There’s a special time each year, where we “spring clean.” We’ve hit the bottom, and we realize that the mess we’re living in isn’t healthy. This may happen once a year, or maybe quarterly if you’re lucky. With two toddlers, my spring cleaning is sporadic. It’s hit or miss.

Today, I’ve had enough. Breakfast started with fruit flavored oatmeal. I realize, that’s a win for many, but I usually add flavors from honey, cinnamon, nuts and fruit. The pantry had slim pickings to choose from. Then, I opened my car door and toys, water bottles, papers, and cereal crumbs, lots of cereal crumbs, rolled out of the car. It was so bad, I paused before actually placing the girls’ backpacks in the car for school. I took a deep breath, tossed the backpacks in, and kept going. That’s what we do as moms, right? We keep going….

We know our lives are crazy with kids, but we survive because of the many people supporting us. There’s one problem. It’s tough to spring clean when we have people working against us. Billions of dollars are being poured into convenience foods. Veggie sticks, veggie chips, fruit crushers, apple cinnamon chex, crunch berries, Fruit n’ Fiber, fruit roll ups, squeeze pouches, fruit and veggie purees, fruit juice, veggie juice, Fruity Pebbles! Get it? It’s one thing to eat a banana, but banana nut cheerios?

Two thirds of Americans are now overweight, and 50 percent are expected to carry a diagnosis of diabetes by age 65. Wow! The real problem—Consumers, aka moms, think it’s their fault that they, or their children are overweight or unhealthy. Remember the saying, it takes a village? Convenience food marketing messages are not helping us raise our children. They’ve taught us to purchase products containing a “real servings of fruit” rather than the actual fruit. If we have to read it, and we can’t see it, we shouldn’t consider it a serving of fruit. Why? Most products that claim they have a serving of fruit also have extra calories, added sugar, artificial flavors, colors and most importantly, they lack fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. Even if they are organic, we still consume extra calories that aren’t keeping us full. These calories are contributing to our obesity and diabetes epidemic.

Eat five a day! We’re not talking about five fruit and veggie flavored foods. We’re talking about real fruits and vegetables. Let’s make fresh fruit a convenience food again. More snack ideas coming soon!