How to Get Your Family to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
It may be challenging to get your family to eat a healthier diet, but you can start by adding more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which boost health and prevent chronic diseases.
A healthy diet also connects to life insurance because your health status and medical history can affect insurance rates. Staying healthy will help you find the best rates and coverage on life insurance.
We’ll discuss the importance of a healthy diet, how a healthy diet can affect term insurance with higher-risk health conditions, and how to get more fruits and vegetables into your family meals and snacks.
Healthy Nutrients in Fruits and Vegetables
Americans could benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables because they are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are low in or have no saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, or added sugar. Fruits and vegetables are also low in calories.
Fiber is one nutrient that is lacking in Americans’ diets. Fruits and vegetables are one of the best sources of fiber. It has many important health functions like keeping you regular, lowering cholesterol levels, maintaining blood glucose levels, and helping you feel full.
Vitamin C is found in many fruits, including citrus fruits, potatoes, tomatoes, cantaloupe, peppers, and green vegetables. It plays a role in healthy skin and immunity and also helps protect cells.
Potassium is high in many fruits and vegetables and specifically potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, tomatoes, carrots, grapes, and kale. Potassium is necessary for fluid balance, muscle contraction, and lower blood pressure.
Antioxidants and Phytochemicals
Antioxidants and phytochemicals give fruits and vegetables their rainbow of colors. These healthy nutrients can help prevent inflammation in the body and protect cells from damage. They help lower the risk for many chronic health issues like diabetes and heart disease.
Beta-carotene is one example of an antioxidant and phytochemical found in some orange fruits and vegetables. This nutrient is found in cantaloupes, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and carrots and is important for healthy vision and protecting cells.
Nutrient-Rich Leafy Greens
Leafy greens like spinach and kale have vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, iron, and calcium. Eating these a few times a week gives you a ton of vitamins and minerals needed for good health.
How many fruits and vegetables should I eat?
MyPlate recommends that half of your plate at each meal should be from fruits and vegetables. The fruit and vegetable recommendations for children and adults vary depending on calorie levels, which are based on age, gender, and activity level.
In general, children need between 1 to 2 cups of fruits daily and 1 to 3 cups of vegetables daily.
Adults need 1.5 to 2 cups of fruits daily and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables daily. Recent research shows that only about 10% of American adults are consuming the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables.
How does a healthy diet affect life insurance?
Life insurance is important to provide for your family in case something unexpected happens. It can cover burial or end-of-life expenses to help protect your family’s financial future.
Life insurance rates are affected by factors like your age, gender, medical history, current health status, and occupation. Individuals who are young and healthy have the lowest life insurance rates.
Medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes can increase life insurance rates. You can get term life insurance even if you have chronic health issues like heart disease or diabetes but it may be more costly. It’s important to manage your conditions and work with your health care professionals to get the best rates on affordable whole life insurance quotes.
The best ways to manage your overall health and wellness are to stay physically active, eat a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep, and manage stress. Eating a healthy diet is one key to managing your weight to keep it at a healthy level and to lower your risk for chronic health issues.
Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy are the best ways to keep you and your family healthy and nourished. A balanced, varied, and moderate diet can give us the nutrients needed for good health without overdoing it on the nutrients we want to cut back on.
How can I eat more fruits and vegetables?
It may seem challenging to get your family members to eat a few cups of fruits and a few cups of vegetables daily. Planning ahead, making it convenient, and being creative are the best ways to help your family eat their fruits and vegetables.
One great tip is to prepare fruits and vegetables for convenience after grocery shopping. This may mean peeling, slicing, or cutting them so they are ready for a quick snack. You may also want to divide them into small containers or bags to grab on the go or for lunch.
It’s also helpful to make fruits and vegetables visible on the countertop or in the refrigerator. Family members are more likely to grab a snack if it’s easy to see as opposed to when it’s hidden in the pantry or refrigerator.
Snack time is a great opportunity to eat more fruits and vegetables. Pair a fruit or vegetable with protein-rich food or with some heart-healthy fats for a balanced snack. Try apple slices with string cheese, celery with peanut butter, or carrots with hummus for a nutrient-rich snack idea.
Incorporate at least one fruit at breakfast and at least one vegetable at lunch and dinner. Try berries or a banana with oats or yogurt for breakfast. For lunch or dinner, add a side salad, vegetable soup, or cooked vegetables with your meal.
Try a New Option
Try a new or unique fruit or vegetable. If it’s the first time trying something, just buy a small amount and slice it up with a taste test. Sometimes children need to try something new many times before they begin to enjoy eating it.
Kids Can Help
Let the kids pick or help prepare snacks or meals with fruits and vegetables. They are more likely to try new foods or enjoy foods if they were part of the planning or preparation process. They can help wash, cut, slice, or put prepared foods into containers.
Sometimes you have to be creative to get children to eat more fruits and vegetables. One great option is to make a smoothie with berries, a banana, spinach, and milk or yogurt. The spinach will turn the smoothie green, but it will taste like the fruit you added.
Another creative option is to use a food processor to puree vegetables and add them to soups or sauces, like spaghetti sauce. Diced or pureed carrots, celery, or tomatoes can be added to sauces and soups easily without changing the flavor.
Try a Garden
Finally, you may want to consider planting a family garden. Everyone can pitch in to grow their own supply of fruits and vegetables, which can help everyone enjoy the benefits of a garden.
Colorful Fruits and Vegetables for Good Health
You can help your family eat more fruits and vegetables with a little effort and creativity. Eating a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables can boost everyone’s health and well-being.
Melissa Morris writes and researches for the life insurance comparison site, Clearsurance.com. She is a university professor of nutrition, a certified exercise physiologist, and a certified sports nutritionist.