5 or More Fruits and Vegetables
Resources to be Healthy Together
Aim to 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 ideal weight.
Foods rich in Vitamin A protect cell tissue and support a healthy circulatory system. Some examples include:
Vitamin C helps the immune system and aids in iron absorption. You can find vitamin C in
- Green peppers
Vitamin E aids in keeping skin and eyes healthy. Look for vitamin E in:
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 can take 7 to 10 tastings to please a palate.
- 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 your 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!
Print off your very own 5-2-1-0 Tracker and start monitoring daily activity and nutrition! This tracker helps kids and families eat healthy and be active.