Connect & follow

Ask the Expert Archive

Ask the Expert

Q: I have high blood pressure and need to keep my potassium up what  is the best fruit veggies to eat?

A: Vegetable juice, tomato/tomato products, potatoes (sweet and white), peanut butter, milk, prunes, mangoes, bananas, and oranges are all high in potassium.  See our Best of: Potassium list for a more comprehensive look at foods high in potassium.


Q: I like that the kids recipe for Technicolor Veggie Pizza has a lot of veggies, but shouldn’t your web site also promote using whole grains?  How about revising recipe to use whole grain bread?  Past a recipes can also use whole wheat.  Kids especially need to get into the habit of eating whole grain from a young age.

A: You’re right! Whole grains are important.  They are a cleaner source of energy for our bodies than refined grains.  Also, they’re loaded with fiber that keeps us satisfied throughout our hectic days.  Although our website focuses primarily on helping you add more fruits and vegetables to your day, we do promote and support the MyPlate recommendations for a balanced diet.   MyPlate is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommends making at least half your grains whole.

Encouraging your family to eat whole grains is very important.  You can substitute whole grains for refined grains in just about any recipe.  From pasta to breads to muffins and pizza, incorporate whole grains into any meal!  Try our recipe featuring whole grains: Tuna Apple Salad Sandwich.


If you were one of the many who suffered last week’s brutal heat wave, you know keeping hydrated was key to surviving those uncomfortable days. The obvious answer is to have water on hand at all times, but I find that filling up on fruits and vegetables at meal times really helps.

Like many folks, the heat does a number where my appetite is concerned. Let’s just say I don’t really have one when the temps climb over 90 degrees, but experts will tell you it’s important to continue to feed your body. I find that fruits and vegetables are much easier for me to handle in warmer temps–think things like cool salads or veggie wraps. I also find that the water content in fruits and vegetables helps my body stay hydrated during those hot days. Think about eating a fruit salad that contains watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberry, blueberry and peaches. Those juicy fruits contain a lot of water, not to mention the many vitamins and minerals that contribute to keeping your energy up during the oppressive heat.

The same goes for a crisp salad. Lettuce contains mainly water–add other veggies like raw mushrooms, carrots, celery, tomatoes, sprouts and frozen peas and you’ve got yourself a nutrient packed, tasty meal. In fact, this week’s Insider’s Viewpoint has some great ideas for making salads the focal point of your meal for summer.

We’re sure to have more heat waves this summer.  The next time the temps are on the rise, along with reaching for the water bottle, be sure to reach for your fruits and veggies too.  They’ll help you keep cool, stay hydrated and beat the heat this summer!

See all posts


Q: Will a honeydew continue to ripen and get sweeter after cutting? The one I have is not sweet at all.

A: Honeydew melons will continue to ripen for several days once picked.  Ripe honeydew melons should feel heavy for their size, and have a sweet smell to them.  The end opposite the stem should be slightly soft.  Store unopened melons at room temperature, and cut melon in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator.  See our fact sheet on Honeydew Melons for further storage, selection, and nutrition information.  Visit our Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Honeydew Melon for tips on preparing this delicious fruit.



Absolutely. Our Strawberry Sundae Salad recipe has been updated to include the following:

1. Combine in electric blender container 1 cup sliced strawberries, 2 Tablespoons orange juice and sugar. Cover and process until pureed.  Reserve for salad assembly.

2. Mix cottage cheese with remaining 2 Tablespoons orange juice, orange peel and granola cereal.

3. Arrange salad greens on 4 individual serving plates, topping each with ½ cup cottage cheese mixture, ¼ cup strawberry puree, and remaining sliced strawberries. Sprinkle with additional granola cereal, if desired.


Rather than focus on one particular fruit or vegetable, think variety.  Incorporating a variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet has many benefits.  You ensure that your body is receiving multiple vitamins and minerals, among other nutrients.  Carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals all play vital roles in the growth and maintenance of your cells, tissues, and organs.  Eating a balanced diet is a very important part of this process.

Nutrition is an important factor in development during adolescence, and in maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout one’s lifetime.  Adequate nutrition, and daily physical activity, are key to building a strong and healthy body.

Visit and read our Top 10 Reasons to Eat MORE Fruits & Vegetables for further information.


There are so many to choose from! Whatever your favorites may be, always remember it’s important to eat a colorful variety of fruits and veggies  every day. This will help you get a full range of nutrients.


Q: hi, i am nutrition student. i’m going to conduct a research on fruit and vegetables intake among children. which website, i can get validated questionnaire.

A: Please check out the following links:

2008 USDA Fruit & Veggie Report

Fruit & Veggie Consumption Among Children


If you’re like many people, chances are you’ve been invited to attend a barbeque, cookout or picnic this 4th of July.  One challenge I always face is what to bring so that it keeps well in the heat and is something that everyone else won’t be bringing (how many times have you shown up to a picnic where there’s 10 different kinds of potato salad?).

A simple, tasty and healthy idea is a different twist on the traditional bean salad.  This version has more of a “Tex-Mex” flair to it and takes me about 15 minutes to throw together.  It can be enjoyed on its own or you can use as a chunky salsa/dip for chips.  Even my teens love it!

Southwest Bean Salad

1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas), rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 avocados, peeled and diced
2 T finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 T red wine vinegar
cracked black pepper to taste
1 T finely minced fresh jalapeno pepper (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and serve immediately or you can refrigerate and serve cold at a later time.  This serves 6-8 side serving amounts.

See all posts

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 >>

Connect & follow

Leave Your Feedback