University of Illinois Extension

Food for Thought - University of Illinois Extension

Fruit Group

The fruit group is an important part of MyPyramid. The recommendation is 1 to 2 cups of fruit each day. Many people do not even eat fruit or fruit juice once a day.

Servings for a Young Child

Children 2 to 8 years old should eat 1 to 1-1/2 cups of fruits every day. In general, 1 cup of fruit or 100% fruit juice, or ½ cup of dried fruit can be counted as 1 cup from the fruit group.

Make most of your choices whole or cut-up fruit to get the benefit of fiber. Include fruit at most meals and snacks.

  • At breakfast, top cereal with bananas or peaches, add blueberries to pancakes, drink 100% orange juice or try fruit mixed with low-fat yogurt.
  • At lunch, pack a tangerine, banana or grapes to eat. Individual containers of fruits like peaches or applesauce are easy and convenient.
  • At dinner, add crushed pineapple to coleslaw or mandarin oranges or grapes to tossed salad.
    For dessert, have baked apples, pears or a fruit salad.
  • For snacks try cut-up fruit, dried fruit, peanut butter on apple slices or frozen 100% juice bars.

Food Tips for Children

  • Set a good example by eating fruiteveryday.
  • Offer children a choice of fruits for lunch.
  • Involve children in shopping for fruit and cleaning, peeling and cutting-up fruit.
  • Offer raisins and other dried fruit instead of candy.
  • Pack a juice box (100% juice) in children’s lunch instead of soda or other sugar sweetened beverages.

Fitnes for Life

Fitness includes regular physical activity as well as a healthy diet. Children and adults should try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. More is better.

Physical fitness generally includes three types of activities:

Strength – Strong muscles are important to be able to lift, pull, push and carry things.
Flexibility – means muscles and joints can move easily.
Endurance – allows a person to be active over a long period of time without getting really tired

In this newsletter we are going to work on flexibility.

Here are some easy activities to get you started on your road to fitness.


Stand with your feet apart. Hold both arms over your head.
Sway from left to right. Sway from right to left.

Stretching Low

Stretching low
Relax your head, neck and body. Bend over slowly. Hang your arms down. Look at the floor, but keep your legs straight. Stretch down as far as you can.

Stretch with someone

Stretch with someone
Sit facing your partner. Spread your legs. Your feet touching, hold hands. Lean back,  pulling your partner forward. Then your partner leans back, pulling you forward. Move backward and forward slowly. With practice, you should be able to lean further forward. Don’t pull too hard. Practice at least 10 minutes and you will be on your way to 30
minutes a day.

Magical Fruit Salad

1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks in juice
1/2 pound seedless grapes
2 bananas
1 3/4 cups lowfat milk
1 small package (3-1/2 ounces) instant lemon or vanilla pudding mix

Drain the pineapple chunks. Put the chunks in the bowl. Rinse the grapes. Pat dry with a paper  towel. Add the grapes to the bowl. Peel and cut  the bananas into bite-size pieces. Pour the milk over the fruit. While slowly stirring the fruit     mixture, sprinkle in the pudding mix. Let the   mixture stand for 5 minutes.

Best eaten soon. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 160 calories, 1 g fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 180 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrate.