Fruits and vegetables are whole foods
High in fiber, loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and packed with other disease-fighting nutrients, fresh (or frozen) fruits and vegetables are essential for a healthful diet. Not
surprisingly, most of the highly touted superfoods fall into the fruit and vegetable categories. Fruits and vegetables are whole foods, and whole foods are good for you.
How many servings?
Your recommended daily fruit and vegetable intake depends on your caloric needs, which are determined by your age, gender and activity level. Experts recommend at least five servings of fruits and
veggies every day, but encourage up to nine servings for the most health benefits. For adults and adolescents, this means at least 2-1/2 cups of fruits and vegetables daily, less for infants and
What is a serving of fruit or vegetables?
In general, a serving of raw or cooked fruit or vegetable is 1/2 cup. One cup of raw leafy greens is considered a serving as is one piece of fruit, such as an apple or banana. One serving of 100
percent fruit or vegetable juice is 3/4 cup or six ounces.
Daily fruit and vegetable requirements
Your recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables changes with age and activity level. To help ensure that your whole family is getting their daily produce quota, here are guidelines for every
Infants and toddlers
Fruits and vegetables are essential for your child's growth and development. Serve a variety of fruits and vegetables daily, and limit juice intake. Breastfeeding is best until your child is
at least 1 year old, but you can start introducing fruits and vegetables between 4 and 6 months of age. Delay giving your child 100 percent juice until 6 months of age and limit it to no more than
4 to 6 ounces per day. Each of your child's meals should contain at least one fruit or vegetable, up to 1 cup of fruit and 3/4 cup of vegetables daily. Check with your pediatrician for the
amount of calories your infant or toddler needs and how to best fulfill your child's fruit and vegetable quota.
The food guide pyramid for young children, now called MyPyramid for Kids, suggests two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables for children aged 2 to 6 years old. This means 1 cup of
fruit and o1-1/2 cups of vegetables. Six ounces of 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice can count as a one serving. Children older than 6 can follow the regular food guide pyramid, now known as
MyPyramid, which recommends three servings of fruit and four servings of vegetables.
Teens can follow the MyPyramid guidelines, which recommend three servings of fruit and four servings of vegetables. Active teens should aim for four servings of fruit and five servings of
The MyPyramid guidelines suggest women get two to three servings of fruit and three to four servings of vegetables every day. Men need three to four servings of fruit and four to five servings of
vegetables daily. Active adults and pregnant or breastfeeding women should aim for the higher end of the range.
To more accurately determine your fruit and vegetable needs, visit www.mypramid.gov or www.fruitsandveggiesmatters.gov for interactive tools that determine fruit and vegetable recommendations based on your age, gender and physical activity