Just a quick post today to let you know how our fruit and vegetable challenge is going. For those of you that haven’t been following, I challenged my son to eat 2 cups of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables every day during lent (and beyond if he wants to keep going). For each day that he does, he gets a sticker on the calendar worth 50 cents, at the end of the challenge he can cash in his stickers for a lego of his choice.
Yes, I’m paying him to eat healthy food, which I definitely had qualms about. But my idea was that we prefer the foods we eat on a regular basis, and we prefer as adults the foods that we ate when we were kids. So if I give him the incentive to improve his eating habits now, hopefully they will stick with him for the rest of his life.
I got the idea for the challenge from constantly reading that the USDA food pyramid guidelines for fruits and vegetables are too low, but even at those low amounts, almost no one (especially children) eat the recommended amounts anyway! And when I looked at my son’s diet, I realized that was true, and that I wanted it to change. Whole wheat bread is better than white bread, but it has nothing on fresh fruits and vegetables.
We’re about a month into it so far, and he’s only missed one day. And for the past week, he has been exceeding the required amount every day. Yesterday for instance, he had a cup of raw carrots at lunch, then a cup of raw broccoli with hummus with his carrot soup for dinner. He ate 1/2 cup of strawberries with breakfast, an apple at the gym, and a grapefruit and a banana and a date for his bedtime snack.
I am very excited about his progress. He cleared up his runny nose which has been totally dry since the first week, and has otherwise been healthy (which is normal). So far, I have to declare the challenge a success. We’ll see how it goes, but I am willing to keep it going as long as he wants. We are definitely going through the produce though!
Daily Rundown (yesterday)-
Breakfast-Whole wheat cornmeal pancakes with maple syrup and 1/2 poundish of strawberries
Lunch-Green smoothie with spinach, peaches, and blackberries, and bananas of course, always bananas
Snack at the gym-4 dates and an apple
Dinner-Leftover carrot soup, broccoli with hummus, and 2 carrot raisin muffins (homemade, whole wheat, from the freezer), and an apple and 2 or 3 dates for dessert
Workout-ran for 36 minutes, I felt really good, and definitely would have gone longer, but Caleb was getting antsy, did some leg exercises on the weight machines, and some situps on the inclined bench, plus treading water and some swimming in the pool