Central Counties Health Center, Children's Health, Healthy Lifestyle, Kids, Springfield Illinois

September is Fruits & Veggies – More Matter Month!

Most Americans don’t eat enough fruits and veggies. Fewer than one in four adults eat the recommended amount of fruits every day and fewer than one in seven eat the recommended amount of vegetables every day. It might seem that fruits and vegetables are too expensive to include in your diet, but there are ways to do so on a budget. 

Why is it important to eat more fruits and veggies? 

  • To stay strong and active – healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables have the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs 
  • To lower your health risks – eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables can help lower your risk of chronic health conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes 
  • To manage your weight – eating healthy and being physically active can help you stay healthy 
  • To set a positive example – if you have children, how you eat can impact their food choices for years to come, so set them up for success! 

It may surprise you but eating fruits and vegetables doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many affordable options. It is also easy to include more fruits and veggies in your diet. Buy ready to eat fruits and vegetables, such as bananas and apples, or add chopped veggies to a pasta sauce. 

Here are seven ways to get more fruits and veggies in your life: 

1 Try a new veggie recipe – try the recipe with a new vegetable (one in season)

2 Keep a bowl of fruit handy where the whole family can see it 

3 Cut up fruits and vegetables to grab and eat on the go 

4 Frozen fruit and veggies are just as good for you as fresh ones so great for making smoothies or adding to sauces

5 Involve the children in preparing meals and educate them about what they are eating  

6 Plant tomatoes, beans, and lettuces in your yard, or in pots on your deck, or balcony and you will have a supply of fresh veggies next summer 

7 Buy seasonal fruit and veg as it is much cheaper – and tastier than out of season produce 

Did you know that Central Counties Health Centers receives deliveries of fresh fruit and vegetables from the Central Illinois Foodbank every Tuesday and Thursday? You can come and grab what you need for FREE at the Cook Street location year-round. This is a great resource for anyone struggling to afford enough food for their families and wanting to also provide nutritional meals. 

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