier since we started getting our veggies first!
Starting with veggies was really the key, and it has improved my diet and increased my vegetable intake. I encourage you to try focusing on which vegetables you’d like your family to eat first and then filling in the rest of your meal around the veggies! I know that it’s not feasible for every family to sign up for a farm delivery service, but it is possible to start meal planning with vegetables first.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Start meal planning with produce items that are in season at the grocery store.
- Visit the farmer’s market and take the kids along to help choose things that they would like to try.
- Let your kids choose a new vegetable, and then have them help you look up a way to prepare it.
- It takes time and energy, but a home grown garden is a great way to get the whole family involved and invested in the produce that you eat.
No matter how you go about it, the more invested your family is in the vegetables that go on the table, the more likely everyone is to eat and enjoy them! More broccoli, please!