Fruits are an important party of eating healthy

Published 9:17 am Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My daughter, Sophie, is my new hero.

About a month shy of turning 3 years old, Sophie is like a sponge right now in her development.

She’ll pick up everything — good and bad — that goes on around her. Words, interactions, even the foods she eats. It’s been amazing to watch.

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But it’s also made me aware of how what foods a parent gives a child will ultimately shape his or her habits.

If we have an abundance of fruits and vegetables around the house for meals and snacks, that’s what Sophie wants to eat. Likewise, if we have an abundance of junk food; she wants to eat that.

It’s really been a wake-up call.

This week, Sophie’s new favorite food has been oranges. If we let her, she would probably eat four to five oranges a day.

A couple weeks ago, her favorite was apples. A few weeks prior yet, it was bananas.

I wish I could be like Sophie.

My daughter reminds me of my close friend from college who would eat fruit day in and day out when we shared an apartment during our senior year at Brigham Young University. I still think highly about that quality she had — and still has from what I’ve heard. I know that eating lots of fruit is an important characteristic to maintaining a healthy weight and likewise successfully losing weight.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, people who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and coronary heart disease.

The list goes on and on.

Fruits provide vital nutrients for our bodies.

On that note, I’ve been searching the past few days to find some healthy, tasty recipes with fruit.

Here’s one I found:

Pineapple-Raspberry Parfaits

Makes 4 parfaits

2 8-ounce containers (2 cups) of nonfat peach yogurt

1/2 pint fresh raspberries (about 1 1/4 cups)

1 1/2 cups fresh, frozen or canned pineapple chunks

Divide and layer yogurt, raspberries and pineapple into four glasses.

You can use fruit as a toppings to most salads or add them to a small bowl of frozen fat-free yogurt. The list is endless!

Now if I can just get that enthusiasm that my daughter has!

Sarah Stultz is a reporter at the Albert Lea Tribune. She has made it a goal in 2011 to get back on track with a healthy fitness and eating plan to ultimately lose weight. Her column usually appears every other Wednesday as a blog on and on the “Taste” page in the print edition.