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Eat 5 A Day for Good Health!

Some tips on adding more fruits and vegetables in your diet:

Some fruits and vegetables are the "original fast food." Many, such as raisins, grapes, cherry tomatoes, and bananas, can be eaten with minimal preparation. Keep plenty of these on hand so you can grab them instead of snacks that aren't good for you.

For those who think that produce takes too much time to prepare, try these tips:

  • Buy ready to eat packaged salads, available at most grocery stores.
  • Keep on hand: canned and frozen fruit, canned and bottled juices, and dried fruits. Just open and use.
  • Stock up on frozen vegetables that are easy to cook in the microwave oven.
  • Prepare fruits and vegetables ahead of time, wash and cut up fresh produce and store it in the refrigerator for handy, immediate use. The easier you make it for yourself, the more likely it will be that you will include more, and healthier foods in your diet.
  • Use fruit as a quick and easy dessert
  • Add 100% fruit and/or juice in the morning.
  • Top your cereal with berries, banana, or peach
  • Top yogurt, pancakes, or waffles with fruit
  • If you are in a hurry, grab a piece of fruit to take with you before you take off
  • In the morning, after school, while reading or watching TV is a great time to include fruits and veggies as a snack
  • Take a piece of fruit with you to work, school or wherever so you have it on hand

If you are afraid that produce won't keep very long, try these tips:

  • Buy both fresh and frozen or otherwise preserved produce. Use the fresh produce first
  • Some fruits will ripen up over time so buy greener fruits as well as ripe. Bananas are one of the few fruits that are green when they are picked and will ripen successfully after picking. Apples do well, too. Fruits such as strawberries and peaches will ripen very little after picking so, what you see is basically what you get when you buy these fruits.
  • The more often you see fruits and vegetables, the more likely you will be to eat them. Keep them in places where you will be most likely to see them such as a fruit bowl or the top shelf of the fridge

If you aren't used to eating many fruits and vegetables, adding more to your diet will take time but you can do it!

Safe Handling of Fruits and Vegetables - Easier Than You Think

  • Wash hands before and after handling food, especially fresh whole fruits and vegetables and raw meat, poultry and fish. Don't forget your fingernails.
  • Rinse raw produce in plain, warm water. Don't use soap or other detergents. Use a small scrub brush to remove dirt if necessary, being careful not to bruise the fruit or vegetable
  • Use smooth and nonabsorbent cutting boards that can be cleaned and sanitized easily. Always wash boards and knives after cutting raw meat, poultry or seafood and before cutting another food to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Store cut or peeled fruits and vegetables at or below 40 F in the refrigerator.
  • When buying from a salad bar, avoid fruits and vegetables that look brownish, slimy or dried out. These are signs that the product has been held at an improper temperature or for too long.

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My family supports all 3 of these organizations because they affect someone close to us.
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