September is Fruit and Veggies – More Matters Month. This is a national campaign to inform people how easy it is to get 5 – 7 servings of fruits and veggies in our daily diet. Fruits and vegetables contribute much needed vitamins, minerals, and fiber to the diet which helps reduce the incidence of chronic disease.
For children ages 2-18, the recommended fruit and vegetable intake ranges from 1-2 cups of fruit and 1-3 cups of vegetables. Recommended intakes are based on age, sex and activity level. A report from CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly looked at fruit and vegetable intake over four different yearly cycles, 2003-2010 and found that fruit intake, excluding fruit juice, increased by 12%. While vegetable intake remained the same. The report also stated, “About 60% of children consume fewer fruits than recommended, and 93% of children consume few vegetables than recommended.”
Increasing our fruit and vegetable intake is easy with a little planning and a few prompts to remember. Include fruit with breakfast. Choose healthy snacks that include a fruit or vegetable paired with a protein source, such as, hummus with baby carrots or grapes with string cheese. For lunch, include a serving of fruit and a serving of vegetables with your entrée. At dinner, include 2 servings of vegetables along with your entrée. The example nets 2-3 fruits a day with 3-4 vegetables depending on snacks. If all else fails, think MyPlate and fill half of your plate at every meal with fruits and vegetables.
Challenge yourself and your family to include at least one more fruit and one more vegetable every day with a meal through the month of September for Fruit and Vegetable – More Matters Month! The fruits and vegetables can be fresh, frozen, canned, or dried. All forms count.
For more information:
CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly
How many fruits and vegetables do you need?