Did you know that in South Carolina, the wonderful state where I live, that 91% of us aren’t eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables!? (CDC, 2011). And it’s not just South Carolina my friends. A 2014 CDC indicator report found that not one state meets the fruit and vegetable intake recommendations (CDC Indicator, 2013).
So, last week I shared “how to eat the recommended amount of vegetables” and today I'm sharing “how to meet your daily fruit recommendation.” So here we go. The fruit serving recommendation is.... drum roll please...
According to the USDA, women ages 31 and over should eat at least 1.5 cups of fruit a day. This is what a cup and a half looks like.
For men ages 14 and older, the fruit recommended is 2 cups a day. This is 2 cups...
Here’s what a cup of fruit looks like….
How do you know if you’re actually eating 1 cup or not in real life?
Don’t get too caught up in this. But generally speaking, one medium size fruit will do the trick or 2 small handfuls. Most importantly, make sure you’re just eating fruit at least twice a day and then, think more about how much you’re actually eating.
How can you make sure to eat the recommended amount of fruit every day?
Always eat fruit at breakfast and as a daily dessert. Starting your day with whole-grains and fruit will ensure you’re off on a good start to meet the recommendations.
Here’s 3 ideas for how to eat fruit at breakfast:
- Oats topped with fresh and dried fruit such fresh strawberries, banana and blueberries and dates.
- Oats cooked with frozen fruit such as cherries and topped with dates (that’s fruit!) and other goodies such as cinnamon and walnuts.
- Berry breakfast crisp
I don’t recommend eating just fruit for breakfast because it’s not very filling so it won’t keep you full very long. Be sure to eat a Foundational Filling Food with your breakfast so you’ll have energy for the next 3-4 hours.
As we discussed last week, we want to be sure our lunches and dinners are primarily vegetables (potatoes, corn, non-starchy veggies and beans) to ensure we actually eat our veggies. Then, you can save your daily dessert for more fruit.
What is a daily dessert you might be wondering?
A daily dessert is one that satisfies your sweet tooth, but is healthy enough to eat everyday. If you’re ever unsure if a food or meal is a daily dessert or not, ask yourself “is this healthy enough to eat for breakfast?” If it is, it’s a daily dessert.
Here’s 3 daily dessert ideas to help you meet your daily fruit recommendation:
- Berry chocolate banana ice-cream
- Microwaved baked apple
- Apple-pineapple crisp
Now it’s time to make use of this knowledge and put it into action. Here’s what I want you to do for today’s...
Take Control Action Challenge
Just as you did last week, I want you to write down everything you ate yesterday. Then, tell me how many servings of fruit you ate during that 24 hours. And, what’s one way you can make sure you eat the recommended fruit serving everyday?
Let me know by clicking ‘comment’ below.
DHEC, 2011. South Carolina Obesity Burden Report, CDC. Accessed online, May 2016 at: https://www.scdhec.gov/Health/docs/Obesity%20Burden%20Report%202011.pdf
CDC Indicator report, 2013. Accessed online May 2016 at: http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/downloads/national-action-guide2013.pdf
USDA fruit and vegetable recommendations. Accessed online, May 2016 at http://www.choosemyplate.gov/fruit