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Challenge Idea: Fruits and Veggies – More Matters™ Month

This month challenge your department members to eat their own proper serving size of fruits and vegetables. Those who consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day are likely to have reduced risk of diseases such as stroke, certain cancers, and cardiovascular disease compared to those who eat a diet with inadequate amounts. This reduced risk is due to fruits and vegetables containing essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that protect you from chronic diseases.

Fruits and vegetables also help maintain your weight. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet can help you cut calories and lose weight, because many fruits and vegetables are filling and naturally low in fat and calories. You can eat the same amount of food with fewer calories because the water and fiber in fruits and vegetables add volume to your dishes.

As a volunteer first responder, you are always on-the-go. Your busy life can benefit from nutritious foods that are easy to eat while you are heading from work to the station or back home. Before you leave the house, grab an apple, carrots, or celery sticks to snack on instead of running to the vending machine and grabbing a bag of chips for your afternoon snack. Click here for more healthy snack ideas.

Challenge Rules:

  1. Visit the CDC Fruits and Veggies Matter More web site and calculate the servings of fruits and vegetables recommended for your age, gender, and physical activity level.
  2. Record the number of servings of fruits and vegetables you consume daily on the Fruit and Veggie Tracking Sheet.
  3. The goal is to eat the amount of servings of fruit and vegetables recommended for YOU. Are you eating the amount of servings you are supposed to? If not, why? Think of ways you can increase your fruit and vegetable consumption.
  4. You have completed the challenge if you reach your daily goal at least 20 days out of the month. Remember to continue to focus on eating plenty of servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the year, not just for one month!

To encourage your department to incorporate the correct amount of fruits and vegetables in their diet, cook meals while on duty with some simple recipes and encourage them to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet. Continually check in with your colleagues to see to how they are advancing and help inspire them to continue their healthy lifestyle. To find more resources and activity ideas for nutrition, visit the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program web site.

If you have success stories about you or your department’s experience during the Fruits and Vegetables challenge that you would like to share with us, please click here.

Source: CDC Fruits and Veggies Matter

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