Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fruits, Vegetables and Independence - Hyvää Itsenäisyyspäivää Suomi!

The local main newspaper Helsingin Sanomat had in their online paper an interesting article about eating habits of fruits and vegetables. UNICEF had conducted a survey and quite alarming fact was that only 14% of 15 years old boys in Finland eat daily fruits or vegetables! Only fourteen procent!!!

I know from my own experience that it is not only the boys that have difficulties to eat them, it's also the girls. Unfortunately some allergies rule out some of the fruits that our lady in the same age group can eat, but I can tell you it wouldn't be that easy even if she could eat them all. Same challenge with the veggies. The only one that is on "I like to eat it" -list is cucumber (Cucumis sativus), but there the vitamins are as rare as Finnish NBA-players...
What is positive, is that the younger man in the family is happy to eat different kinds of veggies and salad. He has even loves "well prepared" green beans, or I'd say Haricots verts as the French, thinner and longer version is. That's one of the things picked up during Belgium years.

What is the "well prepared" then?
Well, I'm not 100%  sure how my wife does them, but an easy option is to put some (a lot) olive oil on a hot pan, put the beans in, add some sea salt & pepper and that's it! You don't need to cook them long, even if you use the frozen ones it takes only some minutes to prepare. Very good - unless you are too suspicious and afraid to taste one...

What comes to the fruits, the shops are full of different type of them but as the article refers, they are not that cheap up here in the corner of the world - in a country covered with snow. We try to encourage the kids to eat them, naturally showing example, and even push it a bit by putting on a plate in minimum one piece of the veggie prepared or served. Be it green bean, cherry tomato or what ever, they get familiar with the taste and it becomes a habit bit by bit. A healthy habit.

No veggie or fruit - no desert. And the desert can also be or include some fruit - which is something where we could improve a bit.

To read the article at Helsingin Sanomat online newspaper, go here.

To finish the Finnish topics, let's talk about independence;
Tomorrow is again the independence day of Finland, this time # 93 I believe. Hence we get to enjoy a long weekend while tonight most of you prepare again for a 5 day work week.

Last year I wrote the 100th posting about the Finland's Independence day. You can check it out to read a bit about the history, and more details you can get from Wikipedia... Along the years we have build a tradition of two TV evenings per year: Finland's Independence day reception at the President's Palace and the Eurovision song contest in May (I've also written about that few times).

...I actually was wondering in the vey same 100th posting if I'd ever reach 200 postings but today we are somewhere around 230 postings. Since you keep coming back, I guess I need to do the same...

The reason for watching the reception is not that much the event itself or the party, but the biggest fun is to be a home-couch-critic for the dresses. There are always both tops and flops and naturally the flops come across easier. Some flops from an old article from here.

For Finns, here is an old sketch, nauttikaa!

So tomorrow at 6 pm we shall light 2 candels in the window, a tradition that dates back for a long time. I'm not so sure about where it comes from and will not find out just now. If you know, please share!
Happy Independence Day Finland -
Hyvää Itsenäisyyspäivää Suomi!

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