Food mysteries – Part 2: Exploring fruit

Fruits like apples, blueberries, cherries, grapes, pears and strawberries are all grown right here in Michigan. Let’s explore the mysteries of fruit.

Fruit can be enjoyed all year because they are grown in many different states in different climates. They add color, taste and sweetness to our daily lives and are packed with vitamins, nutrients and fiber. They have almost no fat or protein but do contain sugar, which is a carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are needed to supply our body with energy. There are six common sugars found in food: glucose, fructose, galactose, sucrose, lactose and galactose. They are all called simple sugars or monosaccharides.

One teaspoon of table sugar contains 16 calories. One teaspoon of honey contains 22 calories. One slice of fruit (a section of orange) contains 7 calories plus fiber, vitamins, minerals and water. The best choice to get your sugar intact is to eat a variety of fruits.

Fruit can be purchased in many different forms. Fresh, canned, dried and frozen are all different ways people can enjoy fruits and still get the benefits of all the vitamins and nutrients. A fun activity to do with your family would be to try all different forms of fruit and compare and contrast the tastes and textures your family likes the best.

The United States Department of Agriculture developed 10 tips for focusing on fruit. Here are a few of those tips:

  • Keep visible reminders. Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter or in the refrigerator.
  • Think about variety. Buy fruits that are dried, frozen and canned (in water or 100 percent juice) as well as fresh.
  • Be a good role model. Set a good example for children by eating fruit every day with meals and as snacks.
  • Include fruit at breakfast. Add fruit to cereal, mix it in with yogurt or add blueberries to pancakes.

If you enjoyed this article, you can learn about grains in “Food mysteries – Part 1: Exploring grains.”

To learn more about healthy eating and ways to keep kids active, visit your local Michigan State University Extension county office.              

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