Don’t forget to eat your veggies! Vegetables are an important part of a healthy balanced diet. They contain many vitamins, are high in fiber, and have no fat. But when it comes to fresh produce, most of us just don’t get enough. So try to eat as many fruits and vegetables as you can every day, split into five or more servings.
Fresh Veggies Day is traditionally celebrated in early summer, at the start of the new produce season. Take a trip to your local farmers’ market or grocery store and stock up on whatever is ripe. Growing your own vegetables in the garden is a great way to always have fresh veggies around.
How well do you know your vegetables? Botanically, a vegetable is the edible part of a plant that does not contain the seed. Vegetables are usually the leaves, stems, or roots of plants. Lettuce, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and onions are all vegetables.
Some foods that we often think of as vegetables – such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and zucchinis – are actually botanical fruits. But culturally, most people consider fruits to be sweet and eaten as a snack or dessert – like oranges, berries, and melons – while vegetables accompany the main course of a meal.
In 1893 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that tomatoes are a culinary vegetable, and they have been classified that way ever since. Your kids will be happy to know that the U.S. government also considers tomato sauce on pizza a vegetable for serving size purposes in school lunches.
The Nebraska Department of Education created a colorful resource for learning lots of interesting facts about fruits and vegetables around the world. Click here: http://www.education.ne.gov/ns/nslp/FFVP/BINDERS/Binder1-Food_Service_Resource/FactsNutritionSection.pdf