Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My New Favorite - Variety!

Yellow squash, pecans and broccoli...

Out (this week)!

Green beans...

In (this week)!

Peppers, carrots and bok choy - -

Definitely in!

Each week when I visit the local organic grocery store (this place is huge, and even has a restaurant and bookstore), I am amazed at the wide variety of organically grown local and non-local produce. The farmer's market is also teeming with produce at this time of year, and will only get better as the summer progresses!

Now is a great time to start (or continue) experimenting with various vegetable types and methods of presentation.

What I love about shopping at the the local farmer's market and organic grocery store is that I am able to get 1 of this and 2 of that... ideal for feeding the birds.

Coco is not a big eater, and may not choose to eat all of what I have selected for a particular week. However, whatever she snubs her beak at will go into the week end crock pot meal/stew or salads.

I also bear in mind that her choice to refuse a certain vegetable this week means nothing as to her eating habits in subsequent weeks. So anything that she chooses not to eat I will usually purchase at least 2 or 3 weeks in a row and then try serving in different sizes, different styles of cut, cooked and cooled, etc.

Coco always seems more interested in food that she is able to watch me prepare. She and I often sit on the floor and eat our 'salads' together. She will actually consume more vegetables if it is a flock meal. Eating a flock meal is another lifestyle skill, and a great opportunity to model positive food choices. If she takes a piece of broccoli from my bowl instead of hers, that's ok too!

Size of veggie and presentation is certainly a consideration. At times she may enjoy holding a whole okra, while other times she enjoys long strips or pinwheel pieces. A vegetable that gets ignored will be served in a different visual presentation. Or, if rejected when offered raw, I will try offering it steamed and cooled. (And then offer it raw again the following week, and so forth.)

I am a big fan of hemp seed oil (another item I purchase at the organic grocery store). Tossing some spinach pasta, veggies and various cooked and cooled beans in a small amount of hemp seed oil adds a nice nutty flavor and some essential omega fatty acids to her diet as well! (And it is healthy for my salads too!)

So support your local farmers or organic grocery store, while building your bird's veggie palate!

Go green... that is, peas, sprouts, peppers, beet greens, bok choy, cilantro, zucchini and more!



louara said...

This is great advice. I have found that by offering a wide variety of veggies keeps my bird always interested in at least trying new foods. She doesn't always like what is offered but she always tries it by tasting it. She really loves zucchini and green beans in the summertime. Is hemp seed oil ok to give to budgies? If so how much is ok.

Robin said...

I have given hemp seed oil to all my birds; they don't need very much. Strider gets a couple drops once or maybe twice a week. Coco just gets her veggies very lightly tossed in the oil once or twice a week.

Anonymous said...

Nolan ALWAYS eats better when he eats "with" us at the table. We set up a TV tray next to the dinner table and he always gets to share some of our veggies and rice or grain. He happily munches along with the whole flock :)

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