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Even vegetarian and vegan meals can be just as delicious as unhealthy foods. The hardest part is getting your family or your guests to try healthier versions of their favorite foods. Here are some ways to make them more likely to try healthier foods:
  1. Food presentation is one way to make your vegetarian/vegan foods more appetizing.
  2. Use a variety of colors for an easy way to make foods more appealing to your family or when entertaining.
  3. Check out our recipe section for some delicious alternatives.
  4. Veggie and fruit trays are always a big hit (and they are vegan/vegetarian too!)
  5. Try this Vegetarian Chili for a healthy alternative to your traditional chili.
 

You have come to the right place to learn about the importance of fruits and vegetables! Our website offers numerous links, statistics, and information on the importance of fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet. Check out our Top 10 Reasons To Eat Fruits and Vegetables, how they help to Maintain Weight, as well as current News about fruits and vegetables for reasons they are so important.

There are numerous health benefits to consuming fruits and vegetables! Every year there is new evidence that comes out about the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. Therefore, naming all the reasons could take all day! I have listed a few of the most important ones below:

  1. Fruits and vegetables contain fiber which is important to keep you full, keeps digestion normal, and has been linked to decreasing the risk and effects of several diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers.
  2. Fruits and vegetables contain many of the essential vitamin and minerals that your body cannot produce on its own. This is what makes you feel healthy and energized. 
  3. Replacing your higher-calories foods with fruits and vegetables (which tend to be lower in calories) can lead to a lower calorie intake. This in turn will also decrease the risk of weight gain, which is associated with several diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure.
 

Several studies have been done to determine fruit and vegetable consumption levels in the United States. These studies show that as a nation we do not consume an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables!
 
A study reported by the Centers for Disease Control concluded that only 33% of adults meet the recommendation for fruit consumption, 27% get the recommended servings of vegetables, and more than 90% of Americans do not get their combined recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day.1
 
Another study reported in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that one in ten Americans get the recommended amount of servings of fruits and vegetables each day.2  So yes! It’s a known fact that Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables daily. Quick Guide to Getting More Fruits & Veggies
 
  1. CDC Division of Media Relations. Majority of Americans not meeting recommendations of fruit and vegetable consumption [Press Release] 2009, September 29. Last accessed 4/10/10: cdc.gov.
  2. Kimmons JE, et al. Fruits and vegetable intake among adolescents and adults in the United States: Percentage meeting individualized recommendations. Medscape J Med. 2009, 11(1): 26.
 

Organic varieties of all different forms of fruits and vegetables are becoming more prevalent in supermarkets and convenience stores all around the country. Therefore, finding organic bananas and other organic foods has never been easier! Visit your local supermarket, farmers market, or whole foods store to purchase organic fruits and vegetables. To learn more about organic farming visit USDA. Also, check out our Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Bananas.
 
Eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables daily is very, very, very important! There are numerous health benefits to consuming fruits and vegetables and that is why eating your recommendation (or more) is so beneficial to your health. Every year there is new evidence that comes out about the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. Therefore, naming all the reasons could take all day! I have listed a few of the most important ones below:
 
1.      Fruits and vegetables contain fiber which is important to keep you full, keeps digestion normal, and has been linked
to decreasing the risk and effects of several diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers.
2.      Fruits and vegetables contain many of the essential vitamin and minerals that your body cannot produce on its own. This is what makes you feel healthy and energized.
3.      Replacing your higher-calories foods with fruits and vegetables (which tend to be lower in calories) can lead to a lower calorie intake. This in turn will also decrease the risk of weight gain, which is associated with several diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure.
 
Make sure you are eating your recommended amount each day!
 

Cara Cara oranges are a type of navel available during the winter months. They are like the familiar California navels, but the fruit’s interior is dark pink or red. Visit sunkist.com to learn about all the varieties of oranges and citrus fruit Sunkist produces. Also, for information about organic farming, visit the USDA website.  
 
 
When selecting fresh kiwifruit, choose slightly firm kiwifruits with a rough fuzzy skin. Kiwifruits can be eaten whole (including the skin) or you can just consume the middle portion. This is based off of your own preference. However, most people enjoy their kiwifruit peeled and only consume the inside portion and seeds.  The easiest way to eat a kiwifruit is to cut it in half and scoop the inside out with a spoon.  Check out the numerous benefits of eating kiwifruit and other melons this spring and summer season here.
 
During this age children need to be supervised at all times when eating. Any food during this time (as well as little parts of toys and games) can be seen as a choking hazard. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests not giving children hard foods (such as peanuts and whole raw vegetables) until the age of 4. You should not give your children round hard foods such as hot dogs and carrot sticks unless they are chopped properly. If you do chose to give your children carrot sticks, chop them into bite size (1/2 inch) pieces and encourage your children to chew thoroughly. My best advice would be to monitor your children while eating at all times, chop all foods up into very small pieces, and choose  cooked, canned, pureed or mashed fruits and vegetables whenever possible.
 
For more information about choking hazards visit http://www.aap.org/ and join our newsletter for up-to-date nutritional information to keep your kids happy and healthy!
 
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.
Read her full bio123 >>

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