Celebrate National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month!
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Celebrate National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month!

Posted on Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 at 2:25 pm
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Fruit & Vegetable PlatterDid you know that June is National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month? It’s an unfortunate yet true fact that too many Americans aren’t eating enough fruits and veggies each day. With the kids out of school for the summer, you can spend more time not only teaching your children about the importance of proper nutrition, but also ways to add a fruit or vegetable to every meal!

Each day this month, try and not only add more produce to your own meals, but to your family’s meals as well. Each person should eat 5 servings a day. You can spread it out throughout the day for variety. Some simple ways include topping yogurt or cereal with berries, adding a variety of veggies to your lunchtime salad and replacing you unhealthy mid-day snack with an apple or peach. Be sure to choose fruits and vegetables in a wide range of colors to get the most nutrition benefits!

Cook Together

Cooking together is a great way to teach your family valuable skills they will use as they grow. With younger kids, you can reinforce color skills through showing them a fruit or vegetable for every color of the rainbow. Explain that it’s important to include a variety of produce in several different colors throughout the day. For older kids, you can get them involved in chopping or preparing vegetables for dinner. You could also have them research delicious new recipes they are excited to try.

Make Shopping Fun

Make it a game with your kids to find a fruit or vegetable they haven’t tried before. You might run out of options at a conventional grocery store, but this might be possible at a farmer’s market or ethnic food market. Once you’ve found something, you can research the best ways to cook and enjoy your newly found food!

Have an Around the World Experience

Another great idea is to pick a specific country or state one night a week and try and stick with fruit or vegetable based dishes from that location. For example, in Mexico, many fruits and vegetables are a part of their everyday cuisine. Produce such as tomatoes, banana leaves, corn and corn husks, jicama, lime, plaitains, or tomatillos are all a delicious part of several dishes. Have a Mexican food night and teach your family about Mexican cuisine and the nutrition of some Mexican dish mainstays. The following week try something like French or German cuisine!

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.