Fruits are vital for health. They have potassium, fiber, vitamin C and folate (folic acid). Most fruits are low in fat, sodium and calories. Fruits do not have cholesterol.
Use these tips to add fruit to your food plan:
• Keep a bowl of fruit on the table or in the refrigerator. It can remind you of a great snack.
• Eat fruits whole, rather than in the form of juice. Whole fruits are higher in fiber and other nutrients that may be lost in juicing.
• Get clever — Add fruits to some of your favorite dishes. Mash up berries instead of using sugar‐loaded jams, make single fruit cups by coring out apples and adding fruit salad, grill up pineapple for a tasty treat. Add apples or berries to salads.
Kids can eat healthy and stir up some fun at the same time:
• “Frost” apple slices or peeled bananas with yogurt or peanut butter and use granola as sprinkles;
• Use whole‐grain tortillas to make your own pizzas. Top with fresh veggies;
• Make fruit “sushi” by spreading a whole‐wheat tortilla with peanut butter and rolling it up with a banana. Slice and let kids try eating with chop sticks.
Don’t count on pre‐packed and ready made foods from the grocery store. Make your own mixes for biscuits, pancakes and other foods. Skip canned soup and keep a “soup container” by adding leftover vegetables and meats with your choice of broth. Make iced tea from scratch and skip marked‐up prices at corner stores. Make large batches of meals and store in the freezer for nights when you’re in a hurry.
Many of the foods Americans eat and drink have empty calories. Solid fats and added sugars add calories to the food but few or no nutrients.
Solid fats are fats that are solid at room temperature, such as butter, beef fat, lard and shortening. They can also be added by food companies when foods are made or when they are prepared at home.
Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added when foods or drinks are made.
Foods that provide most empty calories are:
• Cakes, cookies, pastries and donuts (both solid fat and added sugars)
• Sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks and fruit drinks (added sugar)
• Cheese (solid fat)\Pizza (solid fat)
• Ice cream (both solid fat and added sugars)
• Sausages, hot dogs, bacon and ribs (solid fat)
EASIEST BANANA ICE CREAM
Number of servings: 3
Serving size: ½ cup
3 frozen bananas, sliced
3 tablespoons milk
Place bananas and milk in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth, scraping sides.
Bananas will have an ice‐cream‐like firmness.
Serve with granola or crushed cereal as sprinkles.
Nutrition facts per serving: 90 calories, 0 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans‐fat, 0mg cholesterol, 10 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrate, 3 g dietary fiber, 13 g sugar, 2 g protein.
Theresa Howard is the county extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.