Eat greens and your child will follow


So this is how we do it. When I do grocery shopping with my kids, this little fellow wants to push his own cart. As you can see it’s filled with lots of greens. That’s how we roll in our kitchen and with our believe that parents can teach their children to eat greens. Our kids are a great example. Of course they have their own taste and preferences, they don’t eat every available vegetable, but they do eat lots.

The trick is to keep on offering the greens, a wide set of differently prepared greens.

This guy eats broccoli, zucchini, paksoi and haricots. Just to name a few. He also eats loads of vegetables like carrots (oké, which child doesn’t eat carrots?), eggplant, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, pumpkin, potato, pea, sweet potato and beetroot.

And he loves tomato, which is by the way a fruit, but many people still regard it as a vegetable.

We taught our kids to eat vegetables in 3 simple ways.

  1. We started out by mixing vegetables with white rice or buckwheat. Or it was a smashed potato dish. With these purees we chose to add only one vegetable so they could get used to the taste of the added vegetable. We varied the purees with cooked or steamed vegetables they could eat out of their hands. (around 5 months)
  2. After the puree phase we cooked or steamed the vegetable so they could see, for example, the white rice separate from the vegetable. They used either their hands or a fork or spoon to eat their meal.
  3. We also offered vegetable soups. You could prepare pumpkin soup in such a way that your child can spoon it up himself. If it’s another type of vegetable you can add potato or even sweet potato to thicken it. Adding a bit of coconut flour is also an option. Actually any type of grain or rice is possible to thicken your vegetable soup.

And again: the trick is to keep on offering the greens and veggies.

Another good thing is to set the example: eat loads of greens and veggies right in front of your child’s nose. Children imitate. And while imitating they discover their own taste.


Meatless Mondays

This is an excellent initiative: Meatless Mondays. It’s an international campaign to improve your health and the health of the planet by eating less meat. In our household we eat at most two times a week meat. Actually our food patterns have changed quite a lot in 2011. Below a scrap from the blog ‘Looking back on 2011’. 

As a part of Arnold’s fysical and emotional development he started to bake his own bread. After a visit to a mesoloog; someone who practices the art of identifying what nutrients the body needs, lacks or is allergic to. He needed to avoid some nutrients so we started to do more grocery shopping at the organic food stores. So besides white rice, potatoes, pasta we added quinoa, pasta made from spelt, pancakes made from spelt, buckwheat, couscous, corn, taro, cassava and a whole range of pulses. In 2008 I promised my grandfather to avoid the deep frozen fish from the supermarkets. In 2009 he passed away. In 2010 our daughter was born. And halfway through 2011 I decided to definitely switch to super fresh fish: keeping my promise. Ever since we buy our fish in Scheveningen or at the Hague market. With regards to meat; we started eating more organic meat. There is no definite switch from my side and by exception I eat non-organic meat served by restaurants, family or friends.

The Beautiful Truth

A troubled 15-year-old boy attempting to cope with the recent death of his mother sets out to research Dr. Max Gerson’s claims of a diet that can cure cancer as his first assignment for home-schooling in this documentary from filmmaker Steve Kroschel (Avalanche, Dying to Have Known). Garrett is a boy who has always been close to nature. He lives on a reserve with a menagerie of orphaned animals, and over the years he’s become especially sensitive to the nutritional needs of the diet-sensitive animals he’s charged with caring for. When Garrett’s mother suffers a tragic and untimely death, the boy falls into a dangerous downward spiral and nearly flunks out of school. Increasingly concerned for Garrett’s well-being and determined to strengthen their bond despite the many challenges on the horizon, his father makes the decision to begin home-schooling the distressed teen. Garrett’s first assignment: study a controversial book written by Dr. Max Gerson, a physician who claims to have discovered a diet that’s capable of curing cancer. Is Dr. Gerson’s therapy truly the legitimate, alternative cure it appears to be? In order to find out the truth behind this long-suppressed treatment, Garrett interviews not only Dr. Gerson’s family members, but various doctors, skeptics, and cancer patients as well. His studies completed and his findings revelatory, Garrett now sets out to tell the entire world about The Gerson Miracle.

Dan Buettner: How to Live to be 100+

9 HABITS to live to be 100+

Below some ideas to implement these habits in our western lives:

1. MOVE NATURALLY: take the stairs in stead of the elevator, walk to your supermarket and carry your groceries or take your shopping bag on wheels with you to be able to buy more groceries, take the bycicle to the gym in stead of the car, clean your house in stead of paying a cleaner to do this :), same goes up for your garden: learn to garden yourself in stead of hiring a gardner…

2. Right Outlook -Downshift: Downshift means taking time to slow down. After a day of working/thinking do something to clear your mind: meditate, take a walk, do yoga, close your eyes and breath, put on your favourite music in the car and sing out loud shamelessly, break your routine and have a coffee after a work before heading home…Do what you want to do to downshift regularly and make it a strong habit.

3. Right Outlook -Purpose now: find out what your purpose in life is, because this purpose can make you live 7 years longer! Having a purpose activates you to reach out for that purpose every day.

4. Eat Wisely – wine @5: drink a bit of red wine every day. Read more about why red wine is heart healthy.

5. Eat Wisely -Plant Slant: implement beans and nuts in your diet. Off course eating beans is time consuming. Soaking beans during the night and cook them the next day for at least an hour or 2. But when you decided upon living a healthy live I advice you to overcome the time-limitations and learn yourself this new habit of soaking and cooking beans. When you are in the process of learning yourself this habit, think of the long-term benefits for your health and energy level and keep on trying to think of soaking the beans a day ahead.

It will turn into something which is integrated in your behaviour. Keep a variety of beans in your kitchen cupboards so you have a nice selection to choose from when you’re hungry for beans. Some beans are easy to cook and don’t need soaking, such as marrowfats and lentils.

6. Eat Wisely -80% rule: eat as much as your body needs. Dan tells us in his presentation that the 80% rule refers to eating your stomach full for 80% as the people in Okinawa do. As he says: it takes half an hour for the full feeling to arrive to your brain. I believe we need to listen better to what our body’s want to tell us. Get your mind and body connected again. Use point 2 ‘Right Outlook -downshift’ to get to your mind-body connection.

7. Connect -Loved Ones First: spend time with your loved ones (young & old), help your loved ones when they are in need and you will feel a strong sense of happiness.

8. Connect -Belong: believe in something which keeps you balanced, strong and healthy. Think of religion, a way of life, people you admire, your family and a purpose in life.

9. Connect -Right Tribe: hang out with healthy people and you will get intertwined with their lifestyle.

Good luck & enjoy a healthy and fulfilling life!
Do you need some help with changing your lifestyle?
Contact me: Chungmei Cheng of Orchid of Life -LifeCoaching