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Vegetables and Fruits: How to help your family meet the daily recommendation

According to the myplate guidelines, half of one’s plate should be filled with colorful vegetables and fruits. How can one do this? Is it possible? If you are prepared and conscious of this guideline while getting food on the table, this will not be as daunting of a task as it may seem. Here are tips on how to help your family meet the daily recommendations.

1. Build your meals around fruits and vegetables- this is a great way to make sure you include them in every meal! Pick a family favorite vegetable and create a meal around it by adding other healthy ingredients from different food groups.
2. Make a weekly menu and shopping list-this will help one remember all the items they need and prevent impulse shopping.
3. Maintain a well-stocked pantry with canned items-this will ensure you are always prepared, even if you forgot a fresh ingredient.
4. Be open to trying new fruits and vegetables-have fun with it-have the family try a new fruit or vegetable together as a family every week.
5. Choose recipes ahead of time-look up healthy recipes with vegetables and fruits in cookbooks, online, magazines, etc. Also ask your family for their input too. It is helpful to have a stockpile of healthy go to recipes.
6. Be a role model-the more you eat fruits and vegetables the more likely the rest of your family will follow your lead.
7. Grow a family garden-this will be a fun way to encourage the family to eat fruits and vegetables.
8. Make it fun- shop and cook meals as a family, or have a cook off where half the family cooks dinner one night the other half the next night.
9. Spice it up-use a variety of healthy cooking methods and flavors; sauté, grill, steam, stir-fry, bake, and add spice or an ethnic flavor. This will keep everyone eager to eat vegetables and fruits each day.
10. Snacks-do not forget that fruits and vegetables are terrific snacks and can be another way to add these foods into your diet during the day. Keep fruits and vegetables easily accessible to everyone in the home.

What is in Season? Take a look at the Fruits and Vegetables in Season this spring! Eating vegetables and fruits that are in-season are less expensive and taste fresher. However, you can enjoy the taste of any fruit or vegetable year-round by using fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice.


  • Apricots
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Belgian Endive
  • Broccoli
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Chives
  • Collard Greens
  • Corn
  • Fava Beans
  • Fennel
  • Green Beans
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Jackfruit
  • Limes
  • Lychee
  • Mango
  • Morel Mushrooms
  • Oranges
  • Pea Pods
  • Peas
  • Pineapple
  • Radicchio
  • Red Leaf
  • Lettuce
  • Rhubarb
  • Snow Peas
  • Spinach
  • Spring Baby Lettuce
  • Strawberries
  • Swiss Chard
  • Vidalia Onions
  • Watercress