This is a sponsored guest post.
As children, we are all taught in school that eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day is part of a healthy diet. This fact remains true even when you get older—and maybe especially as you get older. After all, a nutritious diet is essential to maintaining overall good health and ensuring that you get all the important nutrients that your body needs to fulfill its physiological and biochemical functions.
It’s this undeniable importance of fruits and vegetables that has perhaps inspired the institution of the month of June as National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month—and June 17 as the National Eat Your Vegetables Day—in the United States. Finding themselves at the center of these celebrations are policymakers, educators, and many ordinary individuals, who feel a tremendous amount of responsibility when it comes to promoting the consumption of fruit and vegetables. As it is, the low consumption of these essential food items is already major global public health issue.
According to the World Health Organization, 1.7 million deaths worldwide every year can be attributed to poor consumption of fruits and vegetables. Globally, inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables is estimated to be the direct cause of 14 % of gastrointestinal cancer deaths, 11 % of ischemic hearth disease deaths, and 9 % of stroke deaths. Furthermore, insufficient intake of fruits and vegetables is included in the 10 leading risk factors for mortality worldwide.
These shocking statistics should certainly behoove each one us to work towards promoting better consumption of fruits and vegetables, especially among children. After all, good eating habits are best taught when a person is young and impressionable, as it increases the chance for someone to carry that habit well into adulthood.
So, without further ado, we present you with this short list of awesome things to do to make the National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month a truly meaningful and exciting event in your home and local community.
Wear What Your Preach
For organizations who are engaging in the promotion of better consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, there’s probably no better way to bring people into the fold than by encouraging existing supporters to proudly endorse the cause. These people can talk about the movement and even display the symbols and messages of the cause on their person.
From t-shirts and baseball caps to wristbands and lapel pins, there’s a whole host of merchandise that you can tap to carry the message that fruits and veggies are the bomb. You can give water bottles that say “hydrate after you’ve had your fill of greens,” or you can even order promotional lanyards that can both communicate your message and serve a utilitarian purpose in schools, colleges, and offices. The sky is practically the limit.
Serve More Fruits and Veggies at Home
When you’re trying to encourage your family to consume more fruits and vegetables, you have to creative and imaginative. Don’t just serve a bowlful of lettuce with some dressing; add pizzazz by adding cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, olives, cucumbers, onions, and other fresh ingredients. Whip up a delicious wok of Asian stir-fry vegetables, and wrap up those beans, greens, and guacamole in tortilla wraps for a Tex-Mex weekend. Finally, don’t just eat a plain tub of yogurt; instead, dress it up with berries, banana and apple slices, and some chopped up walnuts. If all else fails, you can be a little bit sneaky by adding pureed vegetables into everything from pasta sauces and smoothies to dips and baked goodies.
Be a Weekday Vegetarian
Not only is being a weekday vegetarian a great way to cut down on your meat consumption and to boost up your intake of fruits and vegetables, it’s also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Note that factory farming is one of the largest contributors to the global production of greenhouse gases that cause climate change.
Go Local, Be Social
Buying your produce from the local farmers’ market or growing your very own fruits and veggies in your local community garden is a great way not only to save money but also to meet a lot of new friends and acquaintances. Buying local is also so much friendlier for the planet, since transporting products from one place to another requires a lot of energy and causes a lot of pollution in the process.
Give the Gift of Greens
As an alternative to buying produce from the market or from growing them in a community garden, you can also grow fruits and vegetables right in the comfort of your own home. Gardening as an activity has numerous proven psychological benefits, while the practice of urban gardening has been recognized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for its role in improving global food security. Furthermore, in-season and home-grown fruits and vegetables also make the perfect gift to your family, friends, neighbors, and office colleagues.
Go on a Vegan Food Hunt
On the National Eat Your Vegetables Day, consider shunning your old haunts to instead look for new places that serve exclusively deliciously vegan fare. And don’t even think about knocking it until you’ve tried it! There’s a great diversity of top-rated vegan restaurants out there that offer a delectable selection of dishes—places that will make you wonder why there aren’t many more like them.
Whether you’re craving for falafels, paneer tikka masala, or an Impossible Burger, there’s likely to be a lot of choices for you when you and your friends decide to go on vegan food haunt.
This National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, you can make a difference while having fun at the same time! Consider the tips above to promote better consumption of fruits and vegetables to your loved ones and to the general public.