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Health experts remind all to eat veggies

It is a plea you have heard from Mom hundreds of times: "Eat your vegetables!"

This September, however, the Lawrence County Health Department is taking that plea to heart, as they celebrate National 5-A-Day Month, reminding residents the importance of getting the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

Beth Bishop, a dietitian with the Lawrence County Health Department, said that, by and large, people are missing the mark when it comes to eating their fruits and veggies.

"Research says that Americans are not getting what they need," Bishop said.

That's a problem, Bishop said, not just for those that want to stay healthy, but for those who'd like a little more spring in their step.

"Fruits and vegetables provide an array of compounds that are beneficial, things like fructose, which is beneficial for energy, and every time of element, zinc, chromium, you name it."

Maxine Lewis, coordinator of cardiovascular health programs for the department, said that there are several ways that residents can help keep the doctor away other than just munching an apple or gnawing on broccoli.

"They can include things like fruit juices that have 100 percent juice, they can make their snacks healthier by including things such as celery sticks. They can even use dips to help make the vegetables a little tastier."

"Experimenting with different kinds of fruits and vegetables, maybe some things that they haven't tried before is another way to incorporate those."

Bishop said the key to making vegetables more appetizing is adjusting children to their flavor early.

"I would say starting with your children is important, because they're getting eating habits early," Bishop said. "Research says that a child may have to try something 15 times before they like them."

More tips like these and information on National 5-A-Day Month is available at www.5aday.org, for those that want to get healthy -and make their moms proud.