Americans are still not consuming the daily recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables needed for a healthy diet. In fact, according to a 2013 study by the Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Americans consume only 1.1 servings of fruits per day and 1.6 servings of vegetables per day.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends all Americans strive to eat more fruits and vegetables. Increasing your fruits and vegetables intake may be possible with some planning and effort. Try some of the following suggestions:
- Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.
- Carry fruit for a snack such as an apple or banana.
- Select fruits and vegetables in season for the best taste and value.
- Plan meals around your vegetables instead of your meats.
- Try to keep frozen vegetables for easy meal prep.
- Select fruit crisp or frozen yogurt with fruit for dessert.
Remember, your goal is to consume five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Vegetables need to be the focus at lunch and dinner, and fruit should be consumed throughout the day. Slowly start increasing servings at meals and snack until you have reached your target of five a day.
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Heather Butscher MS, RD, LD