5 or More Servings of Fruits and Vegetables Each Day – February 2012

If one of your new year’s resolutions was to help your family eat healthier, you’ll want to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your family’s daily diet.

According to Beverly Anderson, Executive Director of Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations in Milwaukee, Mequon, Greenfield, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa, “With childhood obesity at an all-time high, it’s important for parents to move away from processed sugar treats and include more fruits and
vegetables in their family’s diet. The USDA suggests that all Americans eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day for overall good health, so now is the time to get into that habit.”

So, why should your family try to eat more fruits and vegetables? Ebenezer Child Care Centers went to the website www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org  to find out!

Color & Texture. Fruits and vegetables add color, texture, and appeal to your plate. Eating fruits and veggies in a variety of colors – red, dark green, yellow, blue, purple, white and orange – not only
provides eye candy for your children…mixing things up also gives them a broader
range of nutrients.

Convenience & Variety. Fruits and vegetables are nutritious in any form, and there certainly are many different varieties to choose from depending on what you are hungry for! Plus, they are easy to take with your family when you are on the go. Just think about it:  bananas and oranges come in their own cases. Just wash, peel, and eat!

Fiber. Fruits and vegetables provide the fiber your body needs to feel full and keep your digestive system running efficiently. There are several different fruits and vegetables that contain more than 20% percent of your recommended daily fiber intake per day in just one serving! They include: apples, blackberries,
lentils, lima beans, pears, pinto beans, raspberries, spinach, small white beans, and winged beans.

Low In Calories & Fat. Compared to processed foods, fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories and fat. And as a result of this, research suggests that eating more fruits and vegetables is associated with better weight maintenance. Because fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat and high in fiber, they will leave you feeling fuller than high calorie and high fat processed foods, so you will consume less and be healthier.

May Reduce Disease Risk. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables may also help reduce the risk of many
diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers. What processed food can make that claim?

Vitamins & Minerals. Fruits and vegetables are also power packed with vitamins and minerals to help you feel healthy and energized. They are wonderful sources of not only fiber but also calcium, folate, iron,
magnesium, potassium, and Vitamins A and C.

Ebenezer Child Care Centers will be hosting a FREE Family Fun Night on “5 or More Servings of Fruits and Vegetables Each Day” on Wednesday, February 22nd, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at their Southside Milwaukee Child Care Center located at 1496 South 29th Street. Everyone talks about fruits and vegetables, but when it comes to eating them, many of us fall short. Come to this Family Fun Night to learn how to incorporate 5 or more servings of fruits or vegetables into your day! Activities will include playing with red playdough and cookie cutters, making watercolor valentine hearts, and creating heart sun catchers. In addition to these activities, you will have the opportunity to enjoy dinner on us! Registration is required. Please call 414-643-5070 to register.