The fruit and vegetable food groups contain some of the most nutrition-rich foods you can eat. Nutrition-rich foods are foods that provide the greatest number of essential vitamins and minerals for the least number of calories. Fresh fruits and vegetables are specifically rich in nutrients that many Americans don’t get enough of, not to mention that fresh fruits and veggies are chock-full of water, which helps you feel more full and keeps you hydrated.
That’s why MyPlate recommends filling at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables, every time you prepare a meal or eat out at a restaurant. (This should add to up at least 2½ cups each day.) Keep in mind that fruits and vegetables can be prepared using a variety of methods -from roasting, to steaming, to sautéing- which will keep your taste buds from getting bored!
Many kids enjoy the natural sweetness of fresh fruits, but parents find it more challenging to get them to eat their recommended servings of vegetables. If your child is a picky eater, here are several strategies you can try to make sure he’s still getting the necessary amounts he needs for good health:
- Mix veggies with other foods that your child enjoys such as cheese or scrambled eggs (Try our Spinach and Corn Casserole or our Cheesy Vegetable Scramble recipes!)
- Top a favorite dinner item with veggies- such as pizza with sliced tomatoes, mushrooms, and peppers
- Double the amount of vegetables that a recipe calls for – a tasty way to up your daily intake!
- Add fruit to breakfast cereals and oatmeal, like banana and or blueberries
- Swap salty or sugary snacks for fresh fruits and veggies such as our Cream Cheese and Cucumber Sandwich recipe
How will your family fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables this holiday season? Share your favorite tips for filling up on healthy dishes in the comments sections below.