Buddy Nutrition/Healthy Kids
What's "5-a-day the Color Way" and why is it important?
You may be familiar with the USDA's Food Pyramid, which illustrates the recommended daily allowances of a properly balanced diet. The food pyramid recommends that you eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. A serving of a pear is a medium size pear, or one that is about the same size as a baseball.
We also know that eating a variety of colored fruits and vegetables is important too! That's because fruits and vegetables that are deeply colored provide lots of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients (the building blocks of nutrients) your body needs to maintain good health and energy levels.
Our version of the food pyramid, which we call the "PEAR-amid" emphasizes the fruit and veggie category, and we made it to encourage you to have fun and be active while you work to meet the goal of eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
Can you identify the activities our buddies are taking part in on our Healthy PEAR-amid?
So now that you know more about pears and why they are so good for us to eat, take a look at the recipes we have in PearBear's Pantry!
Auntie Oxidant and USAPears.com Exclusive!
Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., R.D., is the president of the Produce for Better Health Foundation, which is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help create a healthier America through increased consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables.
First of all Dr. Pivonka, I hear you are a big fan of pears. Is that true?
Dr. Pivonka recently sat down with our Nutrition SpokesPEAR, Auntie Oxidant, for a brief chat about pears and how kids can have fun while eating healthy.
Visit www.5aday.com for more information about the Color Way program and other important health initiatives.
Oh yes! Pears are a truly refreshing fruit-eaten as either part of a recipe, or by itself as a snack. There is nothing quite like a ripe, juicy pear! What is your favorite way of eating pears?
I have many favorite recipes that include pears-picking just one isn't really fair! One very delicious way of enjoying pears that does stand out though, is tossing chopped or sliced Bartlett's into a spinach salad. That is quite tasty! And, of course, eating a pear all by itself is a real delight for the taste buds at well! Any way you look at it-alone or as part of a recipe-pears are a sweet, delicious treat! Pears come in many colors-is that important?
Absolutely! This is important because many of the vibrant colors that fruits and vegetables have are a result of phytochemicals (pronounced "fight-o-chemicals") that help fight disease. Pears happen to be represented in four out of the five Color Way color categories-red, yellow/orange, white, and green. Pears of all colors are also a good source of vitamin C and fiber! What is a phytochemical?
A phytochemical is a natural plant compound that may provide a variety of health benefits. They exist in varying amounts in all fruits and vegetables, so that is why it is so important to eat a colorful variety every day! With a greater variety both within and between the color groups, you are sure to reap all the health benefits that colorful fruits and vegetables have to offer. How can kids judge what a serving of fruit is?
Knowing what serving sizes are is important, and using a visual is an easy way for kids to understand this concept. Generally, a serving of fruit will be about the size of their fist, or a tennis ball. Equally important to know, is how many servings of fruits and vegetables kids should get every day. For children ages 2-6: 5 servings (2 fruits and 3 vegetables); for older children and teen girls: 7 servings (3 fruits and 4 vegetables); and for teen boys: 9 servings (4 fruits and 5 vegetables). Around here, we like to say that "Fruit + Fitness = Fun." What do you think about that?
I couldn't agree more! Eating a proper diet which includes a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables is only part of the healthy lifestyle equation; the other part is physical activity. Fueling the body with delicious, healthy foods enables kids to be active, play and participate in sports. All that adds up to F-U-N! If you're good to your body, it will be good to you!