We are a family that loves fruit. Or, at least, I am a mom who, when goes shopping, goes through the produce and picks up as much fruit as possible to stock our fridge with snacks and healthy food for the week. There is something so satisfying with unloading your cart of groceries and pull out mostly fresh whole foods than anything else. I suggest every mom try it at least once.
I know fresh fruit can be expensive, but you need that ‘I’m totally healthy and keep my family healthy with good foods’ feeling when you look at your purchase at the end of your shop. Trust me, you feel really good about yourself. Even if the fam went to McDonalds last week…twice. At least you know everyone is eating good food too.
Eating Fresh Fruit
Opening my fridge and glancing around to decide which healthy snack I crave the most at that moment is a luxury, and not one I take for granted. Growing up my mom always had apples and oranges in the house, along with bananas to ensure we had a steady supply of banana bread ready to be made. My mom was also excellent at finding new foods for me to try, I remember the first pomegranate I ate,and the first dragon fruit. I was hooked instantly. But I was well into my teens when I had those.
That seems like too long of a life to live without so much deliciousness in someone’s life. And pomegranates weren’t the only fruit I tried once I was older and consequently missed out on years of fresh fruit eating enjoyment. As a mom, I now look at exploring new foods with haste. I want to make sure Gregory gets to taste as many foods as possible so he can enjoy the wonderful tastes and textures Mother Earth has provided for us.
The Appeal of Fresh
The idea of grabbing something fresh that all I do is rinse or peel open and then chomp down on is very appealing. The thought of natural, healthy, easy snacks should make any mom sit up a bit straighter I believe. Sure, it’s easy to grab a box of packaged snacks from a grocery aisle, but there are so many downsides to that option. Let me list a few comparisons of fresh fruit versus buying a boxed snack. I doubt I need to do this, but a quick reminder never hurt anyone’s resolve.
- Fresh food causes less waste. If you’re looking to be environmentally friendly, I highly suggest going the real food way and composting your waste. This way, instead of creating a cardboard box packaging and the additional individual packaging of the single serving sizes inside the box you create waste that is absorbed into the earth and reused. Not to mention the whole farming animals is more work and resources than farming crops.
- Fresh Food isn’t processed. This is a no brainer, but have you ever thought about how much of a process it takes to turn the fresh food into the packaged snack? How far each ingredient has to travel to get to production, then to the store where you purchased. Seems a bit over processed to me, filled with sugar and preservatives to boot.
- Fresh Food Metabolizes better. Being in its natural form, your body can break down and extract the nutrients and put it to use faster. Did I mention that the caloric value of fresh food is almost always lower than the packaged. So you’re eating more fresh food, getting proper healthy nutrients for your body and are able to use it right away for energy.
- Fresh Food Health Benefits. This could go on for a while, so I’m just going to say that if you want to learn the health benefits of eating fresh food, check out some vegan and vegetarian documentaries on Netflix. They’ll give you more information, in a much better format that you’ll understand than I can in this post.
These are 4 quick points I literally listed off the top of my head. Spur of the moment addition to this post. Eating fresh fruits has major benefits. I totally understand if you live in a food desert the challenges you face providing affordable fresh foods. Actually, I really can’t imagine because it’s completely foreign to me, but I will say that it sounds so alien to me that I feel it shouldn’t even be a real thing.
I think if we are capable, however, we need to set a good example by providing healthy and fresh food options for our children. Instilling a habit to reach for something fresh rather than packaged and processed. Not only that, but leading by example and showing our children that we, too, reach for fresh foods and show them how big and strong it makes us grow.
Coaxing Children to Eat
When you have a toddler, or older child… I’ve even seen a man child choose not to try a new food because they didn’t think they’d like it. My reply is always ‘how do you know you won’t like it until you try it?’ Truth. A toddler might not understand that though, so us moms have to be crafty in presenting food.
I’ve seen the bento boxes I aspire to provide my son when he attends school. And I’ve seen the plates of food that moms make pictures and shapes with the food so it looks cool and fun to eat. I’m not at that level yet. I’m at beginner level of food presentation. So I thought of another fun way my mom used to present food and I always loved receiving my meal in this form. A Kebab!
Fruit Kebabs are so easy and versatile. While I list my fruits I used in the ingredients, you can go crazy with your family favourites, trial fruits and whatever else you want to throw on there. This was also a fun activity for Gregory to watch mommy put together and try himself as he was eating.
…Yes, I allowed my child to play with his food. I think there is a time and place for everything, and I’m fairly sure I can classify his playing with his food as a sensory activity. Fine Motor Skills at work, people, keep a sharp eye.
Step 1: Wash and cut up your fruit of choice into bite-size or skewer-size pieces.
Step 2: Shove an assortment of fruit onto the skewer.
Step 3: Eat, play, be healthy.
Three super simple steps that are going to keep your family on the healthy track and your toddler on the entertained track. I’m just going to leave a bunch of photos below here. Gregory was having way too much fun discovering how to put watermelon on the skewer.
I removed the pointy part of the wooden skewer before I served Gregory his plate of food. If you let your child play with their food, I suggest allowing them to use soft fruits, like a watermelon, so they don’t stab themselves trying to get a tough piece of fruit on the stick. It took me about 2.5 seconds to realize this, but I don’t want you do see the problem at a later stage than I did.
And lastly, I suggest keeping an eye on how they eat the food off the skewer. Several times Gregory tried to stick one end of the stick into his mouth to bite off a fruit. I, thankfully, caught him every time and instructed him how to hold onto the stick as if it were corn on the cob and munch away that way. It’s a solid alternative to a stick being stabbed in the throat.
There might seem to be many precautions for this meal, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. I just need to give some fair warning because safety always comes first. This activity was so much fun and had us sitting at the table eating fruit and chatting away for over half an hour, cut short because it was nap time. Let me know your fruit choices, which fruit was a new trial run for your family and how it went. Fruit Kebabs, they are what is RAD in our house today.