Today, the nonprofit Produce for Better Health Foundation launched a national effort to promote fruit and vegetable consumption.
The campaign, called "Fruits & Veggies -- More Matters," encourages Americans to eat more fruits and vegetables.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) gives these tips to help you meet your fruit and vegetable goals:
- Keep a bowl of fruit handy.
- Go for variety.
- Serve a salad with dinner.
- Add beans to chili or soup.
- If you're ordering pizza, add some veggie toppings.
- Put chopped vegetables in pasta sauce or lasagna.
- Dip fresh fruit in low-fat yogurt or pudding.
- Dip raw veggies in low-fat salad dressing.
Helping Kids Eat Fruits and Vegetables
It can be a challenge to get kids to eat fruits and vegetables, according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. moms conducted as part of the "Fruits & Veggies -- More Matters" campaign.
In the survey, more than 70% of moms gave their children grades of "A" or "B" for eating fruits and vegetables. But nearly 30% gave their kids and teens grades of "C" or lower for fruit and vegetable consumption.
Those mothers said their children were tempted by other foods and weren't interested in eating fruits and vegetables.
If that sounds like your family, here are solutions offered by the USDA:
- Set a good example with your own diet.
- While shopping, let kids pick a new fruit or vegetable to try.
- Kids often like foods served separately, so don't mix vegetables on their plate.
- Offer children a choice of fruits at lunch.
- Top kids' cereal with berries or a smiley face made of sliced bananas for eyes, raisins for a nose, and an orange slice for a mouth.
- Use cut-up vegetables as part of afternoon snacks.
- Let kids decide on the dinner vegetables or what goes into salads.
- If children are old enough, let them help shop for, clean, peel, or cut up fruits and vegetables.
Whether you have kids or not, pay attention to food safety.
Wash your hands before cooking or eating, and wash fruits and vegetables in clean, running water.
Keep fruits and vegetables separate from raw meat, poultry, and seafood, and heed the expiration dates on canned and frozen items.