Microwave ovens are convenient and safe and can cook vegetables in a small amount of water to preserve their nutritional value, similar to steaming, registered dietitian Ellie Krieger writes. Foam trays, plastic bags or takeout containers can melt and leach into foods during microwaving, so it's important to use microwave-safe plastic containers or glass instead, Krieger writes.
The rapper Easy A.D. has a vegetable-focused song as part of the Hip Hop Public Health program, which seeks to teach children about healthy eating. Rappers work with nutritionists and physicians, and the program gets help from an advisory board of fifth-grade students who help keep the content fresh.
Some schools in Ohio will charge students 50 cents less per meal if they take a fruit or vegetable in an effort to boost consumption. Some schools also will require students qualifying for free and reduced-price meals to pay full price if they decline fruits and vegetables. School Nutrition Association spokeswoman Diane Pratt-Heavner said the decision makes sense because of new rules that will cause districts to lose federal reimbursements if students do not have fruits and vegetables on their trays. "They operate on a very tight budget and they can't afford not to take the reimbursement," she said.
A study published in Diabetes Care found a correlation between greater consumption of fruits and vegetables and a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The study, examining 3,704 participants over 11 years, also found that people who ate more vegetables and a greater variety of fruits and vegetables had less risk.
Vegetables have moved from a supporting role into the spotlight as farmers grow more colorful varieties and chefs get more creative in response to demand for healthier options. A new report identifies several hot veggie trends, including using vegetables to create savory baked goods and adding sea vegetables for a dash of umami flavor to dishes.