Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I recently attended a workshop on healthful eating, and I have been more motivated to apply a couple things I took away from it. Though the information was basic, I think it's good to be reminded of certain principles. I know I don't always make the best choices, but I do really like learning about nutrition.

The facilitator suggested incorporating at least two fruits/veggies into each meal, and though that may sound painfully obvious, I have found it a helpful goal, and more easily attainable during this summer season. Since the discussion, I've been trying to be more creative in consuming more fruits and veggies throughout the day. I'm curious, though, how others of you incorporate fruit into breakfast (other than juice). 

I think I may have stumbled onto a spinach smoothie I'm willing to drink, and it's super simple! The other day I wanted a smoothie, but I didn't have much to work with. I remembered I had some orange juice concentrate in the freezer, so I put a couple spoonfuls of that, a little water, and a banana and blended it up. It was delicious and so easy that I did it again the next day. I saw some spinach in the fridge that was on it's way out and threw a handful of that in the second time, and it was delish! I may keep experimenting, but I am happy to have found a combination I like.

Going back to the workshop I went to. . . If you're a label reader, I'm curious what you check for. The facilitator asked that question, and it was fascinating to hear the differences. For instance, I usually check for fiber and sugar; she said she always checks the serving size and ingredient list. So please share--I'm interested to hear!

As a funny sidenote, I think it's neat to see all the colorful fruit and veggie peelings in the compost bucket--it's a good visual reminder to keep eating lots of (natural!) colors. We tend to stick to the same produce most of the time, but I've been branching out a bit lately.

Your turn--how do you incorporate fruit into breakfast? And what do you check for on food labels?


Ginger said...

Carrie, I found this the other day on moneysavingmom and LOVE it. You can not taste the spinach.

frozen banana
strawberries (really any fruit; I used frozen
nonfat Greek yogurt
Tblsp. peanut butter

Mom said...

Hi, Carrie -- good reminders from your nutrition workshop. :) I usually check food labels for sugar, MSG, food dyes, and fat content.

As for breakfast fruit, in addition to juice which I drink for taking vitamins, we usually have fruit in something, such as blueberry or pumpkin/apple muffins, banana bread, or Great Grains cereal with dates/raisins. Sometimes we'll slice bananas or other fruit into plain cereal.

I've heard multiple times that "eating the rainbow" of colorful fruits/vegetables is great way to get a variety of vitamins/minerals.

Great post -- love you, Mom

Katie said...

Yay for a yummy green smoothie! :)

For breakfast, we top just about anything with fresh berries when we have them (yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, waffles). These are mostly a delicacy around here though. My kiddos all love bananas and never seem to pass one up at the breakfast table. We can get bananas at Aldi for 29 cents per lb!

Now ~ veggies, that's a different story. My kids do not like a huge variety of veggies, which is something we've been working on. (More reason to find good smoothie recipes!) Funny thing ~ our nutritionist said we all should eat very little fruit and 5-7 servings of veggies per day. She also said we need at least 2 good servings of soluble fiber (or more) per day. (She's really big on fiber!)

For labels, I usually look at the soluble fiber, saturated fat, carbs, and the ingredient list. I attended a nutrition workshop that mentioned to stay away from anything with aluminum in it, for various reasons. So, I look for sources such as: silicoaluminate, aluminum hydroxide, etc. The biggest culprits are quick bread mixes (cake mixes, pancake mixes, etc.) and baking powder. I go for the alum-free stuff now.

Interesting info, Carrie! I'm always looking wisdom in this area! Our nutritionist has an awesome website ~ if you're interested, I'll send you the link.

Hayley said...

We recently switched our health insurance to a Christian Care Ministry. In short, it's a bunch of Christians sharing other Christians medical bills.

Anyway, when I submitted numbers for this program, I was surprised to learn I was 'clinically' obese, and was required to pay an extra $80 a month to basically learn more about nutritional eating habits.

It's been 3 months now, and I'm oh-so-close to graduating out of the program, but it has really opened my eyes to the benefits of healthy eating. This program really recommends the 'Eat to Live' lifestyle. I've been making a lot of fruit smoothies lately, but am still a bit scared to throw some greens in it! lol.

Hope you and the fam are well! Hugs to all. :)

MH said...

Breakfast fruit - the usuals for us are raisins in my oatmeal for me and a banana and a Greek yogurt for my husband. Now that you've got me thinking about it, my boys probably did not usually eat fruit with breakfast during the school year. And they should - they absolutely love fruit and will eat whatever I offer to them. They are doing much better in the summer, as I'm pretty much ok with fruit any time of day. We have a much bigger struggle with eating a variety of vegetables. (They are nearly 7 yo twins.) They will both eat canned corn right out of the can as a snack, one will eat sweet potato, the other will eat salads, etc but we could do better in the veggie dept. More breakfast fruit ideas that we do occasionally - blueberries in pancakes, raspberries or strawberries on cereal, I love peaches and blueberries when they are in season on Grape Nuts, fruit smoothies, grapes or cherries or other fruit (plums, peaches, fresh apricots in season) sliced up with toast or a bagel or eggs... Oh and this spring Family Fun had a recipe for an apple Dutch baby that we all loved.

With regard to ingredient labels - I know fresh, whole foods are better for us, and I tend not to read the labels on the processed foods we typically buy. When I do read labels I look at sodium content, I look at the length of the ingredient statement and check for MSG specifically, if I'm going to be the one eating something I look at calories and # of servings in the package. In breakfast cereals I check the sugar and fiber content.

gemma said...

plain old cereal (cheerios or shredded wheat or puffed rice or mix them all up) topped with banana, strawberries and blueberries and then skim milk....can't be beat.

Debra said...

I make a green smoothie with: 1c milk, 1 frozen banana, 2-3 handfuls of spinach & 1 scoop of vanilla slimfast. You could use vanilla protein powder also. I just used my last bit of slimfast so I'm going to play with something else to see how it tastes - probably yogurt. This gives you 1 fruit & 1 veg and then I usually have some strawberries by themselves. Keeps me full until lunch.

I always serve a fruit for breakfast. Whatever I have on hand, or even applesauce. I just buy what's in season. I think the fruit is fresher that way and less expensive. If we have oatmeal I'll serve a fruit with that. Same with eggs. If I make omelets I'll put some veggies in there.

We don't buy a ton of processed food but when I read labels the big thing for me is usually sugar content. And sodium for things like soups or sauces.

Katie said...

Just tried your spinach smoothie today and we all thought it was delicious (including our youngest)!!

We had one yesterday that was similar only we threw in some berries that were leftover in the fridge. This could be a regular thing!

Kara K said...

Can't wait to hear your verdict on green smoothies.