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NZ to celebrate inaugural World Day of Fruit and Vegetables

17 October 2013

New Zealand to celebrate inaugural World Day of Fruit and Vegetables

New Zealand will be the first country to welcome in a new international initiative to raise the importance of increased fruit and vegetable consumption for better health.

New Zealand’s leader in this field, 5+ A Day, have joined forces with 23 other countries to celebrate the first-ever World Day of Fruit and Vegetables on Friday 18th October.

To celebrate, 5+ A Day is encouraging all New Zealanders to add an extra serving of fresh fruit or vegetables to their day.

“We are seeing a great deal of ground swell internationally for the promotion of fruit and vegetables for health and well-being,” says 5+ A Day nutritionist, Bronwen Anderson. “It started here when the World Health Organisation supported us in the formation of the International Fruit and Vegetable Alliance (IFAVA) and has grown over the years to see the emergence of, and partnership with, the International Alliance of Associations and Movements – 5aday (AIAM5), a predominantly South American organisation.”

Anderson attended an international conference in Budapest recently where IFAVA and AIAM5 discussed best practices for 5aday programmes and global initiatives to ensure fruit and vegetable consumption stayed on national health agendas.

“The evidence for the positive effect of fresh fruit and vegetables in health is irrefutable,” says Anderson. “Increasing the number of daily servings can help impact the risk of a number of non-communicable diseases. It is a simple step that individuals can make to improve their health and one that governments throughout the world should promote through health policy.”

“It would be wonderful if businesses got on board too and supplied all their staff with a piece of fruit or vegetable on this day,” Anderson says.

World Day of Fruit and Vegetables is Friday 18 October.

Top 5+ A Day tips for World Day of Fruit and Vegetables

Add an extra serving at Breakfast…
• Add fruit to cereal, tomatoes or mushrooms on toast, try spinach, onion, grated courgette, fresh herbs in an omelette
• Grated or minced broccoli and cauliflower works really well in scrambled eggs
• Use your left over roasted vegetables to make a frittata
• Blend it! Throw a banana and berries in a blender with some milk, yoghurt or orange juice and drink a serving

Add an extra serving at Lunch or Dinner…
• Making pasta for dinner? See how many vegetables you can add: try spinach, onion, leek, mushroom, asparagus, corn, tomatoes, rocket
• Spaghetti Bolognaise is so much better with grated carrot, courgette, onion and mushroom
• Just because the recipe doesn’t include a particular vegetable doesn't mean you can’t add it. Give it try with mushrooms, onions, potatoes and spinach. They can make great additions to omelettes, pastas, pies and hash browns
• Load sandwiches, burritos, wraps and rolls with avocado, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, grated carrot, finely diced red onion, capsicum and beetroot
• Homemade pizzas are a great meal the whole family can help with. Just about everything works on a pizza, from greens and tomato to root vegetables like roasted potato, kumara or pumpkin. Fruit like pineapple works well too
• Add extra grated vegetables to your sauces, you can load up a simple tomato sauce with pureed carrot, capsicum or silver beet
• For a healthier option replace the hollandaise on your weekend eggs benedict with mashed avocado and wilted greens (be sure to squeeze the water out of the greens so your toast or muffin doesn’t go soggy)

Add an extra serving with Dessert…
• Fruit platters make the easiest dessert platter any time of year. Chop up what is in season now for great taste and value. Arrange the fruit in a rainbow for a really cool touch
• Baked or barbequed fruit is so easy and delicious. Glaze with brown sugar, balsamic and ginger or cinnamon

Add an extra serving at Snack Time…
• It’s amazing how fast chopped up fruit disappears. Try it at home or work. Mix yoghurt and honey in a bowl for a quick dip
• Add grated carrot and courgette to your homemade muffins
• Vegetable sticks with tomato salsa make a great snack for every day or arranged on a platter when entertaining. Everyone will thank you for cutting the fat and calories leading up to Christmas

About 5+ A Day
The 5+ A Day Charitable Trust was formed in 2007 with New Zealand’s children as its beneficiaries.

5+ A Day encourages all Kiwis to eat five or more servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day for good health through education and information sharing. A serving is about a handful, children have smaller hands than adults so their serving will be smaller.

Our vision: To have all the children of New Zealand, young and old, understanding and enjoying the benefits of a daily diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables. Our message reflects the Ministry of Health’s Nutrition Guidelines for fruit and vegetable consumption.

ENDS

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