Add Fruits and Veggies to Your Diet
Eating lots of fruits and vegetables can help reduce your cancer risk. That’s one reason the American Cancer Society recommends eating at least 2½ cups of these foods every day. To encourage Americans to move closer to that goal, the Produce for Better Health Foundation and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created a public health initiative called Fruits and Veggies – More Matters®
The sample menu on this page shows how to fit more fruits and vegetables into your diet without much fuss or expense. Fruit and vegetables are easy to add to a meal or snack. A banana here and a salad there can add up throughout the day and get you to your goal quickly.
Breakfast: Usually have cereal? Slice a medium or half a large banana on top. Your morning juice counts, too. Try low-sodium, unsweetened 100% fruit juice or vegetable juice. Remember 4 ounces is ½ cup! Don’t like cereal? Pour half a cup of frozen berries into a cup of plain low-fat yogurt. Slice a banana on top or eat it on the run. With more than 1 cup taken care of at breakfast, you’re on your way.
Mid-morning snack: Snack time is a great time to work in more fruits or vegetables. A single-serving container of applesauce, 5 or 6 baby carrots, or a small orange will add another ½ cup. It’s only the middle of your morning, and you’re more than half way there!
Lunch: When you need a quick lunch, try a pita sandwich or wrap loaded with vegetables, or a cup of hearty vegetable soup. Either of these gives you at least half a cup – some will give you a whole cup. Add a small side salad with low-fat dressing, and your count just jumped to more than 2 cups for the day so far.
Dinner: Even if you only have a few minutes, dinner veggies are easy. Heat canned or frozen veggies in the microwave for a quick side dish. Microwave a sweet potato and add a teaspoon of butter, a splash of apple juice or squeeze of lemon, and a light sprinkling of cinnamon and brown sugar. Any one of these will add another cup-size vegetable serving to your day, and now you’re getting more than the minimum recommendation!
Dessert: Savor a frozen treat made from 100% juice or put ½ cup of melon slices, peaches, or other favorite fruit on a toasted whole-grain waffle and you’ve added even more healthy fruits to your day. A splash of maple syrup can add extra flavor.
Last Revised: 01/17/2012