September is Eat More Fruit and Veggies Month. Eating a well-balanced diet rich in a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables has many health benefits and is crucial for maintaining or achieving a healthy weight. People who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables may have a lower risk of many health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and some types of cancers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only one in 10 adults is eating the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables. Federal guidelines recommend that adults eat at least 1½ to 2 cups per day of fruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables as part of a healthy diet. Here are some quick tips to help you get started:
- Eat more color. The best way to get all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you need is by eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.
- Shop the freezer aisle. Frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at the peak of ripeness, last for several months in the freezer, and can be an economical choice.
- Add vegetables. Add shredded, finely chopped, or pureed vegetables to your favorite recipes.
Children need plenty of fruits and vegetables, too. Consider the following ideas to encourage your kids eat more fruits and veggies as well:
- Serve fruits and vegetables at every meal. Let your children help you prepare meals and choose which fruits and vegetables to serve.
- Offer new fruits and vegetables in combination with old favorites, like adding vegetables to spaghetti sauce or using fruit as a topping for low-fat yogurt.
- Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter for snack time.
- Refrigerate cut-up fruits and vegetables in small bags for easy snacks on the run.
- For some foods, it can take multiple servings before a child develops a taste for it. Keep trying when your kids say they don’t like the fruits and vegetables you are offering.
To learn more about making healthy changes to your diet and increasing your physical activity, view Healthy Lifestyles: Changing the Way You Think About Diet and Exercise, a recorded webinar provided by the DHS Headquarters Employee Assistance Program. More information is also available on ChooseMyPlate.gov.
Always consult with your physician before starting any diet or exercise plan. If you have questions, please contact email@example.com.