EFNEP - Fact Sheets - New Years Resolution

Sandra May, Roy, Heli J.  |  3/18/2005 10:43:47 PM

Eat more fruits and vegetables!

Start the new year off right! Make resolutions that stick! Resolutions kept throughout the year are specific, realistic and enjoyable. What resolution about food could you make that would improve your health? What about eating more fruits and vegetables?

MyPlate recommends eating 2.5 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit a day on a 2000-calorie diet. One serving of vegetables is 1/2 cup chopped raw or cooked vegetables, 1 cup raw, leafy vegetables and 3/4 cup vegetable juice. One serving of fruit is 1 piece of fruit or melon wedge, 3/4 cup fruit juice, 1/2 cup chopped, cooked or canned fruit and 1/4 cup dried fruit.

Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables daily. Unhealthy fried foods are selected more than steamed or sauteed dark green and yellow vegetables.

During the winter, we need to keep our immune system especially strong to help fight off colds and flu as well as protect against cancer. Researchers with the Human Nutrition Research Center suggest that daily servings of dark green and deep yellow vegetables and tomatoes boost immune response. For our resolution to eat more fruits and vegetables, we can start with adding more DARK green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes and tomato juice to our diets.

Try this vegetable soup recipe as a way of getting these important vegetables into your diet. You may wish to adjust this recipe according to your taste. Just be careful about adding fat or more salt. To round out the meal, add a glass of nonfat milk, cornbread and an apple. Enjoy! 

HEALTHY VEGETABLE SOUP

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups peeled, diced sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans vegetable broth or save the vegetable juice from cooked vegetables
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (15-ounce can) Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag fresh spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 ham bone or smoked turkey necks, if you like

In a large pot coated with nonstick cooking spray, saute the onion, carrots and celery until tender. Add the vegetable broth, water, sweet potatoes, salt and pepper, tomatoes with juice, beans, spinach and ham bone or smoked turkey necks. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until all of the vegetables are tender. Stir in the spinach and cook only until wilted. Serves 6. Each serving provides 260 calories, 1 gram of fat, 10 grams of dietary fiber and 1,070 mg sodium. One serving provides 275% daily value for vitamin A, 94% daily value for vitamin C and 22% daily value for iron.

Remember, small specific changes add up to BIG results over the year!
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