September highlights "Fruits & Veggies - More Matter" Month and "National Childhood Obesity Awareness" Month. These health observances are intended to help you focus on eating MORE fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy lifestyle and teaching kids how to do the same!
More than 90% of both adults and children do not eat the amount of fruits and vegetables recommended by the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the MyPlate nutrition guide (World Health Organization, May 2017).
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services' Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 recommends that Americans make half their plate fruits and vegetables for meals and snacks.
Fruits and vegetables have many health benefits. They are rich in vitamins and minterals that help you to be healthy and feel energized! Eating a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables may help lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and high blood pressure.
Carrying extra weight can be a serious health concern. In 2014, more than 2 billion adults across the globe were overweight or obese. These conditions are usually the result of too many calories consumed and not enough calories burned, and they are responsible for sickness and even death. Many people diet, and yet most of them struggle to lose weight and keep the weight off long term.
Children are increasingly affected by weight problems and childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. Overweight children are likely to become obese adults. They are also at higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and high blood pressure.
Feeding yourself and your family healthy meals (start by adding MORE fruits and vegetables!) can help prevent obesity. Regular physical activity can help you feel better, give you energy, and help you keep off the weight you lose!
How can you make a difference for yourself and your family?
10 Tips for a Healthier YOU
- Decrease screen time. Limit screen time (TV, computer, video games) to less than 2 hours for kids.
- Get moving! Get at least 1 hour of physical activity. Families with kids might consider walking together after mealtimes.
- Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables at most meals.
- Drink water. Avoid or limit sodas, juices, and any drinks with added sugar.
- Get more sleep. The NAtional Sleep Foudnation recommends the following:
- Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours
- School-aged children (6-13 years): 9-11 hours
- Teens (14-17 years): 8-10 hours
- Younger adults (18-25 years): 7-9 hours
- Adults (26-64 years): 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+ years): 7-8 hours
- Cook meals at home. Try a new food item or a new recipe.
- Make your plate colorful! Adding a variety of fruits and vegetables will add color to your plate and nutrients to your body.
- Try active transport! Walk or ride a bike to work or to run errands.
- Learn about Food Labels. Reading and understanding food labels will make it easier to make good food choices! [http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/understanding-food-labels]
- Make the most of mealtime. Make mealtimes special by eating at a table, making conversation with family or friends, and removing distractions (e.g., TV). Relax and enjoy the smells and tastes of your food!
Adapted from "September is Fruits & Veggies -- More Matters Month" (www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org)
This document is not a substitute for your care team's medical advice and should not be relied upon for treatment for specific medical conditions.