Fruits and vegetables for your health

Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet, and that of the family, can be easier than you might think.

It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables add important nutrition to our diets. But how much should we eat? And how can we make this nutrition easier to access, tastier and even more enjoyable?

The daily amounts of fruits and vegetables your family needs depends on caloric needs. Individual caloric needs are determined by age, gender and activity level. To find out what your caloric needs are, visit the weight management resources at MyPlate to learn about how to determine what the right amount of calories is for you. If you find that you have not been eating the recommend amount of fruits and vegetables, take steps to add more to your diet. This can be as easy as adding one more. The Produce for Better Health Foundation gives these few tips to “Add One More!”:

  • Use frozen 100% juice in smoothies.
  • Toss raisins into baked goods, yogurt or oatmeal.
  • Top your pizza with your favorite veggies.
  • Begin your day with 100% juice and a piece of fruit – that’s more right from the start!
  • Grilling out? Don’t forget to grill sliced veggies and fruit for a tasty treat! (Brush veggies with canola oil and grill for a couple of minutes on each side over medium heat.)

Every step we take toward eating more fruits and vegetables will help your family be at their best! Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals and may help reduce the risk of many diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure and even some cancers. Remember, all forms of fruits and vegetables are healthy options. Servings could include fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100 percent juice. Different colors of fruits and vegetables offer different nutrients. Kids like the idea of eating a rainbow. Challenge them with eating different colors of the rainbow in the form of fruits and vegetables each day.

Visit the Produce for Better Health Foundation for more information on planning, shopping, cooking, nutrition, and ways to get kids involved in adding more fruits and vegetables to the family diet.