We all remember our parents telling us to eat our vegetables. Sometimes we weren't even allowed to leave the dinner table until we had finished that pile of broccoli or steamed carrots (which often resulted in a kid's worst nightmare -- missing a favorite TV program). However, getting your daily dose of these food groups doesn't have to be a chore for your kids. It can be both fun and easy! So, although June is coming to a close, take some time to recognize its role as "Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month" as you kick off the summer season.
Because so many varieties of produce reach their peak during the summer months, it's the perfect season to experiment with new and exotic fruits and veggies-or to rely on some of your favorites from childhood. During summertime, many cities have farmers markets which are a great way to find the freshest produce and support local agriculture. Walking through a local farmers market is a fun way to get some exercise and fresh air while also spending a pleasant afternoon with the entire family! And if farmers markets are not an option in your area, why not try growing your own fruits and vegetables? Whether you live in a city apartment or a country cottage, there are plenty of options that you can cultivate on a windowsill or a patch of land.
But it's also important to remember that there are other ways to "squeeze" in your recommended fruit and vegetable servings. In fact, here at the ABA, we are proud to have member companies that make a variety of fruit and vegetable juices which are both wholesome and refreshing. Juices are not only delicious, thirst-quenching beverages, but are also an easy way to get a serving of fruit and vegetables at home or on-the-go. Our members are constantly innovating with new flavor combinations of these essential fruits and vegetables that can satisfy even the choosiest palette -- like that of your three-year-old son Max, who only eats mac-n'-cheese.
As parents, we want to teach our kids how to incorporate fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, dairy and lean protein, into their diets. Teaching proper nutrition and encouraging regular physical activity are important steps in making sure our children have the necessary tools to lead balanced, healthy lifestyles. So this afternoon, slice up an orange -- or pour a tall glass of orange juice -- and celebrate "Fruit and Vegetable Month" with your family. We know we will.