Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

Insiders Viewpoint: Expert Supermarket Advice: When It’s Wise to Eat MORE, Natalie Menza, Wakefern Food Corp. Fruits And Veggies More Matters.org

With all the warnings about watching calories, fat and cholesterol, when was the last time you thought it wise to eat more? Well, when it comes to fruit and veggies, more matters! Most Americans don’t eat the recommended number of fruits and vegetables they need each day and we know that fruit and vegetable consumption is linked to the reduced risk of chronic diseases such as type-2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and heart disease. So, more really does matter!

Here’s how you can add more fruits and veggies to your meals and snacks.

Try something new. Pick up one new fruit or vegetable each time you go to the grocery store.

Get the kids involved. Let your kids get in on the fun too — involve them in the food preparation. They’ll be more likely to sample the results.

Be colorful. Choose produce from all color groups; variety is important to ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need.

Take a taste test. Add a little fun to mealtime by conducting a family taste test. Slice and sample several types of apples. Then let each family member vote for his or her favorite.

Snack smart. Stock grab-and-go fruits and vegetables such as fresh grapes, baby carrots or dried fruit. Keep a ready supply of frozen fruits and vegetables on hand for whipping up smoothies or baking a batch of muffins.

Give a boost to basic dishes. It’s easy to add fruits and veggies to many of the dishes you already eat. Try this…

    • Top cereal, waffles or pancakes with berries or bananas rather than sugar or syrup.
    • Add thin slices of apple or pear to turkey sandwiches for a little extra crunch.
    • Add chunks of cooked veggies to marinara sauce.
    • Include layers of chopped broccoli, spinach or mushrooms when making lasagna.
    • Mix finely-chopped mushrooms into ground meat before forming burger patties.
    • Roast sweet potato wedges as a substitute for french fries.
    • Top pizza, baked potatoes and tacos with diced cooked vegetables.
    • Use pre-packaged salad greens to add a side salad to any meal.
    • Serve traditional sandwich ingredients such as chicken salad, turkey or lean roast beef over fresh spinach leaves or salad greens instead of between slices of bread.

Natalie Menza, MS, RD
Corporate Dietitian
Wakefern Food Corporation

Fruit & Vegetable Recipes
Video Center: Selection, Storage, and Preparation of Fruits & Vegetables.


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