June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month!
Finding ways to get more!
June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, while most of us know that eating more fresh fruits and vegetables are important for good health, do we actually know how much we eat? Let’s take a mini inventory through the use of the United States Department of Agriculture’s SuperTracker:
- Start tomorrow morning, if it’s a regular day.
- Track only three (days).
- Don’t do anything different from what you would normally do.
- Remember to write or record on your electronic device all quantities in measurable amounts, like medium apple, 12 grapes, one cup of watermelon, eight baby carrots, etc. This makes it easier to record in the SuperTracker.
- Record the amounts eaten, in the SuperTracker each day, for three days.
- If you don’t have daily access to a computer, at the end of the three days visit the local library to record your data in the SuperTracker.
- What you will likely learn is that you are not eating the recommended amounts of fruit and vegetables.
- Don’t be discouraged, determine to increase your fruit and vegetable consumption slowly, one serving at a time.
Michigan State University Extension recommends these tips to increase your fruit and vegetable consumption:
- Make a point of buying more fruits and vegetables.
- Purchase convenience sizes, if this will help you eat more fruits and vegetables.
- If you are budget conscious, package fruit or vegetables in snack size servings, such as bag a handful of cut up carrots or baby carrots, cubed watermelon and store in an airtight container or bag, etc.
- Make a tray or plate of fresh fruit and/or vegetables and leave in the refrigerator, while fixing a meal, sitting in front of the television or just wanting to munch on something, take the tray out and eat.
- If you just don’t enjoy fruit, experiment and find the fruit you enjoy most and incorporate that into your diet.
- Include fruit in yogurt, salads, cereal, ice-cream and other desserts.
- If you don’t enjoy vegetables, experiment and find the vegetable you enjoy most and incorporate that into your diet.
- Incorporate vegetables in soups, stews, pies, wraps and sandwiches.
Remember that fruits and vegetables can help with your overall health in many ways; it can help prevent certain diseases, like cancer and diabetes, etc. It can help with obesity and weight control and it can improve the skin, nails, hair, etc. There are many other benefits to consuming fruits and vegetables. Visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and learn more of the benefits of increasing your fruit and vegetable consumption.