A recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that we are not eating enough of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. The CDC report stated that in 2009, 67.5% of adults ate fruit less than two times daily and 73.7% ate vegetables less than three times per day.
How many veggie servings per day are recommended for my child?
Children 2-3 years old should have 1 cup per day, 4-8 years old should have 1 ½ cups per day.
Girls 9-13 years old should have 2 cups per day, whereas for boys it’s 2 ½ cups per day.
Girls 14-18 years old should have 2 ½ cups per day, whereas for boys it’s 3 cups per day.
What about for us parents?
You serve as the best role model for your children. Let them see you eat healthy every day.
Women 19-30 years old should have 2 cups of fruits per day & 2 ½ cups of vegetables per day.
Women 31-50 years old should have 1½ cups of fruits per day & 2 ½ cups of vegetables per day.
Men 19-50 years old should have 2 cups of fruits per day & 3 cups of vegetables per day.
In addition, eating enough fruits and veggies will help with your and your children’s overall health. It helps with weight control, prevention of chronic diseases and certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and several other illnesses.
What counts as a cup?
An 8 ounce cup of raw fruit, fruit juice or ½ cup of dried fruit counts as a cup of fruit. An 8 ounce cup of raw or cooked veggies, two cups of leafy green veggies, or a cup of pure vegetable juice counts as a cup of veggies.
Two excellent resources to utilize are https://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org and https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2017/09/26/back-basics-all-about-myplate-food-groups. These websites have lots of examples, pictures and interactive tools to help you know how to make sure your family eats a healthy diet.