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Don't Let Winter Prevent Healthy Eating

Don't Let Winter Prevent Healthy Eating

- Fruit & Veg A Must For Healthy Winter Eating - Dietitians are reminding New Zealanders of the importance of continuing to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables each day during the colder winter months.

Carole Gibb, Executive Officer of the New Zealand Dietetic Association (NZDA) says; "It can be hard to maintain fruit and vegetable intake in the colder months when time is short, and costs can seem higher. As always, foods rich in vitamins and minerals are important for a healthy diet, and during winter, fruit and vegetables are no exception. The New Zealand Dietetic Association is reminding people that during winter, fruit and vegetable intake is still a high priority for good health.

Other issues such as quality, availability and variety are all factors during winter which may reduce consumption for many people, not to mention the fact that during colder weather people are less inclined to eat salads and raw fruit."

The NZDA has good news - there are some simple ways for people to increase their fruit and vegetable intake, without high cost. NZDA reminds people to include fresh, canned, frozen, juiced and dried fruits and vegetables for added convenience and variety at a time of year when the range of cheap fresh vegetables and fruit can be limited.

"As well as fresh winter vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts and winter fruits, people should remember to stock up on canned and frozen fruit and vegetables. When used along with fresh, they provide lots of important vitamins and minerals and address all the winter issues people have, such as cost, quality and availability. By adding canned, frozen, juiced and dried to daily fresh fruit and vegetable intake, reaching the daily goal of at least five servings a day of fruit and vegetables is far easier," says Carole.

NZDA suggests that when preparing stir fries, soups, stews or sauces at least one extra vegetable is added to the pot or pan. For example, adding frozen peas to a chicken stir fry, grating carrot into Bolognese sauce, adding sliced or diced fruit to muffins or a can of tomatoes or corn kernels to sauces and stews immediately increases the number of serves per day.

New Zealand Ministry of Health food and nutrition guidelines recommend eating a minimum of three servings of vegetables and two of fruit each day for good health. These can be made up of a combination of fresh, canned, frozen, juiced and dried fruits and vegetables.

Tips To Boost Winter Fruit And Veg Intake Fact Sheet NZDA recommends a few easy ideas for getting more fruit and vegetables:
- Eat a variety of different coloured fruit and vegetables. If you aim to eat a range of colours each day it will be easy to reach the goal. Red, orange, purple, green, yellow and white from the fresh, canned, frozen, juiced and dried options available are just a few of the colours you should aim to eat each day.
- Winter soups are an ideal way of getting lots of vitamin and mineral goodness. Use a combination of fresh, frozen and canned vegetables depending on what's in season and what's in the cupboard.
- Stewed or heated canned fruits are great accompaniments to winter sponge puddings, breakfast porridge or a low-fat yoghurt snack.
- Keep canned or frozen fruit on hand, blend with a banana, yoghurt and low fat milk for a healthy smoothie.
- Include freshly squeezed fruit or vegetables in your day.
- Simply by adding a cup of frozen peas, chopped carrot, sliced cabbage, canned tomatoes or corn kernels to winter stews and sauces you will easily increase your vegetable intake.
- Snacks such as dried fruits, mini fruit or vegetable muffins and baby carrots are low fat, easy to prepare and readily available all year round.

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