During the hot summer months, be sure to enjoy some fresh fruit. Eating fruit provides health benefits. Fruits contain nutrients, such as potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C and folate (folic acid). Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium and calories. Fruits do not have cholesterol. Some of the fresh fruits you may find available at our local farmers’ markets right now include blueberries, cantaloupes, figs, peaches and watermelons.
Here are a few tips from ChooseMyPlate.gov to help your family eat more fruit:
-Keep fruit visible. It could be on the counter or in the refrigerator. Over the weekend, I had several fresh fruits so I cut them up and it has been very easy to grab them from the refrigerator and put them in lunches or have as a snack.
-Think about taste. Fresh fruits in season may be less expensive and at their flavor peak.
-Remember the fiber. Make most of your choices whole or cut-up fruit, rather than juice for the benefits of dietary fiber.
-Be a good role model. Set a good example for children by eating fruit every day with meals or as snacks.
-Include fruit at breakfast. At breakfast, top your cereal with sliced peaches, bananas or strawberries, add blueberries to pancakes; drink 100% orange or grapefruit juice. Add fruit with fat-free or low-fat yogurt.
-Try fruit at lunch. At lunch, pack a nectarine or grapes to eat or choose fruits from a salad bar.
-Experiment with fruit at dinner, too. At dinner, add crushed pineapple to coleslaw or include orange sections, dried cranberries or grapes in a tossed salad.
-Keep fruits safe. Rinse fruits before preparing or eating them. Rub fruits briskly under clean, running water to remove dirt and surface microorganisms. After rinsing, dry with a clean towel.
Here are two recipes from the Extension-Today’s Mom – Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program that your family may want to try:
1 flour tortilla
2 tablespoons peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese
1 tablespoon slivered almonds (optional)
1 medium banana
Spread peanut butter or cream cheese on one side of the tortilla and sprinkle with almonds if desired. Peel banana, and place on top of peanut butter. Roll up tortilla tightly. Eat and enjoy!
Makes one serving.
Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast Shake
1 banana (medium, very ripe, peeled)
6 ounces pineapple juice
½ cup vanilla yogurt, low fat
½ cup strawberries (remove stems and rinse)
Put banana, pineapple juice, yogurt, and strawberries in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into two glasses. Serve immediately.
Makes two servings.