For those of you who don't know, tonight started Tu B'Shevat, or the Jewish Arbor Day. It's basically a day to celebrate trees and nature. It's not one of those "big" holidays - there are no restrictions, no candle lighting, and no time taken off from work. Honestly, unless you are a kid in Jewish Day School, or have a kid in Jewish Day School, you may not even know it's happening.
A few years ago, however, my friend Dalia decided to make a Girl's Tu B'Shevat Seder, or meal. It was similar to a Passover seder in that we had 4 cups of wine, but it also added a new element of eating lots of different fruit (that's my kind of seder!). I loved the seder so much that I saved the booklet that Dalia made for each us, hoping that one day I'd make my own seder. Well, this year I decided that I'd make my own. Henry is a bit young, but my nephews range in age from 6-11, and my parents, husband, and sister will always humor me. None of my family had ever been to a Tu B'Shevat seder but they all enjoyed it - we read from the booklet, drank grape juice, ate loads of fruit, sang, and danced (there's always dancing when I'm around).
On the Healthy Mom front, the seder was a great way to introduce new fruit to kids. Henry was overtired and didn't eat anything, but my nephews were excited by the ongoings, and liked the idea that they had to have 5 different fruit in each of the 3 categories. I had a bunch of new fruits too, so it was a great opportunity to try new foods. Here's a brief rundown of the categories, (but for more information, go to: http://tubshvat.hazon.org/about/ or http://www.hillel.org/NR/rdonlyres/A5339C76-6B07-4EC1-A970-D8FAFBA5E1CC/0/tu_bshevat_seder.pdf):
Category 1: Fruit with an inedible outside and a totally edible inside. We had kiwi, clementines, coconut, pomegranate, walnuts, and almonds.
Category 2: Fruits with an inedible pit. We had dried apricots, dried mango, nectarines, persimmon, and olives.
Category 3: Fruits that are completely edible. We had dried cranberries, blueberries, Asian pears, apples, grapes, and raisins.
Happy and (mostly) healthy eating! And of course, Happy Tu B'Shevat!