September is Fruits and Veggies; More Matters Month. The facts show that more than 90 percent of Americans do not eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. The latest dietary guidelines call for 5-13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day or 2½ to 6½ cups, depending on one’s caloric intake. If you’re one of the 90 percent who isn’t getting enough fruits and vegetables, try some of these tips to get you closer to your daily goal:
Aim for a Colorful Plate: Instead of trying to count all 9 servings of fruits and vegetables, make it your goal to eat from each of the color groups daily and this will help to increase your daily intake while getting all of the benefits for each of the color groups.
Make Half your Plate Fruits and Veggies: Increasing your consumption of non-starchy vegetables is a great tool for weight improvement and management. Also, we know that portion sizing exactly what one serving is can be hard especially if you are in a hurry. Keep it simple! Just remember this quick rule of thumb that at least half your plate should be fruits or vegetables and you’ll increase your daily intake.
Know what Counts: Fresh produce is not the only way to get your daily recommended servings. Frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice all count towards your daily intake. If you’re looking at saving some money and not wasting food when the fresh stuff spoils, trying frozen fruits and vegetables. They last longer and generally they are picked at their peak of freshness and contain more nutrients!
Give Healthy Swaps a Try! The possibilities are endless with swapping traditional ingredients for your favorite recipe with vegetables to make sure you’re getting all of the daily servings. Try swapping out cauliflower for a traditional white flour pizza crust or zucchini instead of regular pasta noodle. These recipes are fun to make and add a great boost of healthy flavor to your homemade meals.