Friday, July 29, 2016

Just Leave it Out

I have been a parent for almost 16 years and I'm still figuring things out. Ever do something so simple and have it work wonders and think to yourself, why have I never thought of that before? That's what happened today. I'm sure this is something other parents have figured out ages ago, but it just never crossed my mind until today.

My boys are fantastic when it comes to picking out fruits and veggies. They have their favorites but are also willing to try new things. I'm that crazy mom in the produce aisle looking up how to tell if a starfruit is ripe and the best way to use them. We buy loads of fresh produce with ever intention to eat them.

Once home and everything put away, slowly our beloved strawberries we had planned to slice up get pushed back into the back corners of the fridge. Our watermelon we painstaking searched through the bin for becomes overlooked as part of our kitchen decor.

Forget about the vegetable drawer, if it can't be seen then it must not exist. Anything that goes in that drawer doesn't get scooped out in it's half decomposed sate until our next grocery shopping day. Instead that's where I hide the chocolate and sweet treats, it's always a sweet surprise now whenever I get around to open that drawer :)

I have tried reminding my boys "There's fruit in the fridge" and making suggestions "why don't you grab a banana", yet so much goes to waste. I'd get so annoyed, they begged for mangoes and now I'm having to throw them away again. I bought apples, even Joey will eat apples yet here they sit.

I couldn't figure it out, they pig out on fruits and veggies at Grandma's house. Like seriously will eat every piece of fruit she has in her house. I buy the same things she does. I have even gone as far as buying them at the same store she does.

Then it dawned on me, it's gotta be in a bowl!! We often tease my mom about how she always has to present everything in a bowl or on a platter. Bag of potatoes chips on the table, she'll pour them in a bowl. Sliced watermelon it all stacked neatly on a platter.

I'm busy keeping up with 3 boys ( and cleaning up after them) I don't have time for bowls and platters for presentation. They really don't care one way or the other about how food is present as long as there is food. We are all about efficiency. They want chips tear open the bag and count that you still have all your fingers after setting in the mist of all 3 of them. Watermelon, slice it and tell them to grab some if they want it.

Yet Grandma's bowl thing seems to gravitate there hands. So I gave it a shot.

I sliced up some cucumbers, set them on a plate and left them on the counter. Jordan walks through to refill his water bottle and ask who's cucumbers, I replied no one's really. He grabbed 4 slices and walked out. Jacob notices that someone is eating something and being the youngest wants to make sure he gets his share, walks in and takes a handful. Now these are the same cucumbers that have been sitting on counter all week that no one noticed.

With the cucumbers gone, I start pulling more stuff out of the fridge. Rinse some grapes and place them in a bowl on the kitchen table. I cut up the watermelon leaving the bowl on the opposite side of the kitchen. I broke out out "Garlic, Garlic dip" peeled some carrots and broke up some broccoli, those went on the picnic table.

As I stood there mindlessly eating grapes I watched my boys grab some of everything that was placed out.  Before the night was through they had eaten  two stalks of broccoli, a bag of carrots, a whole watermelon and a bag of grapes. Okay I have joined in with grabbing some of this and a little of that as I passed by. Even the neighbor kids asked for toothpicks to snack on some watermelon when playing in our yard.

When it's in a bowl they know it's washed and ready to eat. Also I have taken the "work" out eating them. I have them washed, sliced, cut, peeled, and presented. Also many of us are accustomed to mindless eating when we see food sitting in front of us.

So this was my "DUH" moment for the day. So simple, yet it never dawned on me. With this system in place we'll actually need to visit our Farmer's Market on Saturday morning.