So, in my goal of getting my family to engage in a healthier lifestyle I have begun to implement a few strategies in addition to using the Today I Ate A Rainbow nutritional chart.

I actually take the kids grocery shopping!  Seriously.  And 98% of the time, it actually goes well!  My daughter still hasn’t got much choice in the matter but she still does me a huge service just by sitting in her bucket and quietly chatting to herself.  My son on the other hand, well, he HAS a choice.  We went through a phase where I had to stop taking him, it was just far too frustrating for everyone concerned.

That all changed when I began to include him in the shopping.  I let him walk beside the cart now, or he even, sometimes, gets to step on the lower rack of the cart and ride on it.  I let him pick out our usual fruits & veggies and put them ‘carefully’ in the cart.

Of course, I have to hold up my end of the bargain.  We have to go and visit the live fish for a few minutes and heaven forbid we forget to wave to the lobsters.  Sometimes he asks me to buy him some sausage so we get some turkey kielbasa and, if they aren’t busy, the folks behind the deli counter will even cut it up for him so he can snack on it through the store!  The kicker here is, you MUST REMEMBER TO PAY for it.  I have to admit, I have forgotten on more than one occasion since my son, well trained, will tuck the wrapper in the diaper bag when he’s finished – since that’s where the garbage goes when we’re out.

And, each time we go shopping, he gets to pick out one new fruit or vegetable with no help or guidance from me.  I’m hoping to encourage him to be a bit adventurous and try new things.  Most recently, he chose a starfruit because it was ‘neat looking’, though admittedly, it’s not exactly a cheap fruit at $2.50 per!

Here is what we’ve learned about the Star Fruit:

Also called Carambola, the Star Fruit is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.  It is high in dietary fiber, vitamin C , copper, pantothenic acid and potassium.

Do you eat the skin? YES!  According to EHow.com, “the skin is high in tannin which helps to regulate intestinal processes and had been found to be an effective cure for diarrhea.”

What to look for when picking a Star Fruit. A star fruit should be shiny and firm and an even yellow colour without any green or brown on the skin – though the edges may be a tiny bit brown when ripe – that is ok.

How to store. According to Fruits & Veggies More Matters, you “ripen star fruit at room temperature until you can smell their aroma then refrigerate for up to a week.”

How to enjoy the Star Fruit. They are great for grab’n’go eating since they don’t need to be peeled or seeded – though, similar to an apple, you will come across a few seeds that are not edible.  They can be used in fruit salads (cut them cross wise for a perfect star shape), chutneys, dressings, stews, grilled with meats, used as a garnish and even added to your smoothies or sorbets!  According to LiveStrong.com, if you cut the dark ridge from the fruit, it will make it a bit sweeter.

Watch in a later post when I try a recipe fro Star-Fruit Chips!

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