Hi, my name is Bryant. I’m 26 years old and… I hate celery. It’s too stringy, gets stuck in my teeth, and the taste is pretty forgettable.
Why does this matter? Well, my dear wife recently made me a plate of food which included something called “Ants on a log.” Yep, it was celery, but with a peanut butter filling and sweet raisins on top. It looked pretty much like, well, ants on a log and… I liked it! For some odd reason, my aversion to celery vanished and I ate every one of those ants and the logs they sat on.
Okay, so here is why that story is relevant: This month is Fresh Fruit and Veggie month, and it got me thinking how so many fruits and veggies can taste so good and still get overlooked, in favor of processed foods with loads of salt, sugar and fat poured into them. Take my apple, for example. My wife (bless her heart) packed it into my lunch today and it’s still sitting on my desk. It’s getting close to quitting time now, and I still haven’t taken a bite out that big, juicy looking orb. The pack of grasshopper cookies just a few feet away, however, has been visited by me at least a few times throughout the day. What gives?
The fact is that our brains are programmed to go after food with high fat, sugar, and salt content. Back in the Stone Age, things like that were hard to come by so the brain made them taste really, really good to let us know that we shouldn’t pass up on them. Well, our brains are still telling us that, and it’s hard not to listen. Maybe in a few million years, our brains will have adapted to the abundance of fat and flavor we have in the 21st century, but until then, we’ve got to find a way to balance our diets despite the appeal of that stuff.
Given the situation we are in, I wonder if things like Ants on a Log could help us achieve a more balanced diet. I know someone out there is probably thinking, “dude, peanut butter filled celery isn’t much better than a cookie.” I concede that point, but now that I’ve had the ants on a log, I might just be able to eat celery without the peanut butter or ants – oh, I mean raisin. Think of it as some kind of… gateway vegetable.
Now, celery itself doesn’t seem like the most nutrient rich vegetable or fruit that is out there, but if you take the same concept as Ants on a Log and apply it to other vegies and fruits, you might find something delightful and healthy. The ultimate goal, of course is to eat fruits and veggies just the way they are, but for kids and people like me who never learned to eat their veggies, maybe this could be a successful strategy. I wonder if some kind of mushroom treat could help me get over my fear of mushrooms (that would be the day).
This is also relevant because here at the Center of Dental Professionals we are interested in the health of our patients and community. Eating fresh fruits and vegetable is good not just for your overall health, but for your oral health as well.
So if you think the Ants on a Log strategy might work for you or your kids, I’ve searched far and wide across the endless expanse of the World Wide Web to gather up fun serving suggestion for fruits and vegetables. Here they are for your enjoyment:
Fishing With Celery
Carrot Flower With Dip
Fruity Coral Snake
Fruit Birthday Cake
Chocolate Covered Strawberries