5 a day FAQs

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September is National 5 A Day Month. The Produce for Better Health Foundation has launched the Get Healthy America theme this year to encourage consumers to eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Most people do not consume the recommended amount - with only 23% of adults consuming at least 5 a day and more than a third consuming only 1-2 a day.

What’s a serving size?
• 1 medium-size fruit
• 1/2 cup fresh, frozen, or canned fruit or vegetables
• 1 cup of raw leafy greens
• 1/2 cup peas or beans — cooked dry, frozen, or canned
• 1/4 cup dried fruit
• 3/4 cup (6 oz.) of 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice

I eat out a lot - how do I get to 5 A Day?
Most restaurants offer salads, baked potatoes, fruit and fruit juice. Take a look at the menu and try to order at least one fruit and vegetable with every meal. One salad can usually be large enough to count for at least 2 or 3 servings of vegetables. Try to take advantage of a salad bar a few times during the week. Some dishes, like soup or pasta, can count for a serving of vegetables, too!

I am on the go and usually eat from a vending machine - they don’t offer fruits and veggies!
Think medium-sized fruit and dried fruit and think ahead. Apples, oranges and bananas are already in their own wrapper and ready to go. Dried fruit lasts a long time and can make a good snack for those on the run. A little planning can help you have these items on hand so you can choose them instead of the vending machine.

My family just doesn’t get excited about eating fruits and vegetables – what can I do?
• Make changes slowly.
• Try to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into family favorites.
• Give fruits and vegetables a fun twist when you serve them to kids. How about a whole peeled carrot served “Bugs Bunny Style.” Or an apple with a big worm hole (cut out the core).
• Top their favorite cereal with fruit.
• Place a bowl of fresh fruit on the table when everyone is playing a game, watching TV?or doing homework.
• Sneak chopped vegetables into soups, pasta dishes and tossed salads.
• Top sandwiches and burgers with lots of lettuce and tomatoes.
• Having fruit on hand will help them eat more.

Are some fruits and vegetables better than others?
Frozen, fresh and canned fruits and vegetables all have about the same nutrients. When it comes to frozen and canned, try to find varieties that do not have added sugar, salt or fat. Your best bet is to eat a variety of colors: red, blue/purple, green, orange/yellow and white. Each of these groups contains various plant chemicals, called phytochemicals, that may be very beneficial to your health.

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