District
Academics
North Syracuse Central School District
5355 West Taft Road
North Syracuse, NY 13212
Food Service Department

Healthy Meal Planning:

All about Fruit and Vegetables

 

Why do we all need more fruits and vegetables?

Because eating more fruits and vegetables may reduce your family’s risk of many diseases, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating more fruits and vegetables than any other food group.

  • Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke.
  • Eating a diet rich in some vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may protect against certain types of cancers.

 

  • Diets rich in foods containing fiber, such as some vegetables and fruits, may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

 

  • Eating vegetables and fruits rich in potassium as part of an overall healthy diet may lower blood pressure, and may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss.

 

  • Eating foods such as vegetables that are lower in calories per cup instead of some other higher-calorie food may be useful in helping to lower calorie intake.


What nutrients do our bodies get from fruits and vegetables?

 

Fruits and vegetables are a great source of key nutrients that our bodies need from food:

Fiber: Keeps us feeling full with few calories and helps rid the body of LDL cholesterol. Fiber also helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis.

Folate: Helps the body form red blood cells. Adequate folate reduces a woman’s risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord defect.

Iron: Needed for healthy blood and normal functioning of all cells.

Magnesium: Magnesium is necessary for healthy bones and is involved with more than 300 enzymes in your body! Inadequate levels may result in muscle cramps and high blood pressure.

Potassium: To maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Vitamin A: Keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps protect against infections.

Vitamin C: Helps heal cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy. It also aids in iron absorption.

 

How many do we need to eat a day?

Children

2-3 years old

4-8 years old

1 cup

1 1/2 cups

Girls

9-13 years old

14-18 years old

2 cups

2 1/2 cups

Boys

9-13 years old

14-18 years old

2 1/2 cups

3 cups

Women

19-30 years old

31-50 years old

51+ years old

2 1/2 cups

2 1/2 cups

2 cups

Men

19-30 years old

31-50 years old

51+ years old

3 cups

3 cups

2 1/2 cups


Does the color of fruits and vegetables matter?

Eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables is very important because each color offers different nutrients. Mixing things up also keeps your kids interested.

Think red, dark green, yellow, blue, purple, white, and orange.

 

DARK GREEN VEGETABLES

RED AND ORANGE VEGETABLES

BEANS AND PEAS

STARCHY VEGETABLES

OTHER VEGETABLES

AMOUNT PER WEEK

Children 

2-3 yrs old

4-8 yrs old

 

1/2 cup

1 cup

 

2 1/2 cups

3 cups

 

1/2 cup

1/2 cup

 

2 cups

3 1/2 cups

 

1 1/2 cups

2 1/2 cups

Girls

9-13 yrs old

14-18 yrs old

 

1 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cups

 

4 cups

5 1/2 cups

 

1 cup

1 1/2 cups

 

4 cups

5 cups

 

3 1/2 cups

4 cups

Boys

9-13 yrs old

14-18 yrs old

 

1 1/2 cups

2 cups

 

5 1/2 cups

6 cups

1 1/2 cups

2 cups

5 cups

6 cups

4 cups

5 cups

Women

19-30 yrs old

31-50 yrs old

51+ yrs old

 

1 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cups

 

5 1/2 cups

5 1/2 cups

4 cups

 

1 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cups

1 cup

 

5 cups

5 cups

4 cups

 

4 cups

4 cups

3 1/2 cups

Men

19-30 yrs old

31-50 yrs old

51+ yrs old

 

2 cups

2 cups

1 1/2 cups

 

6 cups

6 cups

5 1/2 cups

 

2 cups

2 cups

1 1/2 cups

 

6 cups

6 cups

5 cups

 

5 cups

5 cups

4 cups


What counts as a fruit or vegetable? 

Fruits and vegetables come in many forms: fresh frozen, raw, cooked, dried, canned, and 100% juice

Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables offer the best source of nutrients. Avoid products with added ingredients like sugar, cheese or creamy sauces.

Canned fruit should not be held in syrup. Canned vegetables should be rinsed before used.


How can I add more servings of fruits and vegetables into my day?

You reap the benefits of eating fruits vegetables either alone or incorporated into a dish.

Fruit: Smoothies, on top of plain yogurt, ice cream, cereal, oatmeal, or salad. Make your own trail mix with dried fruit

Dishes to add vegetables into: Pizza, casseroles, lasagna or other pasta, stir fry, tacos, add colorful veggies to salads

What produce is in season?

Spring produce

Apricots
Artichokes
Asparagus
Belgian Endive

Broccoli
Butter Lettuce
Chives

Collard Greens
Corn
Fava Beans
Fennel

Green Beans
Honeydew
Limes

Peas
Pineapple
Purple Asparagus
Radicchio
Red Leaf Lettuce

Mango
Mustard Greens
Oranges

Rhubarb
Snow Peas
Spinach
Spring Baby Lettuce
Strawberries
Swiss Chard
Vidalia Onions
Watercress

 

 

 


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