Take the Fruit and Vegetable Challenge

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If you thought getting five servings of hungry, she can toss them the fruit before they go rummaging around for chips.

19. Try a little salt.

Kelly encourages folks, if they’ve never done this, to boil their fresh vegetables in lightly salted water. “I can’t believe how many people aren’t aware of this simple flavor enhancement trick — it can make the difference between your child hating and loving broccoli,” she says.

9-a-Day Recipes

If you’re one of those folks who’s not sure you know how to prepare fruits and vegetables, here are a few simple recipes to get you started.

50/50 Fruit Salad (or Fruit Dip)

Journal as: 2 medium pieces of fresh fruit

Remember those 50/50 orange-and-cream bars? They were the inspiration for this recipe.

1 package (1.4 ounces) sugar-free and fat-free instant vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
5 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
2 cups melon cubes or balls (honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, etc.)
2 bananas, sliced
2 apples, cored and sliced
2 oranges, peeled and broken into segments
2 peaches, nectarines or pears, cored and sliced

  • Put pudding mix, milk, and orange juice concentrate in mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Beat in or mix in sour cream.
  • Serve the orange dip with prepared fruit. Or, make a dressed fruit salad by adding all the fruits to a large serving bowl. Pour orange dressing over the top and toss gently to blend. Serve immediately, or cover and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Yield: 8-10 cups of fruit salad.

Per cup of fruit salad and dip (if 8 cups per recipe): 162 calories, 4 g protein, 37 g carbohydrate, 1 g fat, 0.4 g saturated fat, 2 mg cholesterol, 3.5 g fiber, 35 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 6%.

Tropical Fruit Salad

Journal as: 1/2 cup canned fruit in juice + 1 medium piece of fruit

Bring a taste of the tropics to your fruit salad with this recipe.

20-ounce can pineapple chunks canned in juice
2 kiwi, peeled, halved and sliced
2 cups strawberries, quartered
1 large banana, sliced
1 papaya or mango, peeled and cubed (or substitute an 11-ounce can of mandarin oranges, drained)
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest or peel
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup unsweetened or sweetened shredded coconut (optional)

  • Drain pineapple chunks, and reserve 1/4 cup of the pineapple juice.
  • Add pineapple chunks, kiwi, strawberries, banana, and papaya or mango to large serving bowl.
  • Put 1/4 cup pineapple juice, lime peel, lime juice and honey in a 2-cup measure and whisk together until nicely blended. Drizzle over the salad, and toss to coat the fruits well. Sprinkle coconut over the top before serving, if desired.

Yield: About 7 cups.

Per cup: 101 calories, 1.2 g protein, 25 g carbohydrate, 0.6 g fat, 0 g , 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 4 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 5%.

Vegetable Garlic Sautee

Journal as: 1/2 cup “vegetables without added fat” + 1/2 cup “vegetables with 1 tsp. fat”

Substitute any vegetable you like for any of those listed below.

2 1/2 cups Brussels sprouts with loose outer leaves removed, cut in half (about 1/2 pound)
2 1/2 cups yellow squash or zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 1/2 pound)
1 large tomato (or 2 small), diced
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

  • Put Brussels sprouts, squash, and a couple of tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on HIGH until vegetables are lightly cooked. Drain well.
  • Add oil and garlic to large nonstick frying pan or skillet and heat over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the Brussels sprouts, squash, and tomato. Sauté for a few minutes, or until vegetables reach desired doneness. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top and serve.

Yield: 4 servings.

Per serving: 94 calories, 4 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat, 0.8 g saturated fat, 0.6 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 26 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 44%.