National Nutrition Month: Fruits and Vegetables

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National Nutrition Month: Fruits and Vegetables

This week, we will be focusing on fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables provide us with essential vitamins and minerals to keep us healthy! How many fruits and vegetables are you getting in a day? Do you know how many servings you should get in a day?

Calories (per day) Fruit (per day) Vegetable (per day)
1,000 1 cup 1 cup
1,200 1 cup 1.5 cups
1,400 1.5 cups 1.5 cups
1,600 1.5 cups 2 cups
1,800 1.5 cups 2.5 cups
2,000 2 cups 2.5 cups
2,200 2 cups 3 cups

 

Table derived from: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-3/

Each school provides the following fruit and vegetable servings for lunch each day:

  Fruit Serving Vegetable Serving
Pre-School ½ cup ½ cup
Elementary ½ cup ¾ cup
Middle School ½ cup ¾ cup
High School 1 cup 1 cup

 

Is consuming more fruits and vegetables something you need to work on? Start with small goals. For example, if you are currently eating ½ cup of fruit and vegetables per day, then try eating 2 servings of fruit and vegetables per day.

Let’s achieve our goals! Below are a few simple tricks to help you get started!

  • Start with the grocery store- look for fruits and vegetables that are on sale in the fresh produce section.
    • Not finding what you like? Check the frozen and canned isles.
    • There are pros and cons between fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables, but at the end of the day eating more fruits and vegetables is our goal!
      • Canned items
        • Fruit: look for fruits packed in their natural juices
        • Vegetable: look for low sodium, or no salt vegetables
      • Frozen items
        • Be mindful of how the fruits and vegetables are packed
          • Try and avoid products with added sugar or salt
  • When choosing items, try and pick a variety of colors. Typically, the more colorful your meal is, the more nutritious it is!
  • Smoothies are a delicious way to pack in fruits and vegetables
  • Have a sweet tooth? Instead of reaching for that chocolate bar, try satisfying your craving with some fruit first!
  • Need a snack? Instead of reaching for that bag of potato chips, try peppers with some hummus- you will stick get a flavorful crunch!
Recipe

Breakfast Smoothie- To get your day started off right!

I’m not much of a morning person, so I like to put all of my ingredients in covered cup in the refrigerator overnight. When I wake up in the morning all I have to do is put them in a blender and I’m on my way!

  • 1 scoop Vanilla protein
  • 1/4 cup non-fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup dry oats
  • 1/2 cup of mixed frozen fruit
  • 1 cup of raw spinach
  • 1/2 cup celery

Pour all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. This provides 1/2 cup of fruit and 1.5 cups of vegetables!

Calories: 231 kcal; Total Fat: 4 g; Sodium: 130 mg; Carbohydrates: 36 g; Dietary Fiber: 5 g; Sugars: 5 g; Protein: 20 g

Enjoy!

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