The theme for National Nutrition Month 2012 is Get Your Plate in Shape. During March, we’re encouraged to think about what goes on our plates before we eat, and one of the key messages is to make half your plate fruits and vegetables. The most recent USDA food icon, MyPlate, supports this important message.
The average American eats only 43% of the recommended amount of fruit and only 57% of the recommended amount of vegetables each day. Making half your plate fruits and vegetables is a simple way to increase your consumption.
When choosing what fruits and vegetables to eat, think about eating a rainbow of colors. Different color groups provide a unique set of nutrients. And remember, all forms of fruits and vegetables count. To reduce sodium in canned vegetables, select “no salt added” and “reduced sodium” varieties.
5 Ways to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
- Include veggies with breakfast. Sauté mushrooms and peppers for an egg omelet or wrap up your favorite egg and vegetable scramble in a tortilla.
- Feature a new fruit or veggie each week. Most of us get into a rut and eat the same fruits and veggies over and over. Trying a new one once a week encourages us to think outside of the box.
- Enjoy fruit with snacks. Top whole-grain toast with peanut butter and banana slices. Put frozen fruit on top of cottage cheese or Greek yogurt.
- Don’t forget about dried fruits. Add dried fruit to a favorite trail mix recipe (beware of varieties containing added sugar and oils).
- Add extra veggies to your favorite dishes. Pile veggies on top of pizza, add them to soups and casseroles, and stuff them into sandwiches.
Sautéed Mushroom and Pepper Omelet
- 1 tablespoon Spectrum® sunflower or safflower oil
- ¼ green bell pepper, diced
- 4 white mushrooms, sliced
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add pepper and mushrooms and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes. Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk to scramble. Pour eggs over the veggies in the frying pan. When eggs are set on the bottom, top with Parmesan cheese. Using a spatula, flip one half of the eggs over top of the other half. Cook for a few minutes and flip again. Cook just until the eggs are no longer liquid. Enjoy with whole-grain toast and fruit.
Mary Jo Brunner, MS RD CD
Nash Finch Company
Healthy Meal Planning & Shopping for Fruits & Vegetables
Fruit & Vegetable Recipes
Video Center: Selection, Storage, and Preparation of Fruits & Vegetables.