First Lady Challenges Americans to 'Try a New Fruit or Vegetable Each Week'

By Timothy Hill | March 19, 2014 | 5:06pm EDT

College basketball can wait. Did you know that March is actually National Nutrition Month?

Today, First Lady Michelle Obama urged Americans via her "Let's Move!" initiative to challenge their family members to eat one new fruit or vegetable per week in March to faithfully observe the occasion.

"March is National Nutrition Month and you can celebrate by challenging your family to try a new fruit or vegetable each week," First Lady Michelle Obama said in an e-mail to supporters today.

Never mind that there were less than two "each weeks" left in National Nutrition Month when the e-mail challenge was sent out.

I'd like to take her call a few steps further. To honor The White House's wishes, readers should have a little fun this month and eat fruits and veggies from our president's backyards of Kansas, Hawaii, Kenya, and, of course, Indonesia.

President Obama's mother was from Kansas, and there's no shame in eating plenty of corn this month! Stovetop popcorn is a healthier alternative than any microwavable brand that is out there, and it takes a bit more finesse to make a decent batch without burning the kernels. I like to give the burnt pieces to my family's dog, and I suspect the president might do the same with his family's dog, Bo.

We know from all of those taxpayer-funded jaunts to Hawaii that the president keeps that state pretty close to his heart. The fruit that Hawaii is most famous for is the pineapple, but feel free to branch out and try some Ohi'a 'ai, which are mountain apples found on those islands. You could celebrate our occupation of the island with that fruit by baking a uniquely American-Hawaiian apple pie with vanilla ice cream on the side.

President Obama's own father was from Kenya, so maybe you and your family can get a little primitive this month and eat some fruits and veggies indigenous to that country. Kachumbari is a salsa-like mixture of lemon juice, onions, cilantro, peppers and tomatoes that is eaten in Kenyan quite a bit. If you live in the United States, feel free to indulge a little bit more by adding some tortilla chips to it. A non-alcoholic beer might help wash it down, too, unless you're a fifth grader.

Marquisa telur kodok, an Indonesian fruit that might be new to you

The place where the president may or may not have attended a madrassa (good old Indonesia) has some unique fruits to try out this month, as well. Why not try Marquisa Telur Kodok, Indonesia's version of the passion fruit? Many of Indonesia's more distinctive fruits seem to be hybrids of other fruits that are found in most produce sections of American grocery stores. If you can get the fruits past customs, you're already on the right track.

You could just be boring and stick with slices of bananas in your cereal every morning, but you'll miss out on poking fun at the quasi-socialist call from Washington, D.C. to drop everything and eat healthier. It's only for a month - or what's left of it - so, Big Brother knows you can do it.

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