Five Veggies and Fruits a Day

Face it - getting your kids to veg out is no easy feat. And force-feeding them fruits isn't much simpler. The fact remains, no matter how difficult the task may be, every member of your family should be getting their five a day. The Center for Disease Control recommends that people consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day in any form - whether it's fresh, frozen, canned, dried or even 100 percent juice.{relatedarticles}Fruits and vegetables are chock full of vitamins and minerals that contribute to improved health and overall wellness. Research has found that people who eat more fruits and vegetables are more likely to stave off chronic diseases, including stroke, heart disease and cancer to name a few. The goal should be to make your family's diet as colorful as possible. The different colors offer up a variety of nutrients including vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber and folate. Of course, knowing the importance of fruits and vegetables is only half the battle.

Most children are resistant to the notion of overindulging in fruits and vegetables, so it's up to you to get creative. Why not start the morning off with the next-best thing to a milkshake? We're talking about the almighty smoothie. Mix fresh fruit with low-fat yogurt and serve it up smooth. When you're making a sandwich, add cucumbers, tomato or fresh spinach to your child's favorite luncheon meats.{relatedarticles}If you're serving up peanut butter on bread, add banana, strawberries or even apples for a crunchy concoction. Cut up carrots, broccoli, celery and other veggies with ranch or other dips for a healthy snack. Toss veggies into casseroles or soups for a nutritional boost and an additional way to score that five a day. If you're making muffins, add in carrots or zucchini that they'll never even notice. These are just a few ways to make sure your kids are feeling fruits - and veggies - every day.