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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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More Matters

Did you know that it is estimated that 90% of us are not getting enough fruits and vegetables? I know you have heard it all before, but mom was right! We DO need to be eating our fruits and vegetables every day!

Why eat them?

  • Because your mom told you to
  • Low in calories
  • High in fiber
  • High in antioxidants (prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes)
  • Loaded in essential vitamins and minerals
  • Low in fat, saturated fat, and sodium naturally
  • Fruits are naturally sweet and can be eaten in the place of a high sugar dessert
  • Help us control our weight due to low calories and high fiber
  • They taste good!

How much to you need?

Children 2-3 years: 1.5 cups veggies and 1 cup fruit = 2.5 cups total

Children 4-8 years: 2 cups veggies and 1.5 cups fruit = 3.5 cups total

Teen girls, children 9-13, adult women: 2.5 cups veggies and 2 cups fruit = 4.5 cups total

Teen boys and adult men: 3.5 cups veggies and 2 cups fruit = 5.5 cups total

How much is a cup? Click here to find out!

How are you supposed to get all of those cups in each day? Click here for some tips on incorporating more fruits and veggies into each day. It can be as easy as having a piece of fruit with breakfast, enjoying a salad with lunch, some dried fruit as a snack, and some cooked veggies with dinner.

All forms of fruits and veggies count: fresh, canned, frozen, dried, raw, cooked, etc. Make sure you get a variety from the different color groups: green, yellow, orange, red, blue/purple, and white. Different colors have different nutrients, so mix it up as much as possible!

Fruits and veggies usually don’t have a food label, so it can be difficult to know calories, carbs, protein, etc. I found an awesome website that tells you everything you would want to know and more about storage, handling, and nutrition information for the most common produce.

Click here to search through the fruit database

Click here to search through the vegetable database

Ever wonder which fruits and vegetables are in season at certain times of the year? Click here to find out!

Want to know how to get your kids involved? Get them to go grocery shopping with you, help you plan meals, and cook with you. Click here for some more tips on getting them involved.

And of course, I would not leave you without a source for some recipes. Click here to search for tasty recipes that include fruits and veggies.

For more information, visit the Produce for Better Health Foundation

Also check out www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov

Photo courtesy of istockphoto.com

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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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