In my home my wife forces us all to eat a lot of veggies, typically those veggies are from Birds Eye because she loves the convenience. With our youngest daughter and my wife being gluten intolerant, we tend to shy away from a lot of things, but veggies is not one of them. My daughter loves eating most of the steamed veggies she is given at her meals. It has been a staple of our family for as long as I can remember, even if veggies are not my favorite I have to eat what my wife gives me. She also plants vegetables and other things in planter boxes around our home, she enjoys feeding us as well as she can.
I have given my wife a lot of grief over the years about forcing vegetables on the whole family, but I have to deal with it. If I don’t I have to make my own food, and I don’t want to do that. Growing up my family did not have a lot of vegetables, it was rare and so as an adult with a family it is strange having all of these vegetables. I know if it was not for my wife, there is no way I would have as many vegetable as she makes us consume on a daily basis. I know Birds Eye makes that even easier on her to give us variety all conveniently from our freezer without preservatives and straight from the farm. They taste just as fresh as some of the items from my wife’s little garden.
Statistically only 28% of Americans has vegetables with their dinner and only 2% of kids in the country get the fruits and vegetables they should according to the guidelines. That is shockingly slim, but that was me growing up. I know I was not getting what I needed as my body was growing, and that is why I love that Birds Eye has teamed up with the Environmental Media Association (EMA) #GreenMySchool program. They aim to give the knowledge to students and families where they have created gardens. These kids learn to grow, when to pick, and how to cook these vegetables that they have grown, it is an amazing program. One I wish I had been a part of as a kid.
We recently got the chance to visit the Heritage Museum of Orange County in Santa Ana, Ca, where we meet with Birds Eye and Constance Zimmer, (you read that right Constance Zimmer “Dana Gordon” from Entorage!) to change the way kids look at vegetables. We got to sit down and have an exclusive interview with Constance on how she approaches getting her kids to eat more vegetables and the importance of planting gardens to educate our youth to recognize healthy eating habits.
During the interview she gave us great tips on trying to help our kids eat vegetables, such as trying Sweet Peas or Persian Cucumbers with some sea salt. I know the Sweet Peas works wonders, that was how we got all of our kids to try vegetables. Constance also brought up a great point that kids just eat what the parents give them. If all we have available junk food, that is all our children are going to eat. If we can have our kids growing up to learn to grow and create food from it, it is a great place to start. These kids can continue the cycle.
I loved meeting Constance, she was funny and energetic. She got everyone laughing when it was time for the kids to come out and start planting some vegetables. First the little kids came out and she planted some with her and then a group of older school kids came out and did the same. The best part was being able to eat a soup that the kids had made from vegetables they had grown. It was such a touching moment and I was so happy I got to experience it with such amazing people and see these kids fully grasp what was going on and being done for them. Constance made this a memorable moment for all of us and I never knew meeting someone as famous as her, would be such a refreshing thing. She did not act how I imagine celebrities to, she reminded me of my goofy wife, but maybe let’s keep that between us.
This experience was eye opening and I hope that I can continue to see all the good that EMA and the #GreenMySchool can do for other cities across the country. There are many places I know that could benefit from a program such as this. Not everyone grows up learning how to grow their own vegetables or even how to cook them once you have. This can benefit the next generation and bring affordable food to our tables, that possibly we grew ourselves.
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