To date I have looked at two of the five food groups: grains and cereals, and vegetables. Today I am going to focus on the fruit group. For me, fruits are linked to fond childhood adventures and trigger those memories. Picking mulberries off a friend’s tree and trying not to stain our hands or clothes as I enjoyed the sweetness. The many trees that boasted bright bunches of bananas on the drive to Ballina for Summer holidays. And just recently the mangoes, pineapples and coconuts that were plentiful in Hawaii. To me, fruits are like natural lollies. But like anything, there is too much of a good thing.
Like vegetables, fruits pack a decent serve of vitamins such as folate, which is important for pregnant women in preventing neural tube defects during pregnancy. It also provides vitamin C which plays a role in preventing scurvy, but if you’re not out at sea it will help with the formation of collagen which strengthens bones, connective tissue (less wrinkles) and assists in wound healing. Fruit is also an important source of dietary fibre which your bowels will thank you for. Lastly, fruit also offers carbohydrates in the form of natural sugars, so will provide you with energy.
By including fruit in your diet every day it will reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers, and assist in maintaining a healthy weight.
The minimum recommended amount of fruit needed is as follows:
Children 2-3 years need 1 serve a day.
Children 4-8 years need 1.5 serves per day.
Older children, adolescents, adults (including pregnant & lactating women) need 2 serves a day.
Most of us don’t achieve this minimum, so think about some ways you can add more fruit to your day.
Here are some examples of what a serve is:
- 2 small apricots/peaches/kiwi fruit/plums
- 1 medium banana/apple/orange
- 1 cup of diced canned fruit
- 1/2 fruit juice (be mindful that juice is lower and fibre, and is quite acidic which is not good for your teeth long term, so fresh fruit is always the better choice)
Here are a few tips to get your thinking:
Grating apple onto porridge or cereal.
Throwing blueberries/raspberries/blackberries into a smoothie.
Fresh mango in Summer, yum!
Mandarin/mango or strawberry tossed into a Summer salad.
Kiwi fruit with natural yoghurt and nuts as a snack.
Baked apples with walnuts, cinnamon and sultanas.
How do you enjoy your fruit?
Thanks for stopping by, Maddy (THG).