Almost half the vegetables available in the US last year were potatoes and tomatoes, with lettuce ranking third, according to an Agriculture Department report. "If more Americans got used to eating more fruits and vegetables, they might be demanding more of it. But it's really hard to demand something you've not grown up with," said Lindsey Haynes-Maslow of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Parents should set a good example and keep portions small to entice preschool children to eat more fruits and vegetables, registered dietitian Aimee Zipkin writes. She tells parents to buy colorful fruits and veggies, to use cookie cutters to create fun shapes, to offer different types as snacks, and to add fruits and veggies to prepared dishes.
Children ages 3 to 5 almost doubled their intake of vegetables on days when they were given meals that included regular vegetable servings and dishes with pureed veggies versus days without the pureed veggies, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found. Children appeared to like the doctored recipes as much as they liked the standard meals, but researchers noted that this is not the only strategy parents can use to make children eat vegetables.
Red meat and processed meats have been linked to a higher risk of cancer, but experts say to cut back, not eliminate them, and to look for lean protein that includes "loin" in the description. An overall low-fat diet and keeping BMI in normal ranges also can reduce cancer risks. Cancer researcher Diane Wilson says the top 10 cancer-fighting foods include cruciferous vegetables, berries, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, nuts and Greek yogurt.
Author Patricia Wells found much of the inspiration for her latest book, "Vegetable Harvest," from the organic market a few blocks from her Paris home. The market's assortment of lemon thyme, spinach, zucchini, fennel and baby cucumbers helped Wells create unique vegetable fare that expands beyond traditional vegetarian cuisine.