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Focus on Fruits

My Plate Message:  Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.

Fruits are truly nature’s candy; bountiful and varied. There are many beautiful colors, flavors, and textures and so many things you can do with fruits. They come in many varieties like fresh, frozen, dried, and canned all of which can be nutritious.  Fruits contain many of the nutrients our bodies need to grow and function. In fact, they can contain over 10,000 vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. 

Some people may be overwhelmed by having to eat 1-2 cups of fruit everyday, but it can be easy!  Break your fruit servings up into meals: serving ½ cup at breakfast and at lunch and another ½ cup as a snack and with dinner. Try even replacing your dessert with a deliciously sweet cup of fruit. And don’t forget, your servings of fruits can be in other combination foods, so you may be consuming more than you think.

 How much fruit should you be eating?

 

Age

Recommended Amount

Children

2-3

4-8

1 cup

1-1 ½ cups

Girls

9-13

14-18

1 ½ cups

1 ½ cups

Boys

9-13

14-18

1 ½ cups

2 cups

Women

18-30

31-50

51+

2 cups

1 ½ cups

1 ½ cups

Men

18-30

31-50

51+

2 cups

2 cups

2 cups

What equals 1 cup of fruit?

Fruit

Quantity

Apple

1 small (2.5” diameter)

Banana

1 large (8”-9” long)

Grapes

1 cup sliced or 32 seedless grapes

Grapefruit

1 medium (4” diameter)

Orange

1 large (3 ½ “ diameter)

Peach

1 large ( 2 ¾ “ diameter)

Strawberries

About 8 large berries

Watermelon

1 small wedge (1” thick)

Dried fruit (raisins, apricots, prunes)

½ cup

100% fruit juice

8 oz. or 1 cup

Health Benefits and Nutrients:

According to choosemyplate.gov, eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke, and certain types of cancer. Many fruits are a good source of potassium, an important mineral for blood pressure control. 

Fruits are also a great source of dietary fiber, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. The fiber in fruit also helps us want to eat less since it makes us feel full longer. Replacing higher calorie snacks such as chips or snack cakes with fruit may help achieve or maintain a healthy weight. 

What’s in season in Utah?

Crop

April

May

June

July

August

Sept.

October

November

Apples

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

Apricots

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Cantaloupes

 

 

 

X

X

X

 

 

Grapes

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

Melons

 

 

 

X

X

X

 

 

Peaches

 

 

 

X

X

X

 

 

Pears

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

Raspberries

 

 

 

X

X

X

 

 

Sour Cherries

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Strawberries

 

 

X

X

X

X

 

 

Sweet Cherries

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Try these Food $ense recipes for ideas on how to increase your fruit intake:

Strawberry crepes

Citrus chicken salad

Polynesian skillet 

Canteloupe Salsa

Berry fruit salad

Strawberry Soup

Banana and strawberry “ice cream”

Fresh peach crisp

Apple-cinnamon baked pears

Resource Box:

Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Choosemyplate.gov

Fruits & Vegetable Video

Vegetable Group

Grains Group

Protein Group

Dairy Group