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Color generally does not give an indication of the vitamins and minerals in fruits and veggies.  One exception is that many yellow and orange vegetables contain beta-carotene which is used by the body to make Vitamin A. It also gives most of them their yellow and orange color.  Phytochemicals, other beneficial and protective substances in fruits and vegetables, also tend to give fruits and veggies their characteristic color, although those in the same color group might contain phytochemicals also associated with color groups.  We suggest using color groups only as a guide to obtaining a wide variety of fruits and veggies in your diet to get all the potential benefits.


It’s great that you like a lot of different fruits and veggies already, because the best recommendation would be to consume 4 ½ to 5 cups of a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables every day.  In the first trimester of pregnancy, folate is an especially important nutrient.  Most doctors will prescribe a pre-natal vitamin supplement that will contain folate, which is very important, but also look for folate from such vegetables as asparagus, broccoli, spinach and lima beans.  Click here to learn more about folate sources.  Check out our recipes for some delicious ways to include fruits and veggies in your diet.  Best wishes!


When total fat is listed on the label, it is the total fat for the serving size that is indicated on the label, including sauce. All of the nutrition information on the label is for a specific serving size, which is indicated on the label, and it refers to all contents of the package.


The colored varieties are created by mixing cauliflower with other plants. For example, green cauliflower is a cross between cauliflower and broccoli. Beta carotene makes cauliflower orange. (It makes carrots orange too). Purple cauliflower is a type of broccoli that is purple. The additional colors add phytochemicals to the cauliflower. These are good for health. You can find some good recipes for cauliflower by clicking here.


When all items are consumed at the same meal it is not important which item is eaten first. All the foods will be mixed together in the stomach. There is some emerging evidence that if you eat a salad or soup prior to the main dish that you eat less of the main meal – which would be helpful for weight control.  There are also some nutrients that help the absorption of other nutrients, like vitamin C (in many fruits or veggies) helps the absorption of iron (in meats.)  Overall, it doesn’t matter in which order you eat the foods in order to receive their nutrients.  


Spinach is low in calories and has no fat or cholesterol. It is high in Vitamins A, C, K and Folic Acid (a B vitamin). It is a good source of Vitamins B2, B6 and E. It is also a good source of iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium. It is high in fiber. It is rich in phytochemicals like beta carotene and lutein that are good for health. You can find some good recipes using spinach by clicking here.


The best way to store the green tomato is on the countertop away from direct sunlight, with the stem end up.  For the best taste you should use the tomato within 1 week once ripe. The tomato may keep a little longer depending on how ripe the tomato was when it was picked.  Tomatoes should not be refrigerated until you cut them, as this affects their taste.  Unless you can the tomatoes once they are ripe, you likely can’t keep them all winter.


The best way to store apples is to refrigerate them in a plastic bag away from strong-odored foods.  Again for the best taste, you should use the apples within three weeks although apples may stay fresh for longer periods of time stored in the refrigerator.  Chances are that they won’t last all winter either.  Your best bet might be to prepare them in such a way that you can use them later in a recipe.  For example, can the apples and then use them in an apple crisp dessert later in the winter.


Carrot pulp could be used in a meatloaf, casserole, or sauce.  Good for you to consider an alternate use instead of throwing it away!


On this website there are recipes that can be prepared in less than thirty minutes.  All of the recipes mentioned here have met dietary guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and are delicious.  You can even try preparing some of these dishes over the weekend and then reheating them during the week. Some of these recipes are in the Cool Fuel Kids cookbook which is a cookbook that contains many healthy recipes that children will enjoy.  This book may be something worth investing in because it contains many quick recipes designed with children in mind.


The term for this is called blanching. 


One medium tangelo contains about 12g sugar and 3g fiber. Fiber is not usually included if you count carbs. You can find out about choosing and storing fruit here on our website.

The Expert: Dr. Elizabeth Pivonka, a mother of two and a registered dietitian, shares years of experience in getting people to eat more fruits and veggies.
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