Two weeks ago, I took up a “Real Food Challenge” and the first step is:
Two fruits and/or vegetables per meal – Eat a minimum of two different fruits or vegetables (preferably organic) with every breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal.
First, I analyzed our current meals:
Breakfast - We don’t usually usually don’t eat fruits or vegetables for breakfast. Most of the time, we have porridge, noodles with soup or toast so I’ll have to make some changes to our breakfast.
Lunch - Hubby and I will take our lunch at the office while one child will have his lunch at school (which doesn’t always include vegetables e.g. spaghetti with tomato sauce) and another at home. Since we always include 1-2 vegetables in our meals, lunch is OK. My son frequently asks me to pack him a lunch box. Sigh…
Lunch on weekends have been a bit tough because we eat at McDonald’s sometimes but lately, we have been trying other places because:
i) the toddler doesn’t eat much and
ii) I don’t like her brother scarfing down an incredibly salty, extremely processed hamburger every weekend.
Dinner – We have home cooked dinners Mondays to Fridays, which mean we’ll definitely have 1-2 types of vegetables for most of the week. Since the kids have fresh fruit at tea time, I’ll count this towards their dinner ration.
Again, it’s the weekends that are tough, especially Sunday nights…
How did we fare?
Breakfast – I started including a fresh salad, which Hubby and I would share before we eat the rest of our breakfast i.e. cereal with milk, porridge, noodles with soup and sandwiches.
Since salads aren’t a big thing in China, I have limited types of salad greens i.e. carrots, cherry tomatoes, celery, romaine (?) lettuce, iceberg lettuce and zucchini. That’s it!
I miss butterhead lettuce that I could easily get from Tesco back home. Would also love to add some beetroot. I can find purple cabbage but I don’t really like the taste although Hubby doesn’t mind it…
Anyway, the kids are attracted by the colourful vegetables – my daughter already loves to nibble on fresh tomato slices while my son loves raw carrots so having salad for breakfast is a great start
I can’t always prepare such an elaborate salad every morning – sometimes, it’s really basic i.e. a cheese and tomato sandwich or cheese and tomato on toast. Mmm!!! Love it when I have it with my little girl because she’ll eat her cheese slices and tomato slices separately.
For my son who hates tomatoes, I’d offer him raw carrots or a serving of fresh fruit.
Lunch – I’d already started packing sandwiches for lunches at work because I always arrive late (my classes are millions of miles away) at the cafeteria and have had to deal with leftovers.
Here’s a typical cheese, lettuce and tomato sandwich that I look forward to at lunch:
My husband has been quite envious of my sandwiches because he doesn’t care for his miserable cafeteria food too. *Sometimes*, I’ll make him a sandwich when I’m preparing breakfast for all of us. Or, he’ll pack a sandwich himself since I’ve already got all the salad greens ready
Dinner - No problem on Mondays to Fridays. And on the RARE days when Hubby joins us for dinner, he’d cut us some fresh fruit.
Eating out – We have been eating at an Indian restaurant lately and the kids love vegetable biryani but they do not like palak paneer, which I’m confused about since it’s almost like stir-fried spinach?
However, the kids don’t like the selection of soups there so our Indian dinners tend to be on the “dry” side. This affected the toddler because she ate less and less till she didn’t want anything during our last dinner there! No more Indian food…
Tonight, we had some noodles with mince meat and a chicken soup. I made a fresh salad and am glad to report that one ate 2 lettuce leaves while another ate 2 slices of tomatoes.
I’m really happy I started on this “real food” challenge because my son HATED fresh lettuce but now that he sees his mom eating it, he loves it too
I am so happy he’s eating fresh lettuce now that I’m thinking – could I tempt him to try tomatoes?
Hehehe…let’s wait and see!