Celebrating National Fruit and Veggies Month

by Together Counts Partner | June 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm | comments

In the spirit of June being National Fruit and Veggies Month, and the wider assortment of fruits and veggies available at grocery stores and farmers markets, we’re challenging you and your family to eat at least two cups of fruit and three cups of veggies every day. Fruits and veggies are not only packed with nutrients and antioxidants, but they’re also filled with fiber and water, which means they help you feel more full, satisfied and hydrated. Are you up for the fruit and veggie challenge?

How many servings is the “recommended intake”? You hear the term “recommended intake” all the time, but what is it? While the specific answer depends on your age, height, weight, how much you exercise, and what your health/weight loss goals are (visit www.choosemyplate.gov and input your info for your personalized goal), the recommendation that fits most individuals is 1.5-2 cups of fruit and 2.5-3 cups of veggies per day.

What counts as a 1 cup? The latest recommendations are given in cups, which makes it much easier to keep track since we’re all familiar with a measuring cup. But, how do you measure whole pieces of fruit, fruit juice, dried fruit, leafy greens, raw veggies and cooked veggies? In general, here’s what counts as a 1 cup serving (for specific fruit, head to the My Plate website).

  • Fruit: 1/2 a large piece of fruit or 1 cup sliced fruit; 32 seedless grapes; 1/2 cup dried fruit; 1 cup 100% fruit juice
  • Veggies: 1 cup raw or cooked non-leafy veggies; 2 cups raw or 1 cup cooked leafy veggies (kale, spinach, arugula, etc.); 1 cup veggie juice or soup

How to fit ‘em in: Changing up some of the ways that you incorporate fruits and veggies into your daily routine can make them feel fresh and fun. Here are four new ideas to try!

  1. Orange-slices: Peel an orange and separate each segment. Put all the segments into a plastic bag and freeze overnight (or make a bunch and keep them in the freezer). Nosh on the frozen orange segments as a tasty snack that is reminiscent of an orange popsicle or sorbet.
  2. Carrot slaw: Grate 2 large carrots (about a cup, grated) and toss with 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp. chopped walnuts, 1 tbsp. golden raisins, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Stuffed tomatoes: Whip up your favorite salmon, tuna, crab or egg salad recipe and stuff it into a hollowed tomato or bell pepper.
  4. Sweet ‘n savory melt: Add sliced apple or pear to your next grilled cheese sandwich for a perfect flavor combo of sweet/savory.

How does your family incorporate fruits and veggies into your daily routine?

Willow and Stephanie wrote this post for Together Counts on behalf of Bumble Bee. It was originally published on the BeeWell For Life blog.

BeeWell for Life
BeeWell for Life TM  is a health and wellness community created by Bumble Bee Foods® to promote healthy lifestyles and raise donations to fight diabetes, heart disease and breast cancer. When participants track the miles they run, walk, or bike, or complete fun wellness challenges, Bumble Bee Foods® donates to The American Diabetes Association®, WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, and/or Y-ME National Breast Cancer OrganizationTM. Bumble Bee Foods® will donate up to a total of $300,000 among its three charity partners during 2012.

BeeWell for Life TM features advice from registered dietitians, Stephanie Clarke & Willow Jarosh, and fitness expert, Jennifer Edwards. In addition, the site includes an exclusive video series about the health transformation of top ranked US men’s tennis player, Mardy Fish, with guest appearances from celebrity chef personality, Scott Leibfried.

Willow & Stephanie
Stephanie Clarke and Willow Jarosh are registered dietitians and the dynamic duo behind C&J Nutrition, the popular nutrition consulting and communications company based in New York City. You’ll find Stephanie and Willow featured as experts on the news, in health and lifestyle magazines and professional journals, and as contributing nutrition experts and writers for SELF magazine. They’re passionate about showing people that eating healthy can be delicious and can work with any lifestyle as they happily cook, eat, dine out, and nibble their ways through each day.