A few months ago, my wife wanted our entire family go one week eating nothing but fruits and vegetables. No processed foods – no bread, chips, oil, salt, dressings, sugar or other additives, and no coffee.
We’re already plant-based, but a week’s menu loaded with kale, spinach, oranges, kiwis, carrots, and celery would definitely be much stricter than normal. Of course, we discussed our austere version of the Whole Food, Plant-Based (WFPB) diet with the kids beforehand.
Then we did our best to clear the cupboards and refrigerator of any foods or ingredients that were considered off limits. After stocking up on fruits and veggies, we dove right in.
When the kids looked for chips, we encouraged them to have an apple or banana instead. Smoothies or oatmeal replaced their breakfast bagels and cereals. When they looked for sugar to sweeten their tea, we suggested unsweetened instead.
Although the trial lasted only a week, the kids now gravitate to veggies and fruits more often than to other snacks. And one change has definitely stuck.
Before “extreme week,” I’d make a pitcher of smoothie to share with my wife and daughter every morning. Since then, I’ve upped it to two pitchers because the entire family is now in the habit of starting their day with one of my smoothies!
(Of course, I always slip kale or spinach into the blends.)
Kids will eat what they have access to, and so will we!