(Family Features) - We may think we're getting enough fruits and vegetables in our diet, but research shows that only one in five Americans is eating the recommended number of fruits and vegetables a day for better health. Many of us need to double the amount of fruits and vegetables we currently eat.
We know that eating more fruits and vegetables is good for us and our families, but how do we overcome obstacles like picky eaters, limited time, and tight budgets to eat more?
Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., R.D., heads Produce for Better Health Foundation and offers easy tips on how to include fruits and vegetables at every eating occasion.
"Remember that all forms of fruits and vegetables count toward your daily amount - canned, fresh, frozen, dried and 100% juice," says Dr. Pivonka. "Keep your pantry stocked, your freezer full, and refrigerator packed with all forms of fruits and vegetables so they are always handy."
Pivonka says there are many ways to enjoy a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the day: "Add fruit to your morning cereal or vegetables to your omelet, have a salad for lunch, try two different vegetables with dinner and fruit for dessert.
Substitute nutrient-dense oranges and watermelon for high-fat snacks like chips and chocolate bars. And limit your intake of saturated fat by including fruits and vegetables with monounsaturated fat in your diet, like fresh California avocados and California black ripe olives."
For moms with busy lifestyles and kids who are picky eaters, Pivonka has this advice: "If kids help with the cooking, they are more inclined to try new fruits and vegetables. At my house, we make meal planning and preparation a family activity."
Here are two quick and easy recipes that the kids will enjoy preparing with you.
For more information about the ingredients featured in these recipes, visit www.avocado.org, www.calolive.org, www.mealtime.org, www.sunkist.com, and www.watermelon.org. For more recipes featuring fruits and vegetables, visit www.5aday.org.