Families should add more fruits, vegetables for healthy living

| August 19, 2011 | 0 Comments

Karen Hawkins
Defense Commissary Agency



FORT LEE, Va. – Summer is a great time to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, whether grilling out, eating on the go or looking for a quick snack.

recently released a plate icon that replaces the nutrition pyramid and promotes filling half a plate with fruits and vegetables.

To help you add more vegetables and fruits to your day, follow these simple tips:

  • Cook fresh or frozen vegetables in the microwave for a quick and easy dish to add to any meal. Steam green beans, carrots or broccoli in a bowl with a small amount of water; sprinkle on a little garlic, onion or herbs, such as rosemary or thyme for a change of flavor.
  • Chop up veggies on the weekend and store in the refrigerator. Cut up a batch of bell peppers, carrots or broccoli to enjoy on a salad, with hummus or in a veggie wrap.
  • Go for the bright colors when choosing vegetables. Brighten your plate with vegetables that are red, orange or dark green. They are full of vitamins and minerals. Try acorn squash, cherry tomatoes, sweet potatoes, chard or kale.
  • Compare prices and check the freezer and canned vegetable aisle. Frozen vegetables are quick and easy to use and are just as nutritious as fresh veggies. Add frozen corn, peas, green beans, spinach or sugar snap peas to some of your favorite dishes, or eat them as a side dish. Canned vegetables are economical and quick to fix. Select those labeled “reduced sodium,” “low sodium” or “no salt added.”
  • Add color to your salad. Brighten up a salad with colorful vegetables, such as orange, green and red bell peppers; shredded radishes; chopped red cabbage or watercress. The salad won’t only look good, it’ll taste good, too. Add some beans or grilled chicken to a salad to make it a light and easy dinner.
  • Include fruit at breakfast. At breakfast, top cereal with bananas, peaches or strawberries. Add blueberries to pancakes and drink 100-percent orange or grapefruit juice. Or, try a fruit mixed with fat-free or low-fat yogurt.
  • Add fruit to lunch. At lunch, pack an apple, an orange, a banana or grapes. Keep individual containers of fruits, like peaches or applesauce, at your desk.
  • Eat fruit at dinner. At dinner, add crushed pineapple to coleslaw, or include orange sections, dried cranberries or grapes in a tossed salad.
  • Snack on fruits during the day. Dried fruits make great snacks because they’re easy to carry and store well.
  • Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter or in the refrigerator. Apples in a bowl and bananas on a banana tree make great snacks for families on the go. Having them available at eye level helps children make good snack choices.

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Category: Community, Health

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