158912998Fun Facts About Fruit

  • Many vegetables, such as tomatoes and peppers, are actually fruits, because they are the carriers of seeds. Some plants are botanically classified as vegetables, such as rhubarb, but we treat them as fruit. Botanical and culinary classifications are often at odds! Tomatoes are the most popular fruit in the world.
  • Pineapples are multiple fruits — many flowers develop into the “eyes” of the pineapple.
  • A papaya is botanically-classified as a berry, although it can weigh up to 10 pounds!

22 Quick Tips to Add Fruit to Your Diet

  1. Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table or counter.
  2. Refrigerate cut-up fruit in a clear bowl in the front of the refrigerator for good visibility and easy access.
  3. Buy fruits that are dried, frozen, and canned (in water or 100 percent juice) as well as fresh, so that you always have a supply on hand.
  4. Consider convenience when shopping. Try pre-cut packages of fruit (such as melon or pineapple chunks) for a healthy snack in seconds.
  5. Choose fruit rather than fruit juice, for the fiber, and a full complement of the fruits nutrients.
  6. Select fruits with more potassium such as apricots, oranges, nectarines, cantaloupe, honeydew, kiwi, mango, avocado, banana, or any dried fruit.
  7. The darker the fruit is, the more healthy phytonutrients it has, as those nutrients are often pigments. Berries are very high in fiber, and loaded with phytonutrients.
  8. At breakfast, top your cereal with peaches or blueberries. Or, mix fresh fruit with plain fat-free or low-fat yogurt.
  9. At lunch, pack a portable fruit, like tangerine, banana, or grapes to eat, or choose fruits from a salad bar. Individual containers of fruits like peaches or applesauce are easy and convenient.
  10. At dinner, add crushed pineapple to coleslaw, or include orange sections or grapes in a tossed salad.
  11. Make a Waldorf salad, with apples, celery, walnuts, and a low-calorie salad dressing.
  12. Try meat dishes that incorporate fruit, such as chicken with apricots or mangoes, or a pineapple salsa.
  13. Add fruit like pineapple or peaches to kabobs as part of a barbecue meal.
  14. Try fat-free or low-fat yogurt as a dip for fruits like strawberries or melons.
  15. Make a fruit smoothie by blending fat-free or low-fat milk or yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit.
  16. For fresh fruit salads, mix apples, bananas, or pears with acidic fruits like oranges, pineapple, or lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
  17. Set a good example for children by eating fruit every day with meals or as snacks.
  18. Depending on their age, children can help shop for, clean, peel, or cut up fruits.
  19. Decorate food with fruit!  Make a smiley face on cereal with sliced bananas for eyes, raisins for a nose, and an orange slice for a mouth.
  20. Make fruit kabobs using pineapple chunks, bananas, grapes, and berries.
  21. Pack a juice box (100% juice) in children’s lunches instead of soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages.
  22. Offer fruit pieces to children, with water to drink, rather than “fruit-flavored” beverages or chewy fruit snacks, which have almost no actual fruit.

Maryann Ludlow, RD, CD, CDE, is a registered dietitian at the UVM Medical Center.

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