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Fruits and Vegetables — More Matters!

We’re huge – huuuuuge! – fruit and vegetable eaters here in the Shockingly Delicious household. And by that I don’t simply mean oversized zucchini [1],  radical radishes [2]gargantuan peaches [3] or chard leaves bigger than your 5th grader (above).

Ashley Ferbas and her canning jar of vegetables [4]I mean huge as in more vegetables and fruits on the plate, at every meal. We have an “only fruits and veggies rule” if you need a snack while watching TV. We bring fruit kebabs for classroom parties [5]. We encourage simple new ideas because sometimes the container is what sells the thing inside [6]. And we even made up our own fruit and veggie sticker game [7] to make it fun.

Most of our dinner plates include whatever fruit is in season – cantaloupe or pineapple chunks (see this Real Dinner for Real People Sept 2012 [8]recent “real dinner” bowl [9] with four fruits and veggies ), sliced pears or peaches, a handful of berries, along with the pile of cherry tomatoes, kale salad and whatever other vegetables have jumped into my shopping cart.

That’s why I am teaming up today with the Produce for Better Health Foundation [10] to spread the word that when it comes to fruits and vegetables, more really does matter. More is not only good, it is better, when it comes to fruits and veggies. Start with small changes and simply add one more fruit or veggie to your plate. Once you see how easy that is, graduate to filling half your plate with them at each meal. You’ll find that fattier foods naturally decrease on the plate as the fruits and veggies take over.

Most people also don’t know that for about $2 per day [11], you can eat your recommended daily value of fruits and vegetables. In fact, adding more can mean spending less, as we see in this graphic below. Here are even more tips on how to get more fruits and veggies on a budget [12].

Compare these 2 meals for four people

More Matters [13]

(Fried chicken above is based on the price of a bucket at Kentucky Fried Chicken. Lasagna ingredients are priced from the grocery store.)

Another way to add more fruits and veggies and still stay within your budget [14]  is to include all forms of fruits and vegetables, whether they are fresh, frozen, canned or dried. Did you know that no matter what form they come in, fruits and vegetables have the same nutrient value, so choose the form that fits your wallet best.

Here’s another example below of the savings possible when you substitute a take-out cheeseburger dinner for a chicken breast dinner stuffed with my favorite, spinach.

And now compare these 2 meals for four

More Matters Compare 2 [15]

(Pricing above is based on Five Guys, which is about $5.50/burger. The stuffed chicken breast is priced on  buying 8-ounce chicken breasts and 2 10-ounce boxes of frozen spinach at the grocery store.)  

Not convinced yet?

Honeyed Carrots on ShockinglyDelicious [16]How about if we segue from money matters to flavor? What if I entice you with flavors that will rock your world? Make my Mango Smoothie [17], Honeyed Carrots [18] that my kids begged for three nights in a row, or have an adventure in kale with my Lemony Garbanzo Kale Salad with Tuna [19], which was such a hit my daughter Redbor kale [20]took a huge tub of it to 9th grade to share with her girlfriends at lunch. No kidding!

Or go to the PBH website for their quick, healthy recipes in 30 minutes or less [21]. That whole website is chock full of tips and tools to help you on the path to simply eating more fruits and veggies.

If the idea “more matters” resonates with you, as it does with me, please consider joining me now, in September, which is Fruits and Veggies Month, in taking the America’s More Matters Pledge [22] to do our part to make sure we all have affordable, good tasting, healthy food to eat at home, work and school.

More Matters logo [23]When you visit the web page [24], you can take the simple pledge to…

  1. eat one more fruit or veggie every day.
  2. fill half your plate with fruits and veggies (I took that pledge!)
  3. help your school provide more fruits and veggies.

A pledge like that is simple and attainable. You are in charge of what goes in your mouth; you can do it.

Fruits and veggies not only fight disease, but they fight obesity. That’s something we all can get behind.

Follow this campaign on Facebook [25], and Twitter [26], where you can join tens of thousands of others who are eating more fruits and vegetables simply because more matters…for our health.

This post was sponsored by the Produce for Better Health Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to help spread the word about the health benefits of adding MORE fruits & veggies to your diet. My opinions are my own.