Rose McAvoy from Our Lady of Second Helpings is providing support, guidance and yummy recipes.
But first, I had to take a hard look at what the USDA thinks my family should be eating each week.
I printed out the MyPlate Daily Food Plan charts for each person in my family. Then I made a poster board that I hung right by our dinner table.
It has been especially gratifying to see my son Bruce(7) examine the chart frequently, of his own accord. This project hasn’t officially started yet, but our whole family has already begun the thought process.
Some of the MyPlate requirements are real shockers.
Fish twice a week?
Um…. we don’t normally do that, even though our budget is closer to the liberal end of the spectrum.
So I’m going to need a new, bare-bones grocery list:
Grains: 189 oz
- 98 of them whole
Vegetables: 73.5 cups
- 7 cups dark leafy green
- 20.5 cups red and orange
- 21.5 cups starch
- 6.5 cups beans and peas
- 18 cups other
Fruits: 52.5 cups
- Whole fruits whenever possible
Dairy: 42 cups
Protein: 154 oz
- 44 oz should be fish
- choose beans, seeds, nuts more often
My gut reaction to this list?
Yuck! That’s because 7 cups of dark leafy green vegetables means three and a half servings for my entire family. ALL WEEK! That’s less than one serving of dark green veggies per person, per week.
Right now my husband and I eat one or two servings of dark leafy green vegetables per day, and our kids probably eat three servings a week.
Following the USDA guidelines might mean that we are saying goodbye to our daily kale, chard and spinach habit.
On the plus side, eating more fish should be good for us, if I’m careful about what I purchase. The warning about mercury posted right there next to the tuna in our grocery store really freaks me out.
But will my kids actually eat fish twice a week? That’s a really good question…
Stay tuned to find out!