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Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that’s not very common in foods. The richest food sources include the flesh of salmon, tuna and mackerel, vitamin D fortified milk, and some breakfast cereals fortified with vitamin D. Smaller amounts are found in eggs and cheese. To promote adequate consumption, vitamin D has been added to many foods such as orange juice, margarine and dairy products other than milk. In addition, some mushrooms are being exposed to ultraviolet light making them a significant source of vitamin D. It can also be synthesized through the skin. Fortified 100% juices and some forms of mushrooms are the best sources of vitamin D when it comes to fruits and vegetables. Read more about vitamin D and try our Fisherman’s Salmon with Rice and Tomatoes recipe—it’s rich in vitamin D! recipe—it’s rich in vitamin D!

I am glad you have this! It is an excellent resource, but our message has actually changed in 2007 from 5-A-Day to Fruits & Veggies—More Matters when the daily recommendations for fruits and vegetables changed. Therefore, the card you are referring to may be an older reference. Our Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Guide is the newer version of this card. Our catalog has tons of great nutrition education material too!


To say our culture is obsessed with youth would be an understatement.  One look at the T.V. or most marketing ads and it’s pretty obvious.  For the most part, it doesn’t bother me that I’ve passed that "ideal" youthful age of twenty-something, but every now and then I have to remind myself why entering middle age is a pretty good thing and it’s true that you’re only as old as you feel.

Health and Diet
Even though more and more of those little age related body aches have emerged in recent years, I find in many ways I’m healthier than I’ve ever been.  Of course I’ve always known the importance of a good diet and regular exercise, but I feel that the older (and wiser!) I get, the more I make these things a priority.  Maybe it’s because I now realize much more how what I put in my body affects how my body performs.  In other words, eat junk and feel like junk.  Plus, a well balanced diet rich in fruits and veggies helps me keep my energy levels up while keeping those extra pounds off!  It’s hard not to wonder how much healthier I’d be today had I been this diligent with my diet all along.  I suppose it’s a case of live and learn.

Attitude and Stress Levels
This is an area where I find I’ve made the most positive changes since my younger years.  I found my teens and 20′s to be so dramatic–everything was a big deal.  I’ve since learned not to "sweat the small stuff" as they say.  I guess life experience shows you that everything is passive and what may seem huge today will eventually move on and you’ll be focused on something else.

I’m also much more comfortable with myself in general.  I do things because I enjoy them, not because I think it’s the "cool" thing to do.  I’m okay with voicing my own opinion on things and okay if that opinion doesn’t necessarily match everyone else’s.  I think aging brings about a better sense of self, which is really empowering.

As I’ve grown older, I find I have fewer close friends than my younger days, but the quality of those relationships are much better.  The individuals I choose to be part of my life genuinely add something beneficial to it.  Gone are the drama queens and kings, the users and the complainers.  Let’s face it–life is too short (yet another revelation you have as you grow older!).

So, if you find yourself envying that 23-year-old co-worker who is headed out to the latest hot spot with her equally young and vibrant friends–STOP!  She may have glowing skin, no wrinkles and the ability to party all night and still function the next day, but you have the wisdom and experience to know that beauty and youth really is a state of mind.

