Nutrition: Fruits and Vegetables

Eating fruits and vegetables every day can help lower your risk of heart disease and possibly some cancers. Fruits and vegetables add flavor, color and important vitamins, minerals and fiber to meals and snacks.

Making Produce Affordable

There are plenty of ways to fit produce into your budget:

  • Look for sales on produce and buy fresh, frozen or canned.

  • Do not waste what you purchase. Use as much as possible. Many fruits and vegetables do not need to be peeled. Produce that may not taste good raw can be delicious when cooked. Sauté greens that are beginning to wilt in oil and garlic. You can also cook overripe fruit in a little water and cinnamon and then add it to hot cereal or yogurt.

  • If you participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/EBT), you can get free fruits, vegetables and beans at certain NYC supermarkets.

  • Spend $5 using SNAP/EBT at a farmers market, and get $2 in Health Bucks redeemable for fruits and vegetables at all NYC farmers markets.

  • Attend a free Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables Stellar Farmers Markets nutrition education workshop and cooking demonstration to receive $2 in Health Bucks. To find a workshop location near you, look for the carrot icon on the NYC Farmers Market Map (PDF).

Making Produce Routine

Here are some more ideas to help you make fruits and vegetables part of your daily routine:

  • Use My Plate Planner (PDF) to plan healthy meals for you and your family.
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  • Add fruit to hot or cold cereal or unflavored yogurt in the morning.

  • Add vegetables to soups, stews or sauces.

  • Eat as snacks on the go. Apples and carrot sticks are especially easy to pack.

  • Try a new fruit or vegetable with your meal. Choose from these delicious recipes (PDF).

  • Choose fruit as a dessert. For a tasty autumn treat, try baking an apple or pear with some cinnamon and a touch of butter.

  • Get as much color on your plate as you can. Include green leafy vegetables, such as romaine lettuce, collard greens, or kale; orange vegetables, such as carrots or sweet potatoes; and red vegetables, such as tomatoes and red pepper. The more variety the better.

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