Learner Objectives:

  • The learner will be able to identify benefits to eating healthy foods.
  • The learner will be able to identify nutritional serving recommendations, as stated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and MyPyramid.gov
  • The learner will be able to identify simple ways to add more fruits and vegetables to their daily diet.

Mom always said, "Eat your fruits and veggies!" but why?
A poor diet, combined with physical inactivity are the most important factors contributing to the overweight and obesity epidemic being seen today in America. Even in the absence of being overweight, poor diet and physical inactivity are associated with major causes of morbidity and mortality. According to the USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2010), 72% of men and 64% of women are either overweight or obese. Health problems resulting from an unhealthy diet, besides obesity, include cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, and even certain types of cancer. The State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables, performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2009), revealed only 14% of adults and 9.5% of adolescents eating an adequate number of fruits and vegetables everyday. 

But what benefit do fruits and veggies really provide?
Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may help protect you from chronic diseases including stroke, other cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers. For example, spinach (think Popeye!) is a great source of vitamin A, which keeps the eyes and skin healthy and protects against infections (CDC, n.d.). Rather than drinking pop loaded with caffeine for energy, fruits and vegetables provide a natural source of energy to keep you going. Proteins function as building blocks for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood, as well as for enzymes, hormones, and vitamins. Substituting fruits and vegetables for higher-calorie foods can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

So...how do I eat healthy?
Three simple pieces of advice to follow include 1: aim for balance in what you eat; 2: eat a variety of foods (mix it up!); and 3: practice moderation. Additionally, MyPyramid, developed by the USDA (n.d.), has developed easy to follow nutritional guidelines:
  • Grains
    • Women: 6 oz (per day)
    • Men: 7 oz
    • at least half should be whole grains
    • ex., 1 slice of bread, 5 whole wheat crackers, 1 cup of cereal each = 1 oz
  •  Vegetables
    • Women: 2 cups
    • Men: 3 cups
  • Fruit
    • Women: 1.5 - 2 cups
    • Men: 2 cups
    • ex., 1 small apple, 1 large banana, 1 large orange each = 1 oz
  • Dairy
    • Women & Men: 3 cups
    • ex., milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cheeses, etc.
  • Protein
    • Women: 5 oz
    • Men: 6 oz

That sounds hard. What are some easy ways to include fruits and veggies in my diet?
  • Stir low-fat granola and/or fruit into a bowl of yogurt.
  • Make your morning or afternoon snack a piece of fruit or some veggies.
  • Add strawberries, blueberries, or bananas to waffles, pancakes, cereal, oatmeal or toast.
  • Add broccoli, green beans, corn, or peas to a casserole (or in Minnesota - hot dish!) to pasta.
  • Have soup! many soups are full of vegetables! 
  • Add lettuce, tomato, onion, and/or cucumbers to sandwiches. 
  • Store cleaned, cut-up fruits and vegetables in the fridge at eye level and keep a low-fat or fat free dip handy.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Fruits and vegetable benefits. Retrieved from 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). State indicator report on fruits and vegetables, 2009; 
            National action guide. Retrieved from 
U.S. Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Food groups in MyPyramid. Retrieved from 
U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human   
          Services. (2010). Dietary guidelines for Americans. Retrieved from                  


  1. Alicia, I love your suggestions for adding fruits and veggies into everyday, simple eating. I also love the chart for what is in season in Mn, not only does that provide fruit and veggie options, but it assists Mn economy, it's greener, and less expensive than other produce. I did not know the numbers of people getting an acceptable amount of fruits AND veggies was so low! I would recommend adding a more specific video that reinforces everything your site says. Many people are readers, or listeners. Adding the video can help you reach more people!

  2. Alicia, I really enjoyed your blog. It was very eye catching and the information was great. I also liked the chart on the seasonal fruits and vegetables, great idea. Maybe you could add a list of farmers markets in the area. Great job!

  3. Alicia,

    I like the opening quote-it is an engaging opener to your blog. I enjoyed the titles to your blog posts, they were amusing & will make the reader want to continue reading. The seasonal foods interaction piece was absolutely excellent! Adding a navigational bar at the top could help organize your blog.
    Well done! :)

  4. I was unaware that only 14% of adults and 9.5% of adolescents eat an adequate number of fruits and vegetables everyday. That is way too low!

  5. Your website was really interesting. I like how you make fruits and vegetables look so fun. I really like the sidebar showing what is in season in Minnesota at this time. Something that could be included is an example of how big a 5-6 oz. piece of protein would look like or be. Great job.

  6. Yeah this kinda site absolutely healthy eating habit...
    pro health tips

  7. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could email me?