How We Are Eating Lots of Fruits and Vegetables This Week

How is the Fruit and Vegetable Challenge going for you so far? Hopefully you’ve been adding plenty of the good stuff to your shopping cart and to your plate.

We’ve had fun taking pictures the past two weeks of some of our yummy, fruit and veggie filled meals. Chicken Salad on a One Hour Whole Wheat Yeast Roll with lettuce, cucumbers, sweet peppers, and grapes was such a delicious lunch several days ago! It made me feel like it was summer time – except for the fact that it was below zero outside. Details, details.

fruit and veggies jan 1

Once the kids saw me taking pictures that day, they decided to get in on the act! Justus (age 13) decided to “build a masterpiece” with all the fresh goodies available for our lunch that day:

fruit and veggies jan 2

Not to worry, he had seconds, thirds, and fourths before leaving the table.
He is almost 14, you know.

Malachi (age 9) saw what Justus was doing and said that he would make a masterpiece too. It is with much excitement that I present to you…The Grape:

fruit and veggies jan 3

After Malachi took his masterpiece picture and ate his enormous serving of grape, he created another pretty plateful:

fruit and veggies jan 4

I think we’ve been grape deprived. Our family ate almost the entire bag I bought during this one lunch.  Why am I shocked? Two teenage boys, a 12 year old boy, a 9 year old boy, and a hard working dad? Of course we ate the whole bag.

One great way I find to include additional veggies in a meal is to add plenty of onions, carrots, and leeks in our homemade chicken broth. Then, I blend them all up into the broth, making it smooth and rich in veggies. It is so flavorful this way! For one of our meals, I cooked rice in this kind of broth, which turns it orange (from the carrots blended in). I added chicken and cream, much like this Creamy Chicken and Rice Casserole, and called it dinner.

fruits and veggies 11
Here’s another meal we had last week with this good broth, Potato Soup. There are veggies in the broth (not to mention all the other wonderful nutrients from the chicken bones), veggies in the soup, plus we all had a bowl full of salad before we filled our bowl with soup.

fruit and veggies jan 6

A great way to encourage my kids to eat fruit for snacks is to set out a huge bowl of options on our table. Not only is it tempting, it really brightens up the kitchen!  Because I think that fruit on a table is a decoration (as well as food to be eaten, of course), I obsessively remove all produce stickers once I bring it home from the store. A sticker on my kiwi is not cute or appetizing, in my opinion.

fruit and veggies jan 7

A few days ago I burned us some grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. Yep, I burned them all. The phone rang, someone came to the door, I have no idea what else happened when it was sandwich flipping time. Oh well, we all still ate them. I put out a plate of fruit, plus we had tomato soup to dip our burnt sandwiches in. Looks like we had about 20 left to go on this fruit plate. Nice!

fruit and veggies jan 9

Usually I steam broccoli and carrots, but for fun, I decided to roast them to go with our meal of spaghetti. Delicious!  I’m making it a goal to serve salads with almost every evening meal. This is such a great way for us to get plenty of raw greens.

fruit and veggies jan 10

What delicious ways have you found to serve fruits and veggies this week?  We’ll check back in Monday to see how the Fruit and Vegetable Challenge is going for you!


  1. Gina says

    We continued with more salads as well,lots of apples and bananas as snacks and with our meals. Made your hamburger soup which has veggies and yesterday my son asked what he could have for the 4,000th time and I was discouraged thinking most everything had been eaten up and I knew nothing he could have-he looked in the frig and came up with ladybugs on a log. Well sure enough we had lots of celery left,dried cranberries and yes still some peanut butter. Well my son ate 2 whole stalks of celery this way and it was a great snack(I had some too). Yeah for more veggies that he willingly ate! Oh and we ate pickled beets with sandwiches this week instead of baby carrots for a little variety.


  2. Janette says

    I like the idea of putting fruit on the table in a bowl. That only works for older kids though. I am afraid my 2 year old would be playing with the fruit and bruise it all. He loves climbing up on chairs and getting up into things etc. I will have to remember this idea for future use though.


    Allie Zirkle Reply:

    Janette, we had this issue when my middle boy, now 6, was under 4. Everything was a ball to him! Ha! But we taught him how to start oranges and tangerines with a fork, encouraging self sufficient snacking, and also added baggies of dried fruit (raisins, apricots, etc) for him to easily access. Now he chooses fruit for snacks and my younger children have a great role model!


