The Nurses and Health Ministry would like to encourage all members to take charge of your own health. The month of September is designated by the National Health Organization as Fruits and Veggies More Matters Month. True Love Health Ministry is proud to participate in this initiative.

During the month of September, we are encouraging members to take a serious look at your intake of fruits and vegetables. Are you eating enough? Fewer than 1 in 7 adults eat the recommended amount of fruits every day. Fewer than 1 in 10 adults eat the recommended amount of vegetables every day. Eating a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits can help you maintain or reach a healthy weight and keep your body strong and active.

Eating fruits and vegetables has many health benefits. People who eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help lower their risk for:

  •   Some types of cancer
  •   Heart disease (including heart attack and stroke)
  •   Type 2 diabetes
  •   High blood pressure
  •   and Obesity
    Here are some ideas to help you and your family fit more fruits and vegetables into your day:
  •   Keep a bowl of fruit handy where the whole family can see it.
  •   Cut up fruits and veggies ahead of time so they’re ready for quick, healthy snacks.
  •   Challenge your family to try a new veggie or fruit every week. Remember, eating more fruits and veggies can be fun – and it’s worth it!

    Make vegetables and fruits more appealing:

  •   Many fruits and vegetables taste great with a dip or dressing. Try a low-fat salad dressing with raw broccoli, red and green peppers, celery sticks, cauliflower, strawberries or melons, or even make a fruit smoothie using bananas, peaches, or other berries.
  •   Add color to salads by adding baby carrots, shredded red cabbage, or spinach leaves. Include in-season vegetables for variety through the year.
  •   Include beans or peas in flavorful mixed dishes, such as chili or minestrone soup.
  •   Decorate plates or serving dishes with vegetable and/or fruit slices.
  •   Keep a bowl of cut-up vegetables in a see-through container in the refrigerator. Carrot and celery sticks are tradi-

    tional, but consider red or green pepper strips, broccoli florets, or cucumber slices.

  •   Try unsweetened applesauce as a lower calorie substitute for some of the oil when baking cakes.
  •   For fresh fruit salads, mix apples, bananas, or pears with acidic fruits like oranges, pineapple, or lemon juice to

    keep them from turning brown.

    Tips for children:

  •   Set a good example for children by eating vegetables and fruit with meals and as snacks.
  •   Top off a bowl of cereal with some berries, or other fruit.
  •   Offer children a choice of fruits with meals.
  •   Let children decide on the dinner vegetables or what goes into salads.
  •   Depending on their age, children can help shop for, clean, peel, or cut up vegetables.
  •   While shopping, allow children to pick a new vegetable or fruit to try later at home.
  •   Pack a juice box (100% juice) in children’s lunches instead of soda or other sugar-

    sweetened beverages.

  •   Offer raisins or other dried fruits instead of candy.
  •   Look for and choose fruit options, such as sliced apples, mixed fruit cup, or 100%

    fruit juice in fast food restaurants.

  •   Children often prefer foods served separately. So, rather than mixed vegetables, try serving two vegetables separately.

    Thank you and praying for your good health.

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