June is National Fruit & Vegetable Month!
June is National Fruit and Vegetable Month, and it’s the perfect time of year to sit back, enjoy the sunshine, and celebrate all the tasty wonders that nature has to offer. From juicy watermelon to crunchy carrots, fruits and veggies are both delicious and nutritious!
Why Are Fruits & Veggies So Special?
Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins like Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, Potassium, fiber, folic acid, and other important nutrients that our bodies need. A diet high in fruits and vegetables may even help prevent many chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. Fruits and veggies are also loaded with fiber and water which means you’ll feel full without eating too many calories.
How Much Should I Eat?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that, at each meal, half our plates be covered in fruits and veggies. The more color and variety the better. But go easy on starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes, as they are lower in fiber and higher in sugar. Read more about the USDA’s guidelines for healthy eating here.
The Role of Fruits & Veggies in Oral Health
Here are a few things to know about how fruits and veggies can affect your oral health:
– Citrus fruits and dark green vegetables like spinach and broccoli are high in Vitamin C and Calcium, which are necessary for healthy teeth and gums.
– Crunchy produce like apples or celery can be a great addition to your child’s school lunch, as they help to scrub teeth of leftover food and massage the gums to stimulate saliva flow, which helps wash away acids.
– Make sure you keep juice at a minimum, as it has no fiber and lots of cavity-causing sugar!
Fit in fruits and veggies wherever possible in your child’s diet. Have some fun and make a plate of vegetables into a smiley face or other fun shape. Instead of cake or ice cream for dessert, give your kiddos a piece of fruit. Tell your children it’s National Fruit and Vegetable Month, and ask them to help you come up with fun ways to include fresh or frozen produce during mealtime. Here’s to warm weather, blue skies, and all the colorful, yummy goodness of fruits and veggies!