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Tips To Getting Your Five Servings

Kristin Eddy Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Is the thought of choking down five servings of fruits and vegetables a day as recommended by the food pyramid guide hard to swallow?

Nutritionists say it’s possible, even easy, to have your five servings, reducing your risk of developing heart disease and some cancers, and enjoy them, too. Some tips:

Start the day off right. Make it a habit to eat fruit or drink fruit juice with breakfast. Put bananas or berries on fat-free cereal, oat bran or oatmeal. Vary selections. Choosing different fruits and vegetables keeps boredom at bay and varies the vitamins you take in.

Keep serving sizes in mind. A serving equals 1 cup uncooked fruit or vegetables or 1/2 cup cooked. A large vegetable or piece of fruit equals one serving.

Prepare innovative lunches. Stack sandwiches with onions, tomatoes, lettuce and bean sprouts. Add sliced banana to a peanut butter sandwich. Or go with vegetable soup or a salad - with a green leafy lettuce (iceberg has virtually no nutritional value), vegetables or even high-fiber navy beans and chickpeas (garbanzos).

Eat at least some meatless main meals each week. Most vegetables are great stir-fried or sauteed and served with pasta or rice. Or try a vegetable pizza.

Feed your sweet tooth with fruit. Baked apples and pears are delicious and nutritious. Dried fruit, berries with frozen yogurt or frozen bananas on a stick are also non-guilty pleasures.

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