Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of our daily diet but most people don’t eat enough of these nutritious foods. This month we challenge you to add eating a piece of fruit in the middle of the afternoon, between lunch and dinner, for everyone in your family.

Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke. If you teach your children to eat fruit or veggies such as snap peas or carrots as a snack, they will consume less calories than someone who chooses a pre-packaged, processed snack which contributes to an unhealthy diet.

It’s best to know what fruits are in season so you can avoid overpaying at the grocery store.

Look for these delicious fruits at the store in July:

  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Blueberries
  • Peaches
  • Apricots
  • Kiwi
  • Raspberries
  • Plums

Smoothies are a great way to eat your recommended daily serving of plant-based nutrients.

You can easily make a tasty summer fruit salad with the aforementioned fruits or even a low-calorie smoothie with protein. The kids will  love this tasty Peanut Butter Berry smoothie that has only 237 calories. You’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/2 medium ripe banana
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup crushed ice

Blend all the ingredients together and you have a nutritious snack that will keep the kids satisfied until dinner!

Our bodies are often deprived of the vitamins we need from fresh fruit and vegetables simply because we don’t incorporate them into our children’s diets or our own. Add the daily nutritious practice of eating fruits and vegetables for a snack, lunch and dinner is an easy way to make sure everyone in your family is getting all their essential nutrients.

Click here to see all 12 family health challenges

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.