Featured Vegetable: All Fruits & Veggies Month
Do you ever feel as though fruits and veggies are the toughest foods to get your family to eat enough of? If so, you’re not alone. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost everyone needs to eat more fruits and veggies!1 Luckily, there are plenty of ways for your family to enjoy them MORE every day. From the colorful fresh fruits and veggies in the produce aisle to the canned, dried and frozen varieties, there are more ways than ever to enjoy these nutritious foods.
Eliminate the Guesswork.
You know you should eat more fruits and veggies, but how much do you really need? The amount needed daily depends on an individual’s age, gender and activity level. The CDC has a calculator that will help you determine how many fruits and vegetables you should be eating.1 As a simple rule, fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal and snack, and encourage everyone in your family to do the same.2
What’s all the Hype About?
If the recommendation is to incorporate fruits and veggies into every meal and snack, they must be pretty important. The truth is, fruits and vegetables are one of the best food choices your family can make throughout the day. They are delicious, relatively low in calories, and contain important nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Research suggests that consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of chronic diseases and cancer.3 The problem is that many families still have trouble consuming the fruits and veggies they need even when they know all of the benefits.
Here are Ten Tips to Help!
- You can’t eat what you don’t buy. Add a variety of fruits and vegetables to your shopping list. Why not try one new fruit or veggie each week? Remember frozen and canned varieties count too!4 Also look for products that contain both fruits AND vegetables. V8 V-Fusion® 100% juices provide ½ cup vegetables AND ½ cup of fruit in each 8 ounce glass!
- Start the day off right. Add fresh or dried fruits to your cereal OR veggies to your morning omelet.
- Break the rules! Why not add some fruit to dinner along with your vegetables? Fruit salsas are a great accompaniment to fish and grilled meats.
- Make it easy to eat MORE! Cut up a colorful variety of veggies and put them in baggies in the fridge for a quick grab and go snack. This can make packing nutritious lunches a breeze. You can also pick up some Bolthouse Farms® Baby Carrot ShakeDowns®. Each single serve package of baby carrots comes with a seasoning that’s bursting with flavor and is a mere 25 calories. Try both flavor-filled varieties: Ranch and Chili Lime.
- Kids love dips! Try fruit with low fat yogurt or veggies with hummus or low fat dressing. Bolthouse Farms® creamy yogurt dressings are a great choice for indulgent flavor without all of the fat!
- Enjoy farm fresh foods. Check out the local farmer’s market for fresh, seasonal and affordable produce. Many local markets also provide recipes to help you try new foods.
- Make trying new things fun! Cut fruit into fun shapes and make a fruit salad for dessert. You can even serve it in a hollowed out melon for more impact. And guess what? Experts say that kids are more likely to eat fruit when it is served to them pre-cut!5
- “Elect” new favorites. Let your kids select unfamiliar fruits and veggies in the store as candidates to try. When you get home, sample your selections and hold a vote to determine the favorite. Add the winning fruit or veggie to next week’s shopping list!
- Be a good role model. Kids learn from the food choices their parent’s make. If they see you reach for a bowl of cherries instead of a bag of chips, they are more likely to mimic that behavior.5
- Look for new recipes before you shop! Check out Campbellnutrition.com for delicious fruit and veggie recipes before heading to the grocery store, and then buy the ingredients you need.
“Orange You Glad I didn’t Say Banana?”
Let’s say your kids don’t like bananas, but love oranges! Instead of trying to force your family to eat fruits and vegetables that they don’t like, look for ones they do! Did you know that there are 7,500 varieties of apples alone?6 With so many varieties of fruits and vegetables out there, you’re bound to find ones that your family can’t get enough of. Whether you love the cool crunch of cucumbers or the spicy punch of hot peppers, all fruits and veggies are a good idea, and there is truly something for everyone.
The Campbell Soup Company proudly supports the Produce for Better Health Foundation and partners with PBH to promote its Fruits & Veggies More Matters® initiative. Check out the Fruits & Veggies More Matters® website for tons of tips on planning, shopping, cooking and getting the kids involved.
1How Many Fruits and Vegetables Do You Need? http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/fruitsvegetables/howmany.html
2MyPlate & What is a Serving of Fruits and Vegetables? Fill Half Your Plate http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/myplate-and-what-is-a-serving-of-fruits-and-vegetables
3Fruits and Vegetables http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/fruitsvegetables/index.html
4Fresh, Frozen, Canned, Dried and 100% Juice: All Forms of Fruits & Vegetables Matter! http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/fresh-frozen-canned-dried-and-100-juice
5Giving Kids a Taste for Fruits and Vegetables http://www.cdc.gov/prc/pdf/TD1095.pdf
6Apple Facts http://urbanext.illinois.edu/apples/facts.cfm