"Always eat your greens," was a very common (and very dietary astute) little phrase that I remember from my young years.
And, I suspect, many other youngsters (now with thinning or greying hair and dicky knees) will also recall that firm request as they were wise words from mums and dads or caregivers.
In my case, and the case of my siblings, they were the words of our mother, for father would generally chip in with a "just do as your mum says" or "I thought I had another bottle of Continental Lager in the washhouse cupboard" … at which point our older teenage brother would quietly look away in innocence.
"It's good for you," mum would add, as she pointed a fork in the direction of our barely nudged or caressed cabbage or silverbeet.
There was no broccoli in those years … dad reckoned it was "that bloody foreign stuff".
So we would dutifully partake in a severed strand of cabbage or two and try not to make "uuurgh" faces.
Mum would also occasionally remark that "the vege man" would not have been too pleased to see us shunning his wares which he so dutifully delivered and sold on a Saturday morning to neighbourhoods where there were mums-a-plenty.
"Good morning Iris," the vege man would say to our mum, and he would also say "good morning" to the other six or seven ladies who had checked their clocks and sought their woollen carry bags for his arrival.
He always parked outside our place on the Marine Parade, as it was reasonably central for the houses and flats on either side.
Probably also because mum was a sweet and pretty-looking lady who knew, when it came to it, that she could always eke another couple of spuds out of the vege man for threepence.
The other ladies paid sixpence.
I have vivid memories of the vege man.
Yep, every Saturday morning we would see the old Bedford truck arriving from the south, having sold some of his wares to the seafront folks down that way.
He probably would have made dozens of stops at pre-determined sites every Saturday, and it became a wonderful tradition.
For he would stop the dawdling van (if you got stuck behind the vege man then that was your problem) and remove the scales and tray from the cab and chain them up to the hook at the back of the little truck.
It had sloping sides, so you could survey all manner of vegetables and fruit as they were lined up in trays on the four or five shelves.
We kids would always go out and say good morning to the vege man, and he would smile and reach for a couple of nice little plums for "your good boys and girls".
And oh yes, I can vaguely recall (as I would have been just 6 or 7) the vege man saying to us that it was very important that we eat our greens.
I daresay that philosophy added a few shillings to his daily coffers as the mums would nod and ask how much the cabbages were.
"Sixpence each … but I can do you two for 10 pence."
I also remember his gentlemanly approach to his sales duties, and absolute faith in what he was delivering.
He wore a hat, but for each purchase, as each mum bagged her purchases, he would tip it because his customer was a lady, and that is what chaps would do in those times.
So as I emerged into later life I always remembered the vege man's advice of eating your greens.
For he was well and chipper, despite his vintage, so if that's what eating greens does then that's good enough for me.
So, all you children of all ages (for we never really grow up) do as you're told and eat your greens.
They're good for you and believe me, the vege man knew his peas and beans and cabbage and spinach … and "that bloody foreign stuff".
Roger Moroney is an award-winning journalist and observer of the slightly off-centre