Enjoy Colorful Fruits and Vegetables for Vital Vitamins
Fruits and vegetables add important nutrients and fiber to your meals and snacks. They are divided into five color groups. Each color group provides different vitamins and minerals. Choose several different colors each day to get the nutrients you and your baby need. All fruits and vegetables provide fiber, which helps prevent constipation.
Vegetables and Fruits: Choose a rainbow
- Dark green vegetables: broccoli, green peppers, kale, spinach, romaine, collard, turnip, and mustard greens.
- Red and orange vegetables: tomatoes, red peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and pumpkin.
- Beans and peas: kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, black beans, and pinto beans.
- Starchy vegetables: white potatoes, corn, and green peas.
- Other vegetables: summer squash, green beans, cauliflowers, and onions.
- Fruits: oranges and orange juice, apples and apple juice, berries, melons, bananas, mangoes, peaches, grapes, and dried fruits such as apricots, prunes, and raisins.
For the best prices, shop seasonally
To get enough nutrients and fiber, try to eat at least 5 cups of fruits and vegetables each day. You can choose fresh, frozen, canned or dried. When you buy canned fruit, look for fruit packed in fruit juice or water. When you buy canned vegetables, look for the words “low sodium” on the label.
Tips to eat more fruits and vegetables
- Drink vegetable juice at breakfast or with a snack.
- Drink a fruit smoothie or freeze smoothie in muffin tins to make popsicles.
- Have a breakfast burrito or omelet with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and greens.
- Top a baked potato with broccoli.
- Carry carrots and celery sticks for snack.
- Top yogurt with fresh or canned fruits.
- Choose side salads instead of fries.
Fruits and vegetables also provide folic acid. It is important to get enough folic acid before and during pregnancy. It helps protect your baby from serious birth defects of the brain and spine. It also protects your baby from cleft lip and heart defects. These types of defects happen before most women know they are pregnant.
Sources of Folic Acid
- Oranges and orange juice
- Dark green leafy vegetables such as mustard greens, spinach, Romaine lettuce, and kale.
Ask your doctor about taking a folic acid supplement if you are thinking about getting pregnant or as soon as you find out you are pregnant.