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Pledge to Eat more Fruits & Veggies in National Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Month

Posted Sep 15 2010 7:44am

September is National Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Month. As part of the celebration, the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters website, www.FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters.org , is unveiling America’s More Matters Pledge: Fruits & Veggies . . . Today and Every Day! The online campaign encourages people to pledge to eat more nutritious fruits and vegetables for their better health and gives them the tools they need to follow through on that pledge.

The America’s More Matters Pledge: Fruits & Veggies . . . Today and Every Day! online pledge was developed in support of first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move childhood obesity initiative. The pledge campaign officially kicks off in September, during Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Month, and will be ongoing.

We all know how important fruits and vegetables are to a healthy diet. They contribute vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients the body needs to function optimally. Eating fruits and vegetables can help with weight control and help reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. Yet most Americans still don’t eat enough of them .

The America’s More Matters Pledge encourages everyone to experience the variety of colors, flavors, and forms of fruits and vegetables by choosing between three different promises that will increase the availability of fruits and veggies in schools, or on their own plates. If you aren’t currently eating many fruits and vegetables, pledge to increase the amount you eat each day. If you’re already eating some fruits and veggies, promise to make them half of your meals and snacks. Or pledge to help increase the availability of fruits and vegetables in schools. Every pledge taken is one step closer to being healthy for LIFE!

It’s easy to pledge online , and while you’re at the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters website, you’ll find the tools you need to follow through with your pledge. Tips and advice on the website make it easier to add more fruits and vegetables to meals and snacks including; a recipe database with over 1,000 recipes, many of which can be made in 30 minutes or less, and a video center loaded with informational and entertaining short clips that offer fruit and veggie selection and storage advice, varietal comparisons, and even more preparation and usage techniques. The nutrition database is filled with selection, storage, and nutritional information about fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts, as well as fun facts and preparation ideas.

Need more help? The website also features a Fruit & Veggie Happenings page where visitors can type in their zip code to see information about fruit and veggie related activities such as cooking demonstrations, product sampling events, and contests sorted by local community. You will also find information on how schools can add fruit and vegetable vending machines and salad bars to lunchrooms, a list of schools involved in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and those schools that have met the HealthierUS School Challenge, and other fruit and veggie related information.

Site visitors can also easily upload information on fruit and veggie related activities, promotions, contests and events of their own. Anyone involved with a fruit and vegetable or nutrition related event is encouraged to add it to the database in order to let others know it’s happening. No event is too small or too large to be included! Visit the Fruit & Veggie Happenings page today to see how easy it is to find fruit and veggie events in your area and populate this new page with fruit and veggie news, events, and activities.

Adding more fruits and vegetables to meals and snacks is easy when you realize that all forms count: fresh, frozen, canned, dried, or 100 percent juice. All forms of fruits and vegetables are an affordable part of a healthful lifestyle. Fresh cabbage, potatoes, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, apples, pears, and citrus fruits are all budget friendly. Canned, frozen and dried fruits and vegetables are easy on the wallet too. They are just as nutritious as fresh because they are processed quickly after harvest, capturing all of nature’s goodness. Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables and 100 percent juice can be bought in bulk and used as needed so stock up when your family’s favorites are on sale. Increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat everyday, or filling half your plate with fruits and veggies at both meals and snacks can make a big difference in your health and energy level.

Move protein away from the main focus of the meal. Meat tends to be the most expensive part of a meal and it can be high in calories and fat. Using less meat, or even going meatless for one day each week, can help lower both fat intake and costs. Replace about half of the meat on your plate with extra fruits and vegetables, and use beans as a protein. Beans are a good source of protein and fiber and are low in fat.

Try one new fruit or vegetable each week. You can look online at www.FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters.org to find a delicious recipe for preparing it. You might just find a new family favorite!

Follow Fruits & Veggies—More Matters on Facebook or Twitter to get the latest news on America’s More Matters Pledge: Fruits & Veggies . . . Today and Every Day!

This is a guest post provided by the Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH). Visit www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org for user-friendly advice on how to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet; including, recipes, nutrition information, tips for getting kids to eat fruits and vegetables, and even videos!

Note: PBH had no conflicts of interest to disclose.


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