MyPlate: Fun With Fruit
SNAP-Ed works to help participants make healthy choices within a limited budget and choose physically active lifestyles consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate. In my previous article, “MyPlate: Varying our Vegetables,” the importance of using MyPlate was discussed. MyPlate gives us a colorful visual of how to incorporate the five food groups into each of our meals.
The five food groups featured on MyPlate are vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and dairy. The focus of this article will be fruits and how to add more fruit to your diet. Fruit has a wide variety of health benefits and it provides vitamins and nutrients that are essential to the overall health and maintenance of our bodies1. Another benefit of fruit is that it’s low in fat, sodium, and calories, but contains high amounts of necessary nutrients such as potassium, fiber, Vitamin C, and folate2.
MyPlate recommends that children, ages 5-12, should be eating 1 to 1 ½ cups of fruit each day. Teens and adults, ages 13 and up, should be consuming 2 cups per day1. To meet the recommended daily amount, fruit can be eaten raw as a snack or as part of a meal. For more information on fruits visit the MyPlate website, NC State’s Steps to Health’s website, or the USDA’s nutrition.gov and dietaryguidelines.gov.
Tips for Eating More Fruit Each Day:
- Leave a bowl of fruit on the table, counter, or in your refrigerator.
- Top your cereal with bananas, peaches, or another favorite.
- Drink a glass of 100% juice.
- Mix berries with plain low fat or fat-free yogurt as a snack.
- Add grapes or oranges to salads at dinner.
- Keep dried fruit in the pantry.
- Freeze fruit that will not be eaten on time and use in a refreshing smoothie.
Recipe to Try: Honey Gingered Fruit Salad
Makes 6 servings.
1 cup per serving.
Prep time: 30 minutes
- 1 large mango, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 small banana, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- 1 cup seedless green grapes
- 1 cup nectarines, sliced
- 1 cup kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
Honey Ginger Sauce:
- 1/3 cup 100% orange juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey*
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- In a large bowl, combine fruit
- In a small bowl, mix all sauce ingredients until well blended.
- Pour honey-ginger sauce over fruit and toss together.
- Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Serve chilled.
*Do not give honey to children under the age of one.
Nutrition information per serving: Calories 124, Carbohydrate 32 g, Dietary Fiber 4 g, Protein 2 g, Total Fat 1 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 4 mg
Adapted from: Soulful Recipes: Building Healthy Traditions, Network for a Healthy California, 2009. Recipe courtesy of BOND of Color.