Fruit and vegetable intake in the US is in a dismal state.
According to the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, only 4% of Americans met their daily required consumption of vegetables.
In the Alliance’s recently released 2015 Report Card, kids’ consumption of vegetables gets a “D” grade, and the marketing of vegetables receives an “F”.
Average consumption of vegetables (which excluded french fries) declined by 6% during the past 5 years. Some of the contributing factors are thought to be a decline in families eating meals together and gaps in provision from federal and school-based programs.
What can you do to increase your fruit and vegetable intake?
- Make some of your meals meatless and plan your entrees around vegetables; good options include veggie stir-fries, veggie or bean burgers, and soups
- Cut up fruit as soon as you return from the market and store in individual containers or baggies for an easy on-the-go snack
- Eat more salad: include vegetables of a variety of colors and go easy on the dressing
- Bulk up your pasta sauces and casseroles by adding more vegetables; these add volume and vitamins without a lot of extra calories
- Snack on fresh cut veggies with low fat dip or dressing or grill veggie kabobs at cookouts.
For more information on the National Fruit & Vegetable Alliance’s “National Action Plan Report Card”, click here.