carrots and broccoli and radishes, oh my!

tomatolover

our family has made it a big goal this spring to eat lots of color (as in as much fruits and vegetables as possible)! and so far, we’ve been hitting it out of the park (most days!) josh often jokes that zac effron shouldn’t be the only one who gets to look and feel 17 again (have you seen that movie? should we even be proud to admit we have?)

we can’t cut out our love for ice cream or french fries or donuts entirely, so we’re just working on better balance.  i think one of the reasons it’s easier for us these days than before is that we’re doing it together, and we’re making a point to teach our kids about their eating options and choices as we go.  we’ll eat meals purely of vegetables and fruit, and we’ll juice and make smoothies each week, too.  i’ll still bring lollipops with me when i’m with the kids (they are like magic for a desperate mama at times) , but we always have fresh cut up red or orange or yellow peppers on us. or carrots and full tomatoes (my kids love to eat them like apples!) and even raw broccoli.  and we will eat all of it. it’s amazing. this week we tried “eating the rainbow” at home by getting a fruit or vegetable for every color of the rainbow. it was a lot of fun!

salad2salad1

our long time sponsor, sweetgreen, is working hard to change our food culture too. they have a program called sweetgreen in schools, made possible in collaboration with Food Corps. sweetgreen and FoodCorps are working together to connect kids to real food, focusing on educating the younger generation about plant-based food and sustainability. while sweetgreen actually has a full blown curriculum for elementary age kids, we thought it’d be fun to create something for all the littles out there around eleanor and samson’s age, so they can learn about “eating the rainbow” too.

veggiesandfruitpage

we made this fun little coloring page with the help of our friend, jenna robert, for you. (if you’d like to click to enlarge and save to your computer, you can print it off for your little ones.)  while we’ve been eating all sorts of colorful fruits and veggies, we’ve been learning what each one does for our health and our body. and it’s incredible how much information eleanor retains when it comes to these sorts of things. (i’m not so sure about samson so much yet. he knows carrots help his eyes because he’ll point to them while eating a carrot and say “eyes!”, but that is pretty much it so far.)

colors
also, these infographics to encourage healthy eating in adults are pretty incredible, too.

this post is in partnership with one of our favorites, sweetgreen.  thanks for reading!

  1. i LOVE this!! my husband and i are working really hard to clean eat because we both have just come to a point in our lives where being healthy is incredibly important. wish i would’ve thought that at 17! ;)

    thank you! love to see your fam being such a great example for others. we don’t have children just yet but it will definitely help us to start learning these things now.

    ps: we’re burger, fries & ice cream fanatics, too ;)

  2. Everything in moderation…..that’s the key to success I feel….rather than cutting out one particular food group (unless of course you have a medical condition) otherwise you crave and then you binge! App I ate everything in sight when I was a baby. Although I do remember my mum sprinkling sugar….on fruit particular oranges..;))

    http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk

  3. Jen

    I love this post! I am a full time nanny and have been trying to make the kids eat healthy too. It certainly was a struggle

    One fun little thing I just started with the kids a few weeks ago is having blank rainbows hanging on the fridge and every time they finish a fruit/veggie they get to put a sparkly sticker in the color of the fruit/veggie on their rainbow. We count blue for if they finish their water and we have white clouds at the base of the rainbow so they get a sticker for the clouds if they finish their milk at meals (i’ve been trying to get them off of only wanting juice and for us it’s a huuuuge struggle)

    They have absolutely loved it and has really helped them make healthy decisions on their own. The little 3 year old came running over to me yesterday all proud saying she ate a tomato and wants to put a sticker up. Yes, she snuck into the kitchen and climbed up the counter to get it…guilty… but I tell myself that if it wasn’t for our rainbow charts then she would of gone for the cookies… :)

    • TAZA

      what an incredible idea! i am so trying this. thanks for sharing!

  4. bri

    we try to ‘eat the rainbow’ over here too but gosh it’s hard! but you feel so much better with a lot of fruits and veggies in you, right? i love the sweetgreen in schools program! what a neat idea. school food is awful and, from what i remember, NOTHING was fresh. we even had pizza hut sometimes! delicious. but totally unhealthy.

  5. Good job on trying to eat healthier! Our 21 month old just started trying new things last week and it’s a miracle.

    And don’t be afraid to admit you have seen 17 Again- it has Matthew Perry! A little young eye candy in Zac and a little more our generation with Matt. :)

  6. Love this and love Sweetgreen! Such a lunchtime favorite of mine.

  7. McKayla

    If you knew me, you would know how much I LOVE Zac Efron.

  8. Cute idea to do a veggie fruit coloring page! With my preschool kids I do a flannel board story with fruits and veggies flannel pieces. They love it!

    Danica

  9. nanette

    i wish my daughter was so into veggies! i will try harder because i also think it’s really important! thanks for the inspiration.

  10. it’s so, so great that you all are doing this for yourselves and your family. Also, S is getting SO big – and handsome!

