Aly's Angle: Lucky to have a "good eater"

I am not the best at cooking meals everyday for my family, but I am pretty awesome at making sure the refrigerator is stocked with healthy food. I grew up in a house that always had a packed refrigerator with cut vegetables and fruit in glass bowls.  Friends loved coming over to my house because of the abundant snacks my mom put out for us. Having well-stocked refrigerator shelves and cupboards filled with healthy foods has become important to me as well, especially since I don't enjoy eating out unless it is a date night with my husband or an outing with friends. I eat practically every meal with Cooper at home, and most of the time our meals are a variety of snack-size portions that taste good and are nutritious.

Primarily I buy food at these 4 places:

1.  Trader Joe’s. Love this place.

2.  Farm Fresh to You--we order local produce every other week, which comes in a box and is delivered to our doorstep Thursday mornings.

3.  Irvine Regional Park Farmers’ Market--we buy foods such as yogurt, dips and produce.

4.  Grocery Outlet, Bargain Market. I know it might surprise you, but this new store is packed with organic produce and products for very inexpensive prices. (Check expiration dates)

This week's #bebetter52 challenge asked us to make and drink green smoothies. This has become one of Cooper’s favorite morning meals and mid-day snacks. Her pediatrician recommended sticking an orange in the blender for extra vitamin C to fight off little winter colds. Luckily for us, our orange tree is still packed. In addition to oranges, I added kale from our Farm Fresh to You box and watercress from Trader Joe’s. I threw in hemp seed and flax seed for the extra omega-3 and a banana and some berries for additional vitamins, minerals and flavor.

Often times I hear about parents trying to “hide” healthy food within dishes they are making. It would be easy to throw healthy vegetables into a smoothie and keep it a secret from your kids. This week, however, I decided to tell Cooper what she was eating within her smoothie. Yes, she is only 13 months old and hasn't yet put up too much of a fight regarding food, but I hope as she grows older, she’ll be excited to eat kale and other healthy vegetables.  Who knows? All I do know is I am lucky to have a "good eater" who pretty much eats anything I put on her tray.