Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Daily Dose Of Fruits And Veggies

You’ve heard it from just about every adult you’ve ever encountered in your lifetime—parents, grandparents, family friends, teachers. “You kids need to eat more fruits and veggies!” Their scolding bounces around in the attic of your mind like a rubber-band and sticks with you every time you reach for a Twinkie instead of an apple. And you know what? They were right all along; many of us aren’t getting the amount of fruits and vegetables we need. But as hard as it is to drop a particular habit, it’s just as hard to pick up a new one. It may even take us several months to get used to a specific routine, despite our adaptive nature. Nevertheless, when we’re concerned about our health, there’s alwaysroom for improvement.
According to an Oregon state study on the Oregon State University website from 2011, college students aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables, and some aren’t even eating ONE serving a day. One of these study’s authors, Brad Cardinal, a professor of exercise and sport science at Oregon State University, says that the take-away message is that proper eating and nutrition is not integrated enough into society.
“We are not teaching youth how to be self-sustaining…home economic classes have [gradually] disappeared from schools in K-12 systems. There is a fundamental lack of understanding on how to eat well in a very broad sense,” Cardinal says.
So how do you immerse yourself in healthy eating habits? What are some ways to make eating fruits and vegetables a less grueling task? You may want to follow these tips in order to increase your fruit and veggie intake!
· Add frozen or fresh vegetables to canned soup.
· Steam vegetables along with pasta and serve with tomato sauce.
· Think beyond the iceberg! Vary your salad greens: use spinach, romaine, watercress, chicory, or escarole.
· Serve on a bed of greens. Arrange grilled or roasted fish, chicken, or meat atop tender-crisp green beans or wilted spinach.
· Get leafy. Tuck chopped fresh spinach and other greens into sandwiches, pitas, wraps, lasagna, risotto, pasta dishes, and burritos.
· Snack on raw greens: raw broccoli spears, asparagus spears, zucchini slices, or crisp snow peas.
· Try eggplant slices in lasagna instead of lasagna noodles.
· Slice bananas into all types of cereal.
· Top cakes and frozen desserts with sliced berries or peaches.
· Use chopped fruit in breads or muffins.
· Add chopped apricots, apples, dried cranberries or pears to a green salad.

Also, Eastern will soon be providing a Fruits and Vegetable Campaign. The Health Education Resource Center (HERC) along with County Market and Housing and Dining will initiate a fruits and vegetables campaign at EIU. While raising nutritional awareness on campus, this campaign is also designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption to 5-9 servings per day among students.
Not only will there be posters and paw prints all over the dining centers, convenience markets, Union food court, and County Market, a presentation about the importance of fruits and vegetables is available on request. This is great for floor programs, student organization meetings, and much more! In addition, there will be a focus group that will complete a five week program. All participants need to be able to attend these hour long sessions once a week during the program. The group will complete a fruits and vegetables challenge, have a grocery store tour, and learn about the importance of fruits and vegetables. Space is limited, so don’t hesitate to sign up!
For more information or to sign up in the focus group, please email the Nutrition Education Coordinator at