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It is important for you and your children to eat a balanced eating pattern that focuses on all of the food groups. Too much oatmeal is not bad for them (since it is a good source of whole grains), however, it is important to choose foods from all of the different food groups—especially fruits and veggies! Also, many of the instant oatmeal packets tend to contain a lot of added sugar. Therefore, a better option would be to prepare plain quick oats and then top the oatmeal with fruit and small amount of sugar. Try our Heart Warming Oatmeal w/Fruit & Nuts, it is always a family favorite!
We have tons of materials available to use for presentations! Our Teachers section has materials that are able to be printed out and used in the classroom, especially our P.A.C.K Program. Also check out our catalog for tons of kid-approved educational resources too!
First of all, I am so glad that you enjoy your steamer so much. Steaming is a healthy way to prepare your vegetables! Second of all, when it comes to fruit and vegetables (including broccoli), the more the merrier! Fruits and vegetables have numerous health benefits and it is very important to meet your daily recommendation each day. Broccoli each day simply helps you meet those recommendations. The only downside might be that it could get boring, so it is also important to remember to eat a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables too! This will provide your body with the best combination of beneficial compounds (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc.). So try a variety of vegetables in your steamer! Check out our Top 10 Healthy Ways to Cook Fruits & Vegetables!
There are many different sources that you can reference. The ones I like to reference most are: Our 2011 Events Calander and the 2011 National Health Observance calendar available at: We often focus our social media around all of these types of holidays, so follow us on Twitter and Facebook! Celebrate National Nutrition Month (it’s this month) by taking the Pledge to EAT MORE fruits and veggies!
If you are making smoothie with whole fruit, it would not count as juice. Therefore you would determine your serving size based off the amount of fruit used to make the smoothie (i.e. 1 cup of sliced strawberries is equal to 2 servings of fruit). Remember that a lot of companies use additional ingredients in their smoothies due to cost effectiveness so be inquisitive about all of the ingredients used to make them. Smoothies also are not usually just fruit alone, most of the time they are made with ice, milk, or yogurt too. Try some of our smoothie recipes—they are made with whole fruit and veggies! If determining the serving size confuses you, keep it simple and make half-your-plate fruits and veggies at every eating occasion! You are sure to meet your recommendations by using this easy method!

While it’s important to eat healthfully ALL the time, a woman who is expecting has extra motivation since her diet will also impact the health of her unborn child.  And, it’s not as easy as it sounds to ensure you eat the right foods while pregnant–morning sickness and pregnancy cravings can really wreak havoc on a healthy diet.  So what’s an expecting mom to do??

Since I don’t have any first hand knowledge on this front, I tapped into my friend Azlen who has two beautiful girls and is currently expecting her third child this month!  After having her second daughter, she showed up to my wedding barely a month later looking fabulous and I’ve convinced her to share her secrets with us.

Azlen, like most pregnant women, experienced morning sickness with all three of her pregnancies.   Every person is different, but for Azlen it hits around the ninth week and lasts until week 15.  The effects can range from a loss of appetite to nausea and/or vomiting throughout the day.  In order to minimize these effects, Azlen tries to keep something in her stomach, like crackers.  She also suggests sticking to bland foods and supplementing your diet with nutrition drinks like Boost or Ensure.

When she finally has her appetite back is when the food cravings hit.  Typically pregnant women crave either sweet or salty foods (think pickles!).  It’s really easy to let yourself give in to temptation, but be careful–indulging in too many of those cravings could leave you with a lot of extra weight that will be hard to lose after you have the baby.  Try to incorporate healthy alternatives into your choices so that you’re not only satisfying the craving, but also eating something that’s nutritious for both you and your baby.  For her sweet cravings, Azlen likes to mix a cup of nonfat Greek yogurt (lots of protein and low in sugar) with some fresh or frozen berries, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and a little orange or apple juice.  Blend it all together and you’ll think you’re eating sorbet!  Salty cravings are satisfied by having some air popped popcorn or rice cakes.

Throughout her pregnancy, Alzen is careful to make the most of what she eats.  Sandwiches are made with high fiber bread and when eating pasta she enjoys either whole wheat brands or those with added fiber, calcium and protein.  Adding veggies to her meals also ensures she’s getting many of the vitamins and minerals her growing baby needs.  And, she is always sure to drink lots of water to keep hydrated.

Finally, moderate exercise helps to keep Azlen feeling great.  Cardio activities like walking on a treadmill, riding a stationary bike or using an elliptical machine all help her keep her weight gain within the normal range of 25-35 pounds.

Check out a recent About the Buzz article featured on our web site.  It highlights some of the risks associated with obesity during pregnancy and provides some tips on making your pregnancy a healthy one.

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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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