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Some may argue that it’s hard to beat the cost of fast food meals, but eating healthy is affordable!  In fact, a new study released by the USDA found that in 2008, “an adult on a 2,000-calorie diet could satisfy recommendations for vegetable and fruit consumption in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (amounts and variety) at an average price of $2 to $2.50 per day, or approximately 50 cents per edible cup equivalent.”  Try these tips to make fruits and veggies more affordable:

  • All forms—fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice—of fruits and veggies are just as nutritious for you. Survey the store or market and purchase the cheapest form of a certain fruit or vegetable.
  • Try our 30 Ways in 30 Days for complete menus that feed up to 4 for less than $10 (that’s hard to beat!).
  • Plan Ahead! See our tips for shopping for fruits and veggies on a fixed budget!
  • Shop in season! Buying fresh fruits and veggies in season is generally the cheapest time to buy them.

Also, Not only do fruits and veggies provide essential nutrients to promote a healthy body, they play an important role in manage a healthy weight too. Fast foods often lack both of these qualities and the detrimental effects of consuming large quantities of fast food can lead to increased medical costs in the future. Therefore, eating healthy now can save you not only money but your health as well!

 
Getting kids to eat their fruits and vegetables can be a struggle! However, our website has many ways to help parents/guardians help their children learn to enjoy fruits and veggies! Remember that it can take up to 15 times of tasting a food before your child will even consume a whole serving. As for juice, 100% fruit or vegetable juice counts towards your son’s daily recommendation. However, remember to limit juice to one or two (4 oz) servings per day because you want to be sure he gets the fiber and fullness from whole fruits and vegetables. If your child responds well to 100% juice, try making combinations of fruits and vegetable in a juicer (or smoothies) to increase his fruit and vegetable consumption (this will also provide him with more fiber than 100% juice alone)!

 

As for getting your child to eat more fruits and veggies, here are some ideas:

  1. Add fruits and vegetables to the dishes your son already loves. Adding a small amount of a new fruit or vegetable to the plate of something he already enjoys will increase the chances of success.
  2. Take your son with you on your next trip to the grocery store and have him pick out a fruit or vegetable he would like to try.
  3. Prepare vegetables in various ways: try them cooked or raw, plain or with dips, as purees in soups or sauces. Remember spaghetti and pizza sauce all count!
  4. Get your son involved in the growing, preparation or cooking process. This will help him learn about healthy eating and be more excited about fruits and veggies!

The most important thing is to be patient … and set an example! In time, he will learn to enjoy more of the nutritious foods that you prepare for him!

 

Try our kid-friendly recipes that are simple enough for your son to help too! 

 
Vegetables are great for dipping in peanut butter, hummus, low fat dressings and other low fat dips. Visit our recipe database for simple dip recipes that meet our strict nutrition guidelines. Our Cheddar & Parmesan Pear Dip is always a favorite!  
 
Most fruits and vegetables are delicious raw. Some, such as artichokes, may be too tough to consume raw, but can still be eaten raw if you choose. Fruits and veggies are an excellent snack choice! To eliminating boredom with your snacks try our 30-minute or less recipes and view our Guide to Getting More for tips on ways to add more fruits and veggies into your day!
 
A pearl onion, sometimes referred to a boiler, baby onion, or button onion, is a small and round vegetable related to leeks and the bulb onion. This type of onion is small (about 1 inch) with a whitish bulb. Try our Peas & Pearl Onion w/ Tarragon recipe!
 
It is a common misconception that diabetics should not consume fruits. However, this is untrue. Although fruits are composed of sugar, it is easily digested by the body, as oppose to sugar from cakes, candies and other sweets. Fruits also provide beneficial compounds (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc.) including fiber, which actually promotes stable blood sugar levels. Diabetics should be concerned with refined foods and foods with large amounts of added sugar. These foods will cause a steep increase in blood sugar. So, enjoy all the fruits and vegetables that you would like (but remember that even though fruits are nutritious for you, they still count as a carbohydrate).
 
Fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy balanced eating pattern that promotes steady blood sugar levels. Our Diabetes Resource Kit is a great tool to assist with managing your diabetes!
 

When we think of Valentine’s day, we traditionally think of that heart-shaped box full of chocolates.  As tempting as that may sound, it’s a sure fire way to overindulge and end up with "sugar shock."  I mean, seriously, can you really just eat one of those candies??  I find myself going back again (and again …and again …).   Anyway, you get the picture.

So, if you’re like me when it comes to chocolate, I’ve come up with a few gift ideas you can enjoy without paying the price later.

  • Fruit Bouquets – These are terrific gift ideas since they are pretty, delicious and healthy for you!  These "arrangements" can be ordered in a variety of sizes, with a variety of fruits (some even come with chocolate dipped fruit).  A number of different places create and deliver them.  The easiest way to find the location nearest you is to search the Web.
  • Spa/Beauty Gift Certificates – Another great gift idea is a gift certificate to your local beauty salon or spa.  Certificates can be purchased for a variety of services such as massages, pedicures, manicures or facials.  Some spas also offer more elaborate "day of beauty" services where two or more of these choices are combined.
  • Romantic Dinner Out – Not only do you get to spend time with your Valentine, you’ll get a night off from kitchen duty!  Just be sure to order healthy menu options and look for choices that incorporate fruits and veggies.
  • Flowers - What can I say–I’m a sucker for flowers!  It doesn’t matter what kind, it’s just nice to get a fresh, colorful bouquet this time of year when it’s so cold and gray outside.  It reminds me Spring is right around the corner.

Finally, regardless of what you get (or give) for Valentine’s day, just make sure you spend some quality time with the one you love.  It can be as simple as watching a movie together or going for a walk outside.  The important thing is to enjoy the day!

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In general, berries should be stored in the refrigerator, unwashed and in their original container for up to 1 week (7 days). The recommended temperature of a refrigerator should be between 35 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Visit our Fruit & Veggie Database for all of you selection and storage questions.
 
Our Fruits & Veggies—More Matters recipes meet our strict nutrition guidelines that correlate with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) standards. The other recipes that are not classified as Fruits & Veggies—More Matters recipes have not been reviewed to see if they meet our standards.
 
According to our 2010 State of the Plate Report:

 

Overall, children are eating 1.49 cups of fruits/veggies/day

  • Children ages 2-5 are eating 0.8 cups of fruit and 0.5 cups of veggies
  • Children ages 6-12 are eating 0.7 cups of fruit and 0.8 cups of veggies
  • Children ages 13-17 are eating 0.7 cups of fruit and 1.1 cups of veggies

Here are their recommended levels:

For children ages 2-5, fruit consumption increased by 11% and vegetable consumption grew by 3% between 2004 and 2009. Teens, however, declined from 1.84 cups to 1.76/day during that same time period.

 

View the complete 2010 State of the Plate Report for more statistics on fruit and vegetable trends.

 
 
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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