Add Color to Your Meal…
One of the most important health goals you can make, is to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal or snack. Most of us do not eat as many fruits and vegetables as we need to be healthy, so start today by adding one new fruit or vegetable to your plate!
…Without Breaking Your Budget
Many people feel that fruits and vegetables are too expensive. But there are ways to save money when shopping for fruits and vegetables!
- Canned Food Smarts
Canned fruits and vegetables can be a great way to save money when buying produce. This is especially true when you want to buy fruit or vegetables that are out of season. Look for fruits that are canned in 100% fruit juice or light syrup. Look for vegetables that are labeled “low sodium” or “no salt added.” Also, try rinsing off canned produce to remove any extra added sugar or salt still on them.
- Know What’s In-Season
Fruits and vegetables are going to e the most tasty and the least expensive when they are in season. Because the grocery stores in the United States prove all types of produce all year, it is important to know when things are in season. When produce is out of season, consider buying canned or frozen instead.
- Filling Up on Frozen Food
Frozen fruits and vegetable scan be a great way to purchase produce. They are frozen at the time of harvest and therefore will usually taste very fresh when cooked. As always, look at the ingredient list. Make sure no sugar or salt has been added to these delicious produce items.
What’s in Season?
Check out these great charts from the Washington State Department of Agriculture – to find out which vegetables, fruits and more are in season all year long!
Vegetables and Beans in Season
Should I Buy Organic?
Organic means that the food is grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, is not genetically engineered, and is not irradiated. Organic produce can be more expensive than conventional produce. To save money when buying organic try:
- Buying organic for just the two or three fruits and vegetables your family eats most.
- Buying organic for fruits and vegetables on the “Dirty Dozen” list. These foods are grown with the most pesticides and fertilizers. The “Clean 15” list shows foods that are grown with the least pesticides and fertilizers. You might choose not to buy these organic, and save some money.
- Comparing organic and conventional prices at your store or market. If the food you are buying is in season, or the store got a great deal, the organic version might cost less.
Whether you choose organic or conventional…the most important thing is to work towards filling half your plate fruits and vegetables at each meal or snack!
More Information About Fruits and Vegetables
Check out these 10 Tips Sheets from the USDA!
- Kid-Friendly Veggies and Fruits
- Liven Up Your Meals with Vegetables and Fruits
- Smart Shopping for Veggies and Fruits
- Focus on Fruits
- Add More Vegetables to Your Day
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