Q & A with Melissa…and a great tip for helping kids eat their fruits & veggies!

I recently got an email from my friend Molly, who has two children under the age of five and is expecting their third child. I thought it was a really good question and asked if I could share it (along with my answer) on the blog. Molly graciously agreed, so here it is.

Molly’s email:

Hi Melissa,

Just finished reading In Defense of Food.  I saw it on your blog and found it at the library.  Very interesting and well written I thought. For the last few weeks I’ve been trying to make little changes for us.  More fruits and veggies, whole grains, basically trying to use less stuff from boxes and cans.  I’ve given myself a “mandatory” fruit and veggie weekly budget that I “have” to spend.  Just having yummy options to snack on is helpful for me.  I’ve found that cutting/peeling all at once and using tupperwares helps me be able to grab good snacks for Will and Kate.  If I had to cut/peel every time they wanted a snack I’m sure I’d get annoyed and lazy.

I have a question though.  I’m thinking about the fats/oils that I use.  We’ve never used margarine.  I tend to use butter the most.  Vegetable and corn oil seem to be out, right?  Olive oil is ok, right?  All I have right now in the house is butter, vegetable oil, and olive oil.  What do you use?  And along with that question, what do you use for salad dressing?  Will eats carrots and celery and occasionally peppers if he has ranch dressing.  Do you have any alternative suggestions to ranch dressing?  I’m going to try to make some non-spicy hummus for him.

Sorry to bug you with questions!  Thanks!

Molly

And my answer:

Hey Molly!
No problem at all! I love this! I put olive oil at the top of the good fats, and vegetable or canola second. I haven’t done enough research on corn oil, but I’d stay away from anything hydrogenated. Butter is fine in moderation. It is a saturated fat, but not a trans fat. I usually use 50/50 butter/olive oil: butter for the flavor and olive oil for the good fat (and the oil helps keep the burning temp down on the butter).
For dressing, I use balsamic vinegar and olive oil, but kids don’t normally like that. For Bryan, I mix 50:50 honey and Dijon mustard. I love the hummus idea too. Here’s my hummus recipe and some other variation ideas. Greek Yogurt is a good dip too. Maybe let him try small spoonfuls and have him mix in different spices that he thinks smell good so he can learn about different seasonings.
Glad you enjoyed In Defense of Food! I thought it was well written too.
And I love your ideas about “mandatory” produce budgets and prepping the veggies ahead of time. Hint: add a little lemon juice or OJ to the cut fruit to prevent browning.
Thanks! Have a great weekend!
Enjoying the journey,

Melissa
I hope this was helpful to you. Do any of you have any advice or answers to Molly’s questions?! Please share your feedback!
And if you have questions of your own, please feel free to email me at mel.mckinnon@gmail.com!
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5 responses to “Q & A with Melissa…and a great tip for helping kids eat their fruits & veggies!

  1. Sarah at The Healthy Home Economist does an excellent job educating us on the good fats.
    http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/2010/04/five-fats-you-must-have-in-your-kitchen/

  2. And, congratulations to Molly. I hope pregnancy is treating you well! I’ve had this “menu” posted to the side of my refrigerator for my last three pregnancies. It’s an excellent reference.
    http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/diet-for-pregnant-and-nursing-mothers

  3. Hi! My friend Alisa has a really good homemade ranch recipe. She has lots of good treats on her blog, always organic and clean eating. Check it out at inthekitchenwithcrazy.blogspot.com

  4. great info! all those fats can definitely get confusing!

  5. Thanks for the good ideas and blogs. I’m very new to this, but I’m super-excited to learn and to try new recipes.

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