Matt Knutson: An apple a day will keep the doctor away

Published 12:03 am Friday, April 7, 2017

Things I Tell My Wife by Matt Knutson

You never told me we had apples,” I said to my wife after I remarked that we should have more fruit in the house. I’m the first to admit that I’m not the best eater of fruits and vegetables, but now that our daughter is more aware of what we are eating, I figured I could be doing a better job. Apples and bananas are my go-to fruits, while Sera is less discriminatory. I think growing up on an island better prepped her for this kind of thing.

Of course Sera’s response to my statement was that she did tell me we had apples. In fact, we’ve had apples for many days in the same refrigerator drawer that they are always kept. I just haven’t looked for them. It was at this point when I realized I had a problem. Likely weeks ago, I had bitten into a bad apple and, likely wrongly, assumed everything else in the drawer must also be bad. Still bitter over that apple, I didn’t actually throw any of the other apples away despite thinking they were no good. Sera, however, had done so, and the new delicious apples were being neglected due to my irrational reaction.

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I wonder how often we come to an inaccurate conclusion and continue to cling to it. It’s hard to admit we’re wrong, but it’s better to do it sooner rather than later. Sometimes I guess you just don’t know you’re wrong until two weeks worth of apples have to be thrown out. From now on, I’ll have to listen a little more closely when Sera shares she bought apples from the grocery store.

The other plight in my journey to eat a little healthier is that Gracelyn is now actively trying to eat whatever I have in my hand. In an effort to expand her horizons, one day I did offer her a bite of my apple. Things escalated quickly from there, and my daughter made it known that all future apples are to be a joint effort in consumption. I’ve even tried to sneak one into another room, but she heard the crisp crunch and came waddling through the doorway while adorably shouting, “App-all!” When I surrendered the apple to her little mouth and hands, she nibbled on it for about five minutes, refused to let me have another bite and placed it gently on the carpet for our dog to play with at her leisure. I was not thrilled.

Another conscious choice that I recently made toward eating healthy was to no longer order soda while at restaurants. I was feeling pretty good about this, until I shared with Sera that I was now ordering chocolate shakes. Apparently my positive thoughts about increasing my dairy intake isn’t as entirely healthy as I had hoped for it to be. At least Sera found amusement in my attempt. It’s just another lesson better learned sooner rather than later.

Apples and other fruits have been helping people learn throughout the course of history. Legend has it that an apple hitting Isaac Newton prompted his law of gravity. You might recall the cherry tree story about President George Washington, reminding us all of the importance of telling the truth. Then there’s the forbidden fruit in the garden from the book of Genesis in the Bible. I’m beginning to think that if there’s a lesson to be learned, you should keep fresh produce nearby. Maybe that’s the real secret behind the phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

For now, I’ll continue to increase my intake of fruits and vegetables to better model healthy eating for my daughter. Hopefully she’ll move on from my apples and want her own, in addition to pursuing other fruits like oranges, bananas and sliced-up grapes. It’s not a decision that I should have been dependent on my daughter to help me make, but at least I’m coming around to making the right choice now. Our fridge is fully-stocked, and I’m going to make a solid attempt to clean out that apple drawer before any go bad. I’ll have to keep reminding myself that one bad apple doesn’t spoil the bunch.

Matt Knutson is a communication specialist in Rochester.