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2+2=4, 5 A Day = Good Nutrition

Proven Picky Eater Strategies & Recipes - Discover Proven Picky Eater Strategies and Simple Recipes that are Guaranteed to Work or You Pay Nothing! Are You Burnt Out, Frustrated and Desperate to Find That Illusive 'Secret' That Will Get Your Kids To Eat Their Supper Without You Having To Threaten or Beg? Discover Step-By-Step How to Quickly & Easily Turn Any Picky Eater Kid Into A Healthy, Veggie-Loving, Casserole-Craving, Food Lover Who Scarfs Down Everything Put On Their Plate! Learn Astonishingly 'Simple' Strategies & Hundreds of Incredibly Easy, Delicious & Healthy Recipes That Picky Kids Love!

(ARA) - Your kids are off to a new year of school. Their teachers will make sure they know their multiplication tables and their ABCs, but it is up to parents to teach their kids about nutrition.

Healthy Fruits and VegetablesUnfortunately, according to the journal "Public Health Nutrition," parents who aren't eating their recommended five portions of fruits and vegetables a day may not be setting a good example for their children. As every parent knows from experience, the old "do as I say, not as I do" approach isn't very effective with kids.

So why not make getting "5 A Day" a family affair? You'll not only be giving your body what it needs to stay healthy and avoid illnesses such as obesity, cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes, you'll be teaching your kids healthy eating habits.

To get started, it helps to know what constitutes a serving size for various fruits and vegetables. Here are some basics. The following quantities are each considered one serving: one piece of fresh fruit; one small glass of juice (3/4 cup); 1/2 cup of cut vegetables; 1 cup leafy vegetables. You can get more detailed information about 5 A Day on the Internet from sites like www.aboutproduce.com.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the average 6 to 11 year old eats only 3.5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.

To make sure you and your kids get more, incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal, as well as into between-meal snacks. For example, add a sliced banana to your kid's morning cereal, or if you're running out the door, grab an apple or a pear instead of a donut.

Lunch is also a great time to work in some additional fruits and vegetables, especially if you pack your kids' lunches. Fruits like grapes are easy to pack and make a tasty addition to a sack lunch for both kids and parents. Or add a handful of raisins to the typical peanut butter sandwich for a nutritional boost. Kids love foods that they can "play" with; try individual serving cups of dip accompanied by carrot and celery sticks for some crunchy fun.

Vegetables and dip make a great after school snack, too. For other healthy snacks, try smoothies made with yogurt and fruit or apples and celery sticks dipped in peanut butter.

The Public Health Nutrition study also found that eating meals together as a family positiveVegetables Basketly affects consumption. Set a good example for your kids by incorporating a variety of vegetables and fruits (yes, fruits) into your dinner menu. Encourage your kids to try new things by being willing to experiment yourself. If you've never tried beets, now's the time. How about bok choy? Or eggplant? At the same time, don't try to get kids to eat something new and different every day. Keep some of their old favorites on the menu while gradually incorporating a variety of different foods into your recipes.

Getting your kids involved in menu planning teaches them to make good choices. While kids have innate likes and dislikes, you can help them learn that high fat, high calories treats should be an occasional indulgence, not an everyday habit. Take your kids grocery shopping so they can see for themselves the amazing variety of fruits and vegetables to choose from and let them pick out something new to try. They might be fascinated by the looks of carombola (star fruit), which just happens to be a great source of vitamin C; or they could be curious about how to eat an artichoke, a good source of fiber, folate and vitamin C.

Proven Picky Eater Strategies & Recipes - Discover Proven Picky Eater Strategies and Simple Recipes that are Guaranteed to Work or You Pay Nothing! Are You Burnt Out, Frustrated and Desperate to Find That Illusive 'Secret' That Will Get Your Kids To Eat Their Supper Without You Having To Threaten or Beg? Discover Step-By-Step How to Quickly & Easily Turn Any Picky Eater Kid Into A Healthy, Veggie-Loving, Casserole-Craving, Food Lover Who Scarfs Down Everything Put On Their Plate! Learn Astonishingly 'Simple' Strategies & Hundreds of Incredibly Easy, Delicious & Healthy Recipes That Picky Kids Love!

To help you discover new and interesting fruits and vegetables, check out www.about produce.com. This Web site provides nutritional information, tips on how to choose unfamiliar produce and recipes to help inspire you.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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Last Modified: 11/28/11.