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Web site offers tips on adding fruits and vegetables to family diet

By Amy Culbertson

McClatchy Newspapers

Bulletin: We still aren’t eating our vegetables. Fruits either.

So a national campaign was launched to address the "consumption gap."

Public-health agencies and organizations — including the Centers for Disease Control, the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association — have teamed up with the Produce for Better Health Foundation to create the "Fruits & Veggies: More Matters" initiative, announced last month in San Francisco.

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Despite the "5 a Day" campaign created to make Americans aware they need to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, as recommended in the government’s 2005 revised dietary guidelines, the produce partnership reports that more than 90 percent of Americans fall short. It points to new research in "The American Journal of Preventive Medicine" showing that "increases in public awareness are yet to accompanied by increased intake."

At the current rate, the "More Matters" initiative says, "it would take over a century to close the consumption gap."

To help narrow the gap, a new Web site, www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org, provides family-oriented suggestions for adding fruits and vegetables to the family diet and encourages parents to submit their own ideas online. The site includes produce shopping and selection tips, meal-planning advice and kid-friendly recipes such as this eat-on-the-way-to-school breakfast snack.

Bookworm apple bark

1 Granny Smith apple

1 tablespoon peanut butter

2 1/2 tablespoons golden or black raisins

1 1/2 tablespoons dried sweetened cranberries

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Chives for garnish, optional

Cut apple into four quarters, starting at the stem. Remove the core by cutting away to leave a flat surface on the apple quarter. Dollop the peanut butter on apple quarters, spreading gently. Mix together the raisins and dried cranberries, then sprinkle on peanut butter. Serves 1.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 272 calories, 8 grams fat, 5 grams protein, 50 grams carbohydrates, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 79 milligrams sodium, 6 grams dietary fiber, 25 percent of calories from fat.

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