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Fruits and Vegetables

Childhood Nutrition Basics

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Updated May 16, 2014

Mother and daughter eating watermelon
Cultura/Matelly/Riser/Getty Images
"I know I should eat more fruits and vegetables. But how?"

"How can I get my kids to eat more vegetables?"

"Are oranges the only foods with vitamin C?"

Any of these questions sound familiar? Fruits and vegetables are key parts of your daily diet. Everyone needs 5 to 9 daily servings of fruits and vegetables for the nutrients they contain and for general health.

Nutrition and health may be reasons you eat certain fruits and vegetables, but there are many other reasons why you choose the ones you do. Perhaps it is because of taste, or physical characteristics such as crunchiness, juiciness, or bright colors.

You may eat some fruits and vegetables because of fond memories - like watermelon or corn at cookouts, your mom's green bean casserole, or tomatoes your dad brought in from the backyard garden. Or you may simply like them because most are quick to prepare and easy to eat.

Whatever the reasons you select certain fruits and vegetables, the important thing is that you eat them and encourage children to do the same. With such a large selection of fruits and vegetables to choose from-with colors across the rainbow-you can find a variety to eat. Look at page 4 and check off some of your favorites.

Nutrition Tidbit

Fruits and vegetables give you many of the nutrients that you need: vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, water, and healthful phytochemicals. Some are sources of let vitamin A, while others are rich in vitamin C, folate, or potassium. Almost all fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and none have cholesterol. All of these healthful characteristics may protect you from getting chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer.

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