  11. Love this! Our family is also trying to up our intake of fruits and veggies. So important to teach kids about eating healthy – way to go Sweetgreen! :-)

  12. bridget

    LOVE THIS. this reminds me of jamie oliver’s show a few years back–trying to reinvent the school lunch. go sweetgreen! what a great sponsor.

  13. Melissa

    Naomi, I forget if you’ve ever mentioned where you get your juice recipes from — online, book, your own brain? If it’s a shareable resource, would you mind letting us know? I have an 18-month-old who won’t EAT veggies, but who will probably DRINK them with no problem, so I’d love to start with some of your tried-and-true recipes. Thank you!

  14. Teresa

    Thank for sharing these! I think it’s such a great idea to work on eating healthier as a family and in doing so teaching the little ones to enjoy color in their food! thanks for the coloring printable I think it will help my little one to choose more colorfull foods!

  15. Rachel

    This was a lovely post! I love vegetables and your eating habits really do rub off on your kids!

    xo
    Rachel

  16. Bea

    I try it on myself, if I eat healty I really feel better!!
    I’m eating a loot of vegetables, and I feel very goood!!!
    It’s a great post, Naomi!

  17. Taylor

    Love this! It’s really hard getting kids to eat healthy, but I think even harder to get adults to eat healthy! We’ve been trying over at our house too and I find it easiest if I have some already cut-up veggies to snack on after work instead of binging on crackers and cheese or something else. Grapes are always a great go-to as well!

    xoxo
    Taylor

  18. Janis

    My mother in law helped us to teach our girls to eat veggies and fruits early on, so we don’t have trouble getting them to eat veggies and fruits. I think eating the rainbow is a great idea to get kids to eat healthier :)

  19. shayna

    if i turn my back on my two year old while shopping in the produce section, he will grab an organic (always organic-strange) roma tomato. every. time. and everyone in the store will always comment how strange it is. ha! glad to know he’s not the only ‘strange’ little one eating whole tomatoes.
    also, love the coloring page. thanks so much for sharing~S.

  20. hanna

    Love the fruits and vegetables -Hanna Lei

  21. Connie

    Such a good idea. Our daughter’s preschool sent home a ‘colour of the week’ fruit or veggie outline and it really helped get me out of my cucumber or apple only routine – It’s neat when children start teaching their parents, even as adults, we still have so much to learn, and you’re right, kids do retain so much in the preschool years, so what we teach them now really sets them up for a lifetime of good habits. Great post.

  22. Ellen

    I love eating loads of vegetables, and loads of raw ones, I always bring them to school as snacks and other people or often surprised I love eating them so much. I owe it all to my upbringing, if my parents hadn’t given to me when i was little I would never love them so much. I’m so happy to just like and love healthy food as an adult and not have to think about “eating my vegetables and fruit” as a chore, which apparently other people do.
    You’re doing a great job teaching them to eat healthy (and enjoy the donuts and ice cream on the side ;)! )

  23. amy

    really wonderful. i think when i realized how dramatically my mood was effected by what i ate, i really began to love eating things that i used to just walk away from. & when my brother got cancer in 2009 i really was “born again” after i realized how much i thought was healthy or otherwise natural, was actually toxic. sorry, don’t want to get too dramatic, but it is a means to life in my opinion so i tend to ramble. you look like you are going for a great balance and that is awesome.

  24. Hola! I’ve been following your web site for a while
    now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout
    out from Porter Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the good work!

  25. Vanessa

    Hi Naomi! Such a great post. I have somewhat of a related question: I was scrolling through your other sweetgreen posts and came upon the video you produced last fall at an apple orchard.

    May I ask the title of the song young guys used for that video?

    It’s so catchy and was thinking of using it for a project!

    Thanks in advance,
    Vanessa

  26. Marty

    I absolutely love juicing my vegetables! It’s delicious! Lovely post X

  27. Ellen

    I want so badly for my 23 month old boy to eat veggies! But he won’t even try, or will spit out after tasting (or feeling texture). They say to just keep offering, which I do, but would sure love to hear things that have worked well for others! Who knew picky eating could be such a difficult thing to overcome…

  28. Waouh, eating tomatoes with a white shirt! How braverous!

  29. iva

    row brocoli must not be tasty … is it?

  30. Paige

    I used to eat tomatoes like apples from our garden all the time when I was little! You and your husband are setting such a great example for your children that they will surly love and appreciate when they’re older!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  31. Amanda

    The only way I’ve been able to cut out ice cream is to start eating Acai bowls. They will change your life! They are completely natural and so full of antioxidants from the Acai. The taste is amazing! Find somewhere that sells them and try out a standard brazilian bowl. They are usually made with frozen acai and banana or grapes blended in a vitamix with strawberries, banana, granola and coconut flakes on top. Once you fall in love with it you can invest in a vitamix and make so many different kinds based on personal preferences at home. Plus, kids love the beautiful purple color.

  32. MaurLo

    Naomi!

    I love this. I said something to the kids yesterday at lunch about eating the colors of the rainbow every day and they are all hooked. Taft especially is worried about getting them all in as in a “I haven’t had a yellow!!” before bedtime. :) You are all so wonderful. Thanks for sharing joy. M