While it is common knowledge that eating fruits and vegetables is important for good health, are you consuming the recommended daily amounts? Based on nutritional guidelines, eating 5 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables each day can help you live longer. A serving is ½ cup of any fruit or vegetable or a cup of salad greens. In honor of National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, track your intake of fruits and vegetables to get a baseline and move on from there. In the meantime, consider these helpful tips to enjoy fruits and vegetables all year long.
- Buy seasonal: Not only will you enjoy produce from local farms, but the price point will likely reflect the abundance of the crop.
- Experiment: Pick up a fruit or vegetable that is new to you or select a new variety of something you already love.
- Purchase convenient products: Enjoy pre-washed, ready-to-eat produce if this will help you eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Speaking of convenience: Sometimes you just don’t want to cut open a pineapple or put together a fruit or vegetable platter. Let McCaffrey’s do the work.
- Avoid waste: Purchase packaged fruits and vegetables in snack size servings, such as precut or baby carrots, washed snap peas, or cubed watermelon.
- Shop smart: If you just need a small amount of a something, check out McCaffrey’s salad bar. No need to purchase an entire head of cauliflower if you just need a few pieces to add variety to a stir fry.
- Get creative: Look for recipes to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your meal plan. Enjoy a refreshing Watermelon Salsa or add a seasonal Veggie Pasta Salad as a healthy side or light entrée.
- Plan ahead: Have fresh fruit and/or vegetables ready and waiting in the refrigerator. You will always have a healthy snack available.
- Include: Add fruit in dishes such as yogurt, salads, cereal, ice cream and other desserts. Check out these Apple Canapes or try this easy Watermelon Pizza for a snack or fun dessert.
- Incorporate: Toss vegetables into dishes such as soups, stews, pies, wraps and sandwiches. Try this Veggie Pita Sandwich with Traditional Greek Tzatziki or enjoy Salmon Tacos topped off with Red Cabbage Slaw.
- Add color: Eating the colors of the rainbow will add a variety of nutrients to your diet.
- Do not skimp: Not sure what a serving size looks like? Pull out those measuring cups. For an easy visual, consider that the size of a tennis ball is about a ½ cup and the size of a baseball is about 1 cup.
Celebrate National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month in style: Eat five and thrive.