According to the CDC, only one-third of U.S. adults eat two or more servings of fruit per day, and only one-quarter of adults eat three or more servings of vegetables per day.27 These minimal amounts cannot be expected to provide disease protection. I recommend a far more substantial intake of fruits and vegetables with 90 percent of calories coming from nutrient rich plant material, lots of it raw and green. I recommend about two pounds of vegetables and at least 4 fresh fruits per day. Most importantly, attention should be paid to the highly cancer-protective plant foods, greens, onion, berries, beans and seeds. (https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/article24.aspx)
As a mama, I continually purpose to enrich my babies’ diets with varied fruits and vegetables, yet it is a daily struggle to meet the suggested amounts above. Each day, I attempt to serve my children one pound of fruit and vegetables. These servings come in the form of smoothies, fruit salads, veggies with ranch, salads, etc. I hit the ground running with breakfast and finally complete my mission at bedtime. Many days I don’t succeed. Some nights we do takeout food and I know that must counteract all the fresh fruits and vegetables I am so desparate to get into their tiny bodies. This is done out of fear. Fear that a nasty disease is waiting to rear its ugly head. This motivation is exhausting, but undeniable. We are surrounded by childhood cancers these days, and I cannot help but wonder if our poor diet, as a nation, is responsible.
As a family, I have truly cut out fast food such as Mc Donald’s, Taco Bell, Burger King, etc. Occasionally we will have Chik-Fil-A and El Pollo Loco, which I even cringe to admit. But for the most part, I cook and send fresh, wholesome and nutritious meals at home and to school for lunches. This diligence affords me the opportunity to push the fear out, and know that I am doing all I can to keep my kids as healthy as they can be, allowing their bodies to receive the minerals necessary to fight off the earliest beginnings of disease and virus. Financially, our grocery bill has almost doubled, but I feel that is due to the children’s growing appetites and now that Marshall, (#3 as we call him) is eating full portions at every meal and then some. Overall, when being conscious about not wasting, I am able to stretch our meals into lunches the next day, or even sometimes a new meal the next night. Below is an example of my children’s daily meals:
Breakfast: Smoothie (greens, frozen fruit, bananas, OJ), whole grain toast with organic butter and homemade jam, plain whole milk organic yogurt with frozen berries and sweetened with maple syrup.
Lunch: Leftover chicken and vegetable stir fry over rice (bok choy, snow peas, broccoli, onion, carrots), organic applesauce cup, two tangerines, raw cheddar cheese slices with crackers and a homemade chocolate chip cookie.
Dinner: Grilled flank steak, homemade macaroni and cheese, sauteed green beans and a garden salad with celery, carrots and cucumber and ranch dressing.
For drinks, they usually only have water with maybe 1 serving of milk per day. This helps cut down on the cost of Raw Milk, as they don’t consume as much on a daily basis.
If you are having trouble deciding how to change your grocery store habits, my advice is to stick to the outer aisles. Forgo the purchase of processed cookies and snacks, and instead make organic cookies at home. I just made a batch of my favorite recipe chocolate chip cookies and it cost me about $5.00 to make 45 child size cookies. Recipe is:
2 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup organic cane sugar
3/4 cup organic brown sugar
1 cup organic butter
2 large farm fresh eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Mix dry ingredients. In separate bowl cream softened butter and sugars, add vanilla then eggs. Combine wet and dry, add chocolate chips. Oven at 350 degrees, bake cookies approximately 10 minutes, checking often.
Another tip I have is to plan your meals ahead of time, even breakfast and lunch! This is not only a time saver, but it allows for strategic planning to make the most out of each meal. Sometimes I make a little bit extra dinner to ensure I have enough for lunches for the kids the next day. When I make flank steak, I grill 2 large pieces, one for that night and the second slab I slice thin and turn into beef & broccoli the next night. This truly allows me to spread the cost of the meat over two nights dinners, therefore creating cheaper per serving prices.
Frozen vegetables are one way you can pile on the intake with a very affordable price tag. Costco usually has the best prices on frozen produce, so when I go, I typically grab 1-2 bags of frozen veggies and 1-2 bags of frozen fruits.
Breakfast is another meal where I am able to stretch costs over numerous meals. When I make waffles, pancakes or french toast, I always double the batch and freeze the leftover for another day. Homemade is a much more nutritious and less processed variety of our favorite breakfasts carbs, and can even be cheaper if done this way. I am all about eating healthy with the most ease and cost effectiveness possible.
I hope I have inspired you to even make one change for the healthier for the sake of yourself, your family, and your future. Start small, and soon you will have a heart change and takeoff running! IT is possible, it can be fun, and it is super important to try to give our kids and ourselves the best chance at a healthy future!