I took one nutrition class in college. Just one. That is it. I have absolutely zero credentials to provide nutrition advice to the world.
However, I am a wife and a mom. I cook for my own family. I know what it’s like to be absolutely bewildered about what the heck I should be serving my family to keep us all healthy.
Add to this the fact that there is no shortage of health advice on the internet, and a lot of it is conflicting and doesn’t always apply to every person.
Instead of trying to chase all the hottest health food trends and diets, I try to keep things über simple in my house. That is, I desire to make fruits and vegetables (particularly veggies) a huge part of our daily diets. But I know fully well that this cannot happen overnight; I’ve been on this journey for a couple years now and we still do not eat as much produce as we should.
This year I want to try something different in our house. In order to keep things interesting and bring lots of variety into our diets, I will be focusing on one new fruit or vegetable each month this year. Yep, just one. And I want you to do the same if you’re up for the challenge.
I am all about accountability, and if I am sharing my journey with you, it will happen. Otherwise, it probably won’t. What about you? Could you use the encouragement from someone else to keep you motivated and on track? Yes? Then you’re going to love this challenge!
Before I introduce the first vegetable, I want to warn you that the produce I choose this year will likely be ones that you don’t normally eat. Your kids (and husband) may throw a freakin’ fit when you put it on their plate for the first time. In fact, just expect it to happen. If your expectations are low, you might just be pleasantly surprised when something positive happens.
I’ve come up with a (tentative) schedule for which vegetable we will be focusing on each month. This isn’t set in stone. I may change things around as needed. You can also make up your own schedule based on veggies (or fruits) that your own family could stand to try.
- January – Parsnips
- February – Cabbage
- March – Collard Greens
- April – Asparagus
- May – Arugula
- June – Green Onions
- July – Radishes
- August – Zucchini/Summer Squash
- September – Raddichio
- October – Butternut Squash
- November – Leeks
- December – Kale
Each month I will introduce the veggie (I have decided not to do fruits for my own family since we have no problem eating those each day) and then you get one month to try and incorporate that veggie into your meals at least 1-4 times. My ultimate goal is once per week and I want to try the veggie in different ways to see if we like it one way better than another.
My goal was to get this post up before the new year, but now January is already halfway over! If you decide to join me this month, go ahead and just try the new vegetable once or twice before the month is over. Each month after this one I will do my best to get the post up right around the first of the month.
January’s veggie is PARSNIPS. Don’t fret if you have no idea what a parsnip is. That is the point of this challenge. Hopefully you will be challenged to try foods you normally would never have imagined eating.
In my case, I have tried parsnips once. And I didn’t like them much. When my babies were eating purees, I would make parsnip puree for them to try and they all loved it, but I was reluctant to try them. When I finally did, I decided they weren’t really for me.
Enter this challenge. I want to try parsnips at least two different ways this month (one per week) and hopefully I will start to enjoy them a little more.
Here’s what you can expect from each update post at the beginning of every month this year:
- A brief reminder of the vegetable we focused on the previous month
- Why I chose that particular vegetable
- My own inhibitions about the vegetable
- How I used the vegetable in my meals (i.e. specific recipes I tried)
- Any pictures I took
- How much I spent on the vegetable throughout the month
- My family’s honest opinion about the vegetable each time we tried it
- How to store and prepare the vegetables and any other pertinent information
As the month goes on, I will try to share how things are going on Instagram (more specifically, Instagram stories), so be sure you are following me on there!
And don’t forget to subscribe below so you can receive updates about the challenge each month this year!
Join the 12 Month Produce Challenge!
It's free and you'll get reminders to keep you on track. If you've been trying to give your family healthier food, this is the challenge you need! By signing up, you also agree to receive other emails from me.