This month the LSU AgCenter will be focusing on our Eat More Fruit & Veggies Campaign, which can found on several billboards throughout the state. The campaign is ran under the Ag Center's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. More widely-known as SNAP. The campaign promotes healthy eating among low-income residents as well the importance of incorporating fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
The campaign promotes healthy eating among low-income residents as well the importance of incorporating fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
Eating the right amount of fruits and vegetables is important for your good health. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans calls for all Americans to eat more nutrient-rich foods. Fruits and vegetables are packed with important nutrients such as calcium, potassium, iron, fiber, and Vitamin C. Eating fruits and vegetables can also lower your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, some types of cancer, as well as obesity.
Today, more than 90 percent of all Americans including children do not eat their recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. According to the CDC (2014), U.S. children aged 2-18 years are eating more whole fruit, according to the latest Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The amount of whole fruit consumed each day increased by 67 percent from 2003 to 2010, but is still low. Vegetable intake was also low and remained unchanged during the same time period.
So how can you incorporate more fruit
and veggies in your family's diet?
vegetables at meals and snacks.
Red = Watermelon
Orange = Carrots
Dark Green = Spinach Blue/Purple = Blackberries
Choose fresh produce when it is in season for the lowest cost and the best flavor. If you do not have access to fresh produce, try purchasing canned or frozen fruit and vegetables. Frozen vegetables have as many vitamins and minerals as fresh. Also, choose packages that contain vegetables --and nothing else—no added fat, salt, or sugars. Buy canned fruits that are packed in "100% juice" or water. Look for canned vegetables that say "No added salt" on the front of the can. For extra savings buy them when they go on sale.
My Challenge to you is to increase
your fruit and vegetable intake by
introducing a new fruit and/or
vegetable to your family. Here is a
simple recipe to get you started.
Fruit and Juice Shake
What you need:
1 ripe medium –size banana, peeled 1 can (6 ounces) pineapple juice
1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 cup strawberries, rinses and stems removed
What you do:
Break banana into small pieces and put in blender with pineapple juice, yogurt and strawberries. Secure lid on the blender and blend until smooth.
Tip: Using frozen strawberries and/or bananas make this shake extra thick, almost like ice cream.
Nutritional Information: 2 servings. Each serving contains 162 calories, 1 gram fat, 3 milligrams cholesterol, 45 milligrams sodium and 38 gram carbohydrates. (Recipe from Dole)
For more general nutrition tips, please contact Aneisha Andrus, Area Nutrition Agent at firstname.lastname@example.org.