Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How many of what?

Don't you love it when your kids start to take an interest in something that you enjoy?  My daughter has loved skating since we put her on the ice (at 2), but this year her love of skating seems to have taken off.  Not only the skating but everything about working hard at a sport, including what she eats.  This interest seems to have peaked in the last couple of weeks, in part due to her class at school, where they have been focussing on the Canada Food guide (or, "Guide alimentaire canadien" if you are in French immersion!) especially how many servings of Fruit and Veggies they are eating.  They have a class challenge running and they are trying to get to 800 servings of F & V.
Now, the general CFG suggests "we" should be getting 5-10 servings of F & V each day...But who should be eating how much?  Well, a really great tool came home in the backpack last week that includes all that.
"Boys and Girls, Ages 2-3: 4 servings (serving = 1 piece or 1/2 cup); Ages 4-8: 5 servings; Ages 9-13: 6 servings", at the teenage years it separates boys and girls: Ages 14-18: Girls: 7, Boys: 8"...So we can relax and stop trying to get 8 or 9 servings into our 7 or 8 year olds.  The onlys ones who need 10 servings are Men between 19 and 50.
It's always a challenge getting "enough" of those two things into our kids, isn't it?  I try and stack the earlier part of the day: a piece of fruit and a glass of juice with breakfast (there's two), some raw veggies and dip in the lunchbox as well as some lettuce or spinach or vegetable soup (that could be one more, if they get eaten...Raw veggies that don't get eaten at school are good for filling the hole they seem to get into the car with everyday)...A piece of fruit right after school, there is another serving and then two veggies (one hot, one salad) with dinner...and there is 5.  Your 4-8 year old has the required servings...For Duncan, I have been sending him with three pieces of fruit in his lunch this year, and he has been eating them, so there is a way to get that extra serving into those 9-13 year olds.
Given that this week is so crazy (with me in Victoria for most of the week), we have set things up so that there is a big box of raw veggies ready to go for lunches or snacks, and those also make for a really easy stir fry supper, since they are already cut up.  Toss those with some chopped baby bok choy (packed with nutritrion and easy on the younger taste buds) and some chicken breast or some lean beef strips (or left over roast either beef or pork is great), and your stir fry is ready to go.

Lots more info about the Canada food guide and feeding your family on the Health Canada website .

Happy Eating everyone!

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