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Tomato plants can be started any time after February 15th if you live in southern parts of the United States. However, if you begin growing the tomato plants now, you want to select the mid-summer or late varieties including My Maryland, Greater Baltimore, Dwarf Champion, New Stone, Red Rock, Acme, and Livingstone’s Stone. For more information on growing tomato plants visit the Texas Extension website. Once you have successfully grown your tomatoes, learn our Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Tomatoes.
 
Nancy,
 
I believe you are referring to the WIC Toolkit. This toolkit contains information sheets on several fruits and vegetables equipped with a recipe for each.
 
Thank you!
 
When eating rice or any grain product select “whole grain” choices. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans you want to make half of the grains you eat each day whole grains. Therefore, whenever possible select products that have the word “whole” before the first ingredient on the ingredient list. This list is usually located underneath the food label. The reason whole grain products are much healthier for you is because they are less processed and they tend to have a higher fiber content than white (enriched) grains. Fiber has many health benefits to the body, they include:
    1. GI tract function: Fiber ads to the bulk of waste from your GI tract which stimulates intestinal muscles. This prevents diverticulitis (a disorder of the GI tract).
    2. Weight control: Fiber keeps your stomach feeling fuller for longer which aids in weight maintenance.
    3. Blood glucose: Soluble fiber (found in fruits and vegetables in general, soybeans, and rice bran) slows glucose absorption from the small intestine which can contribute to a better blood glucose regulation.
    4. Cholesterol: Soluble fiber inhibits absorption of cholesterol and bile acid from the small intestines, thereby reducing blood cholesterol and possibly reducing risk of cardiovascular diseases and gallstones.
Fruits and vegetables are also good sources of fiber! Check out our Best of: Fiber page to see what fruits and vegetables are considered good and excellent sources of fiber.
 
Cucumbers along with fruits and vegetables should not be restricted by diabetics. There is often a misconception that the naturally occurring sugar in fruits and vegetables is “bad” for diabetic patients. However, fruits and vegetables can actually help manage blood sugar levels better than many other foods such as white (enriched) rice or bread. When you eat a fruit or vegetable, your blood sugar level is minimally affected (for most fruits and vegetables). This is due to their soluble fiber content.  So enjoy your cucumbers and all different kinds of fruits and vegetables! Here is our Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Cucumbers!
 
There are many nutritional benefits in asparagus. Asparagus is fat free, saturated fat free, sodium free, cholesterol free, low calorie, a good source of vitamin A and C, and high in folate. All fruits and vegetables have multiple health promoting benefits.
 
You take the whole pea or bean. Look at fresh green beans in your supermarket produce section to see how much of the stem is normally left when harvesting. Each and every fruit and vegetable has a different way of harvesting. While some fruits and vegetables are similar, there is not one general rule for harvesting all types of fruits or vegetables. Visit our Garden How-To Guide for all of your gardening questions.
 
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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