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Nutrition Newsletter
Clinical Nutrition and Lactation Services Newsletter

June is National Fruits and Vegetable Month

By: Mary Sowa, MS, RD, CSP, CNSC

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its 5 A Day program to the “Fruits & Veggies-More Matters” TM Campaign.  June is a great month to improve our intake of fruits and vegetables. 

Orange, green, blue, purple and red, yes, these are colors of the rainbow, but they are also colors of fruits and vegetables you can find in the store this summer.  Summer is the perfect time to meet the fruit and vegetable “color challenge”.  This nutrition challenge includes having at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day and making your choices colorful.   Adding color to your meals with fruits and vegetables is fun, easy and nutritious. The richer the color the more nutrients you are likely to get.

Fruits and vegetables are not only colorful but they are crunchy, taste good, are easy to prepare, low in fat and full of vitamins, minerals and fiber.  Some of the top vitamins and minerals that fruits and vegetables contribute to our diet are Vitamin A, C, folic acid, beta-carotene, potassium and calcium.  Most of you are familiar with the common functions of these nutrients. Vitamin C is important in wound healing and skin integrity.  Beta-carotene is an anti-oxidant and can help prevent tissue damage, like muscle tears and strains.  Folic acid is important in red blood cell production.  Red blood cells deliver oxygen to your tissues for optimal energy production.  Potassium is needed for muscle contraction and glycogen storage. 

Here is an example of a day’s worth of suggestions to meet the fruit and vegetable “color challenge”.  At breakfast add some fresh or frozen berries (blueberries) to your cereal.  At lunch add two different colored vegetables (carrots and beets) to your salad.  At dinner there should always be a vegetable-choose something different than you normally would to add more variety.  Besides adding fruit or vegetables to each meal, include a piece of fruit with your snacks. Grab an apple, banana, orange, box of raisins or dried fruit when you are running errands or headed to the gym. 

Other suggestions for a summer picnic or BBQ

  • Fruit Kabobs (appetizer) - Strawberries, Pineapple, Grapes, Cantaloupe
  • Vegetable Kabobs (for grilling) - Cherry tomatoes, Yellow Squash, Green Peppers, Onions
Visit the CDC Fruits & Veggies-More Matters ™ webpage for more information and recipes.

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