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A New Path to More Fruits and Vegetables
Have you ever seen the book 1001 Foods to Die For (2007 Madison Press Books)? A friend gave me this book, which features a collection of unique foods, rare ingredients, and exquisite recipes. We’ve had a lot of fun looking at the pictures and counting how many of these foods we’ve eaten. I’m only on 276 of the 1,001, so I'd better get busy.
Fruits and vegetables make up most of the items in this book. Some are exotic and others are more common, but all are considered special by the authors. I consider myself a "foodie" and even I have barely heard of many of these!
This got me thinking about what fruits and vegetables we do eat regularly.
Like most Americans, my grocery cart usually has bananas, apples, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, and the occasional bundle of asparagus, avocados, or peppers. Over time, I've found myself in a bit of a shopping and cooking rut. No wonder people have trouble filling half their plates with fruits and vegetables at each meal! As much as I like these foods, eating them over and over again can get boring.
So how can we encourage people to eat more fruits and vegetables?
How about with a new checklist or quiz? The book 1001 Foods to Die For has over 75 entries in the Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables chapter, and I've narrowed the list down to 30. How many of these foods have you tried? How many have your clients tried?
You can also use this list to inspire your clients. Have your students make their own lists of 12 foods they’d like to try this year. That could be just one new food each month!
The “I want to try list” doesn’t have to be from this list, feel free to let them add some of their own foods and leave space for “surprises” or yet-unknown foods.
Who knows, they might just add a new favorite to their you see something you haven’t tried before, buy it and try. Who knows, you might just add a new favorite to your fruits and vegetable repertoire of foods they like.
By Cheryle Jones Syracuse, MS, Professor Emeritus at The Ohio State University
We're here to help you look your very best, right now. Here are some other fun resources to help your clients try new fruits and vegetables...
Fruit and vegetable posters
Fruit and Vegetable Challenge