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By The Numbers – #3

I left you hanging for quite awhile I realized – so two quick ‘By The Numbers’ posts in a row.

Today I grocery shopped.  I spent $83.82.

I bought the following fruits/veggies:

4 pints strawberries, frozen corn, frozen blueberries, orange juice, carrots, portobella mushrooms, a bag of golden delicious apples, blueberries, blackberries, a mango, a bunch of bananas, apple juice, multi-color pepper pack, seedless baby watermelon

this week's fruit and veggies

this week’s fruit and veggies

That’s 14 varieties.  I would estimate that it is almost 70 servings of fruits and veggies.  It should last us a week.

Those ingredients cost me:  $24.90

Per serving that amounts to $.36 – that’s CRAZY TALK!

That’s cheaper than a candy bar at the concession stand – no WAY!

Notes:  none of those are organic and I shop at Aldi (and if you don’t, it’s your fault not mine)

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Posted by on February 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Bartering for Food – an elementary school cafeteria lesson

Food was a form of money in some earlier societies. People traded tobacco, salt, grain, fish, rice, olive oil, tea, and other edible goods. But commodities like hot tea were replaced by cold cash.  Check this great article.

Here in Indy, you can join Indy Food Swappers.  They describe themselves as:  ‘an Indianapolis-based, free food swap, striving to inspire creativity, build community, and spread good cheer. We trade homemade items and enjoy the company of new and old friends.’  How fun!  

But, you’ll be amazed what I’ve learned about bartering in my kids’ cafeteria.  See, my kids take a packed lunch daily…. for a couple of reasons:  1) daughter can’t get full enough on the school lunch 2) they are all picky and 3) there are lots of rules at the fresh fruit/veggie table – don’t get me started.

They all are required to pack a protein and at least one fruit and one veggie in their lunch.  Recently, I started buying mini watermelons (I know that they aren’t quite in season here locally, but my youngest (and pickiest) eater loves watermelon).  I cut it into wedges and send two or three slices in each of their lunches.

Today they told me that they each need an additional slice.  My first thought was ‘what great eaters I have’.  Only later did I find out that the extra slice is for bartering at the lunch room table!  Apparently, watermelon has a huge barter value – especially when it is prettily cut into wedges.

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After asking some probing questions, I learned that there are obvious high-value barter items – the type you would expect – cheetos, doritos, desserts, etc.  But what I also learned is that fruit – specifically fresh strawberries and watermelon are worth A LOT!

Here’s what I’ve learned: pack plenty of fruit.  I don’t care if my kids or others eat it.  I’m just really happy to hear that it is so valuable.

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Fruits and Veggies

You can’t read much anymore – from a fashion magazine to the local newspaper – without seeing something about eating more fruits and veggies.  These articles all give good suggestions, but I think that they miss the two most important points:

1) you almost HAVE to eat at home more to incorporate more fruits and veggies – really, how often do you see a side of broccoli as a choice on a restaurant menu (especially fast food)

2) you have to start at the grocery store; you can’t wait until mealtime to think about adding an additional fruit or veggie to a meal – it’s too late – you don’t have enough around

I offer two easy suggestions here:

1) start counting the number of different kinds of fruits and veggies that you put in your cart during a weekly grocery trip;  when I first started this trick, I typically had seven to nine.  Usually they were 1- bananas 2- apples 3- strawberries 4- orange juice 5- broccoli 6- frozen corn and a couple more here or there based on the season.

Now, I typically have 18-20.  I’m convinced it’s just because I’m paying more attention.  Today it was 1- apples 2- strawberries 3- orange juice 4- cranberry juice 5- dried cranberries 6- tomatoes 7- grape tomatoes 8- grapes 9- pineapple 10- watermelon 11- frozen corn 12- frozen green beans 13- cucumber 14- romaine lettuce 15- spinach 16- colored peppers 17- peaches 18- broccoli 19- red onions 20-peaches 21-lemons

2) replace a starch on your plate with a fruit or vegetable, usually in the form of a salad;  my hubby and kids are huge exercisers, but me – not so much; i have found that if I take out the rice or potato or pasta and replace it with a small salad right on my plate, I’m adding typically two servings of vegetables

What have I learned?  COUNT your fruits and veggies, BUT do it as you shop not as you eat

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Bit by bit

Today on Twitter I ran across this:

  • I love things that get me thinking.  I suddenly realized that change – both positive and negative – really does happen bit by bit.  And this particularly applies to food choice.  This campaign doesn’t ask you to do anything but select ONE thing to change – and that change is small.

    I chose to add ONE fruit and veggie for each family member each day.

    And, I chose to make 1/2 of MY plate fruits and veggies.

    What does this teach me?  I can’t change the world overnight.  But I can start by changing one thing.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Feeding a child vegetarian

No really, she says she is a vegetarian.  About five weeks ago, my 12 year old daughter announced that she was going to become a vegetarian.  My immediate reaction (internally) was ‘yeah, right’.  My immediate reaction (externally) was ‘sure’.

But, then I started thinking about it.  Wait, I’m in charge of all the food buying and prepping around here.  That means that she now has special needs.  Let’s figure out why she is doing this.

Here’s why:  because she wants to.

Here’s my answer: OK.

Of course, my biggest concern is that this doesn’t mean no meat and all sweets.  This means twice the fruits or veggies and a huge focus on where her protein comes from.

So far, we are both doing okay.  She has stuck with it for five weeks.  She gave up meat for Lent as a way to stick with it through Easter.  She’s eating/drinking plenty of milk, eggs, yogurt, cheese, nuts and some peanut butter. So, I’m not worried about protein.  She is packing twice the fruits in her lunch box and eating a larger serving of veggies for dinner.

What have I learned….. there is no reason to discourage your child from an interest.  It doesn’t matter why she wants to do it as long as she understands how to stay healthy and that it’s fine to change her mind.  I’M PROUD OF HER.

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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