5 or More Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables goal
Aim to have the whole family eat five or more servings of fruit and vegetables each day, as recommended by top doctors and nutritionists. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, fruits and veggies are key to improving health and maximizing energy. Great news: because fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat, you can enjoy lots of them and still maintain an ideal weight.
|Vitamin A||Protects cell tissue
Supports a healthy circulatory system
|Vitamin C||Supports the immune system
Aids in iron absorption
|Vitamin E||Keeps skin and eyes healthy||Blueberries
Make it fun!
A fun way to introduce salad to little ones is to create a "face on a plate" -- using lettuce strips for hair; cucumber rounds for eyes; yellow pepper slices for eyebrows; a chunk of cauliflower for a nose; a tomato wedge for a mouth; and broccoli pieces for ears.
Use whatever you have in your vegetable drawer. As your child gobbles up each "facial feature," you can lament, "Oh my goodness, how is our little man going to talk with no mouth? Or smell with no nose?" and wait for the giggles to start.
Get the family on board. Enlisting children's help in planning menus for meals and snacks helps them "buy in" to healthier eating.
- Try the 3-bite rule. Offer a variety of fruits and veggies served different ways, and encourage 3 bites each time they're offered. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again: it often takes 7 to 10 tries before your child likes a new food.
- Peanut butter (with no hydrogenated oil) or hummus pair well with celery sticks.
- Yogurt makes a yummy dip for fruit.
- Try to buy, wash and chop veggies and fruits ahead of time and keep them handy so they're ready to grab when hunger hits.
- Serve veggies raw or lightly steamed. They're more nutritious that way; plus most people prefer crunchy foods to mushy ones.
- You can't go wrong with fruit/yogurt smoothies. Kids have fun creating their own recipes and whipping them together in the blender.
- Add fruit to cereal, pancakes, or waffles.
- Add veggies and fruits to foods you already make, like pasta, soups, casseroles, pizza and rice.
Be a good role model by eating fruits and veggies yourself!