    Jen Reply:

    I had to move my fruit bowl to the top of my fridge when my 2 year old son took one bite out of every apple in the bowl. There were about 10 apples in there at the time, and I walked into the kitchen to a sea of apples on my counter, each with one bite. ONE. It’s hilarious when I think about it now, but it was pretty frustrating at the time. I recently moved it back to the counter, now that he’s just over 3 years old, and knows how to ask for a snack. :)


  3. Margaret D says

    Finally got out to the store. We now have apples, oranges, grapefruits, lettuce, peppers, Brussels’s sprouts, carrots, celery and an eggplant that I have no idea what I am going to fix with it. But we will think of something.


  4. julie says

    Everything looks wonderful! So glad I’m not the only one that burns the grilled cheese sandwiches. You are such an inspiration!


  5. Karen says

    My boys don’t like cooked carrots/celery/onion in their chicken soup, so I always take the stick blender to the broth and veggies (after removing the chicken) which thickens up the broth and gives it almost a creaminess. Then I toss the cooked chicken back in, throw in some noodles or rice, and voila! The kids are getting their veggies and don’t really know it, which is sometimes a-okay with me.


  6. Kristin says

    Glad to see I’m not the only one who’s grilled cheese occasionally gets away from them LOL Luckily, I cook them one at a time on the stove, so I usually only burn 1 . I can easily scrape off the burned part and my kids are none the wiser, but my husband ALWAYS hears the scraping. Paninis in the panini press are SO much easier. I have been eating carrots every day for lunch and tonight my husband and I are having sliced cucumbers along with our blueberry pancakes. Not to worry, the kids are still eating their usual 2 veggies with both lunch and dinner. Eating enough fruit has never been an issue in our house! BTW Love how your plate has more veggies then spaghetti!


  7. says

    We roasted veggies this week too. YUM! Our lunches have included a piece of fresh fruit each day this week. We’ve been adding more veggies to our dinners and enjoying experiementing with various ways of fixing them. So many veggies, so little time.


  8. Allie Zirkle says

    Such a fun post! I love “The Grape”. It’s fantastic :)

    The photos remind me that not everyone has access to fresh produce. In Phoenix, it’s 60* – 78* this week so salads are a must to keep the kitchen cool. I regularly keep chopped lettuce in a bowl in the fridge so anyone can help themselves. I also keep garbanzos, corn, shredded cheese, tomatoes, black olives, carrots, cucumbers, and red peppers and hard boiled eggs prepped and either in baggies or a nearby container to easily toss in. Fast Food!

    This week my produce co-op delivery will include a regular basket (lettuce celery onions potato, apples bananas citrus), 12 – 6 oz blackberries, 25 lbs carrots, pineapples and strawberries. We will have our fresh produce fill!


  9. Megan says

    Laura, I have kind of a strange question for you… ;) Do you ever have to put a limit on HOW MANY fruits/veggies your kids can eat? I took you up on the more fruits/veggies challenge and after dinner last night my 8 year-old DD wanted 3 MORE bowls of berries! I wasn’t sure if/when I should “cut her off” (maybe she was craving them?). P.S. I love reading your blog every morning to see what new insights/recipes you have to share! I followed your recipe for the Honey Wheat Bread for the first time today & can’t wait to try it in a few hours! Thanks!


    Laura Reply:

    Rarely, but I do get what you mean! Overall, I would say if they want it and you have it, give it to them. Our bodies know when enough is enough, so she likely needs them if she’s eating them that well!


  10. says

    With Muffin (my three-year old fruitatarian), eating fruits is not a problem. We keep a bowl of fruit out and available (usually apples, clementines, and pears, washed), and he eats from that. Last Sunday we had carrot sticks and celery sticks with the chicken nuggets (and he LOVES carrots–I always have to pull out an extra one or two if I’m preparing anything for him to eat), and he ate more carrot sticks than anything else. On Saturday, we went shopping and scooped up some organic apples (on sale for the same price as the non-organic), and he wanted to eat one while in the store. Then, we went to another store and bought blueberries (and he ate half of them when we got home). When it comes to veggies, he’s a bit more picky. He did decide this week that he likes celery (in matchstick sticks) after making his dad pick the celery out of tuna fish earlier that day.


  11. says

    I agree that BUYING the fruits and veggies and SERVING them is sometimes the hardest part. You inspired me to be more intentional about serving more fruits and veggies. Salads are one of the things we have added to every evening meal as well. One of our favorites is a orange Julius. I put 4 oranges (peeled), 2 cups milk, vanilla and some ice in the blender and blend until smooth. Creamsicle in a glass – so good and nutritious too.


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