Every March the Academy of Nutrition celebrates National Nutrition Month. This month focuses on things people need when it comes to nutrition and how to enjoy healthy eating. The average person is unaware or may not care about nutrients they’re consuming, particularly in fruits and vegetables. Eating a variety of different colors on a daily basis can help ensure a healthier lifestyle. Having a variety of colors on our plates not only makes for an attractive meal, but it also provides for a broader range of nutrients. An added benefit is that kids are often drawn to the colors and may be more willing to try new, healthy foods.
Nutrients like fiber, iron, potassium, sodium, Vitamin A&C are found within the color spectrum of fruits and veggies. Another interesting fact about fruits and veggies is that they are low in calories and come in various shapes and sizes. Each of these characteristics add to making meals fun as well as healthy.
Take advantage of the natural beauty and variety found in fruits and vegetables to help your family try new foods. Remember to buy fruits and vegetables that are in season; they will be cheaper and fresher. A fruit that is currently in season this month is pineapple. Pineapples are great sources of fiber and even provide some Vitamin C as well as Potassium. When selecting pineapples, look to make sure it is dull with a solid sound. Snap your finger against the side of the fruit to see if it makes that sound. If it does, you are good to go. If the sound is more hollow, that is an indicator of a poor quality one. Ripe pineapples should feel heavy and plump. Also, pineapples can be stored for up to six weeks in your freezer. A great resource that talks about nutrition is www.fruitsandveggies.org. This website provides helpful tips and simple recipes that you can do with your family. You may also contact your local Better Living for Texans Extension Agent for more information on fruits and veggies. We’d love to hear from you!
JESSICA SMALL is the Better Living for Texans agent with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension in Denton County. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 940-349-2891.