9/5/08

Make the Good Food Easy To Get Too

You're home from work or running errands and you are starving. You put your keys and purse or bags on the kitchen counter and open the refrigerator and stare into it. Quickly skimming the available foods you see a container of last nights chicken, some oranges, some grapes, lettuce, celery, a couple more containers. But you don't want to wait 2 minutes to warm something up and you don't want to wash any fruit. You just want something now.

Instead you close the refrigerator, open the cupboard and spy a package of PopTarts or a bag of chips. Instant gratification. You open. You eat. And you just made a lousy choice. LOL.

Now, what this post is not actually about ... you. It's about your kids. You are more likely to make a better choice than the kids are and perhaps eat that orange, or grab a carton of yogurt but for hungry kids? I know my three want 'quick and easy' and although my two girls are apt to grab leftover Italian pasta artichoke salad or some tortilla chips with cheddar cheese, my son? Well, he would grab a PopTart.

But over the years I have found that by preparing 'healthy' foods and making them quick, easy and attractive as well as being strategically placed in the front, middle shelf of the refrigerator they are more likely to grab the fruits and vegetables than junk food.

Washing fruits and vegetables and putting them in serving sizes not only makes them quickly available, but it also lets them know immediately the fruit has been washed, cut, cleaned or de-seeded and can immediately be consumed. For vegetables I like to have fresh broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, pepper strips and celery already cleaned and cut to serving sizes as well as making sure the homemade ranch dip is next to it.

Fruit like strawberries and apple slices don't last long without starting to go bad after being washed and cleaned, but on the other hand once they are washed, cleaned and put into serving sized baggies or little plastic containers they won't last long anyway because everyone will gobble them up! When and if the berries haven't been ate in a day or so, I simply pop them into the freezer for a great frozen, slushy snack on a later day. I also like to clean and freeze mangoes in bulk this way (which I've already blogged about with photos!).

Make it easy to make the 'good' choices and keep the fresh fruit and vegetables front and center and looking appetizing as well as already cleaned and ready to grab in a mad dash out the door or by a very hungry child or adult.
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