Besides being a food columnist one of the other things I do, is run healthy eating workshops for people in the local community. I was asked to run a workshop for a specific group of ladies to help them make better choices so that they could have a healthier diet.
When I begin the workshop I always like to see where the group are at in their healthy eating experience. “Who eats lots of vegetables” was my first question to the group. There was no response and I sensed that it would not get any better as I continued to ask questions. “OK does anyone eat vegetables maybe sometimes? a lady seated near the back threw up her hand enthusiastically and said “oh yes”. I thought great now I am getting somewhere. I then asked “what kind of vegetables do you like to eat” to which she responded “I love potatoes”. “Great” I said, “in what way do you like to eat your potato perhaps roast potatoes or mashed potato?” The lady responded “I like to eat my crisps”. I so wanted to laugh but that would have been most unprofessional and well just rude to laugh in the woman’s face so I had to put on my best poker face (not that I am a poker player)
I then moved on to the topic of fruits and again I asked if anyone ate fruits to which there was no response. I asked if anyone had a favourite fruit that they ate and again the same lady seated near the back threw up her hand enthusiastically and said “oh yes”. I was a little more careful in my response and said great please tell me more. She responded “I love to have fruit, well fruit juice really, I have fruit juice everyday”
Great I responded what is your favourite fruit juice” and to my horror her response was “Ribena”.
When I use this story as an example in my healthy eating presentations many people laugh but the seriousness of this is that this lady is not alone in her thinking and lack of knowledge with regards healthy eating.
So what are some ways in which you can eat more fruit?
Fruit Bowl - Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter, or in the refrigerator.
In Season - Buy fresh fruits in season when they may be less expensive and at their peak flavour.
Start your own garden. Many fruits and vegetables can be grown in pots on your window sill inside or in the ground outside.. Gardens, when done correctly, can produce an abundance of produce. If you live in a area with little land or you don’t have a garden, you may be able to start an allotment.
Breakfast – have 1-2 pieces of fruit with your breakfast. Bananas, strawberries etc. can be added to cereal or blend up some fruits to make a breakfast smoothie.
Snack – try swapping crisps and chocolate for grapes, apples or whatever is your favourite fruit to have as a snack.
Side Salad – have a small side salad as a starter or side dish with your lunch or dinner.