With the kids going back to school, September is a good month to set some goals and get the family into a healthy eating routine. A simple goal to set for you and the family this month could be to up your fruit and veg intake. We all know the health benefits of a diet rich in fruit and veg but specifically looking at school aged children, a recent Healthy Ireland Survey found that only one in every four eat fruit (24%) and vegetables (23%) daily!
Why should we eat more fruit and vegetables ?
Fruit and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fibre. Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables helps to ensure an adequate intake of many of these essential nutrients!
Fruit and veg are a great source of vitamin C, essential for a healthy immune system, which is so important as the kids go back to school! Did you know, a bell pepper contains more vitamin C, gram for gram, than an orange?! Why not try our Thai Green Chicken Curry from the family range to boost the families vitamin C intake, It's full of nutrient rich veggies such as peppers, mushrooms and broccoli.
What are the current recommendations?
The World Health Organization recommends consuming at least 5-7 portions of fruit and veg a day. Consuming 5-7 portions of fruit and veg daily has been associated with improved overall health, healthy weight and reduced risk of certain diseases like cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers.
What does a portion of fruit/veg look like?
A portion of fruit or veg could look like any of the following:
- 1 medium sized fruit - apple, orange, pear or banana
- 2 small fruits - plums, kiwis or mandarin oranges
- Small fruits - 6 strawberries, 10 grapes or 16 raspberries
- 150ml unsweetened fruit juice
- ½ cup cooked vegetables – fresh or frozen
- 1 bowl of salad – lettuce, tomato, cucumber
How can we incorporate/ improve more fruit and vegetables ?
- Always including vegetables in meals; aim to fill half your plate with veg or salad
- Eating fresh fruit and raw vegetables as snacks; pair with hummus or pesto for a filling and tasty snack!
- Eating fresh fruit and vegetables that are in season; and
- Eating a variety of fruit and vegetables.
We can eat fruit and vegetables in so many different ways, we can eat them fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced. Whichever works best for you!
Simple ways to incorporate fruit and vegetables into your little ones diet
- Wrap pizzas (get creative!)
- Chopping up fruit and vegetables into shapes and including fun dips like hummus
- Pasta sauces
- Yoghurt and fruit
Take the hassle out of back to school dinner cooking and order your weekly meals for the family from our family range: https://gourmetfuel.com/shop/?_bc_fsnf=1&Calories=Family+Range.
Most of our family dinners include some veggies, they are chopped up small and fine so you little ones will barely know they are even there if they are fussy little eaters! A great way to ensure you and your kids are eating well and getting enough veggies in your diet. Our nutritionist, Sophie, recommends adding some extra fresh or frozen veggies as a side and having some fruit with yoghurt for dessert to finish the day off!