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Fruits and vegetables: more matters

  • Published
  • By Kathy Steinbrecher
  • Health Promotion Dietitian

We frequently hear that eating more healthfully, to include eating more fruits and vegetables, is expensive. Despite the known benefits of fruits and vegetables to our health and wellness, one in every three children are not at a healthy weight and are more likely to be an overweight adult.  Fruits and vegetables are the key in the fight against obesity. Incorporating fruits and vegetables into their diets not only provides them with the vitamins, minerals and energy they need, but also the valuable nutrients for optimal growth and development.

 

Since families believe it is a challenge to find good tasting, healthy and affordable fruits and vegetables, let's look at how to overcome this. 

 

First, consider two servings of fruits or vegetables in your meal planning.  Develop your evening meals around the vegetable or fruit.  Make it simple and use the half your plate concept of MyPlate by filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables.   Use fresh, frozen, canned, dried or 100 percent juices.  Use what is convenient for you at the time, what you have on hand.  Cut up an apple; add a can of "lite" peaches, a handful of raisins and a little cinnamon for a cool and sweet salad to accompany chili, casseroles or stews.  Sauté cabbage, onions and potatoes, or whatever is left in your refrigerator's vegetable bin for a side dish to pork chops or baked chicken.  

 

No need to follow any recipe.  Put your creative hat on and go for it; make learning about fruits and vegetables fun for the kids and yourself. 

 

Go to www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org for all the help you need to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your family's meals and to join America's More Matters Pledge: Fruits and Veggies...Today and Every Day!  Click on the Get Kids Involved tab to get the kids involved in healthy cooking and shopping.

 

Eating fruits and vegetables will give you a happy and healthy child.  Learn how fruits and veggies can play a bigger role in your family and have fun doing so.