Remember when Mom and Dad always said, “Eat your carrots, they’re good for your eyes?” Well there is truth to that statement. The vitamin A in carrots sends a signal to the brain that allows us to see in low light.
Fruits and vegetables also lowers blood pressure, may help prevent certain cancers, and the fiber keeps our gastrointestinal tract in tiptop shape.
These foods are so important that when the food pyramid was changed to the food plate, half the plate is taken up with fruits and vegetables. They also help with weight management.
At one time it was hard to get enough fruit or vegetables when they were out of season, but today it’s as simple as a trip to the store. The preconceived idea that packaged or frozen produce is not as healthy as fresh has long gone out the window.
The old way of packaging has been replaced by modern methods that allow fruits and vegetables to be picked and packaged at their peak of ripeness.
The Food and Drug Administration states that today’s packaged produce has the same health benefits as fresh.
The average American eats only 3 servings of fruit a day, but depending on your age and the amount of calories you eat the suggested amount you should be getting ranges from 5 – 13 servings. As a parent you’re going to want to get your child to eat at least the minimum and ideally as many servings as you can.
Involve your kids by keeping up on the latest nutritional research while they learn fun facts about healthy food. Keep fruits out in the open where they are more likely to grab them instead of a less healthy option.
Let them help make new and exciting recipes with fruits and vegetables as the stars. They can help with adding fruits and veggies to the grocery list and searching for coupons.
No doubt there will be a certain fruit or veggie your kid is not going to like. Don’t force it, just provide a different kind. It is important they are getting enough of the nutrient packed food, not which one it is.