Donya Currie is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Life section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter.

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Cutting corners

Most Americans aren’t eating the recommended amount of vegetables (about three servings a day). But good news: You can cut corners to get more veggies on your dinner table.

In a column that will run Sunday in Healthy Living, registered dietitian/columnist Jennifer Motl says it’s perfectly okay to nuke a bag of frozen veggies, plop it on the table and pat yourself on the back for adding nutrients and color to your meal.

It’s not the same as cooking fresh asparagus from the farmer’s market, but it’s also nothing to turn your nose up at.

“Frozen foods are often already washed, peeled and chopped, saving lots of time,” Jen wrote. “This helps busy people make time to eat their vegetables—and any vegetable you eat is better than no vegetables, in my opinion.”

If you’re at all like me, you know the challenge of cooking anything that your whole family will enjoy (or at least tolerate). Sometimes, getting a well-rounded and appealing dinner on the table seems mighty daunting.

But Jen says you can make life easier for yourself without sacrificing nutrition. It’s okay, for instance, to heat up a bag of frozen niblets instead of shucking and boiling fresh corn. (Will you miss out on some flavor? Most likely. Should you lay off the frozen corn with buttery sauce? Yep.)

Check out Jen’s full column Sunday for more details about frozen—and some canned—veggies.

As for our country’s fruit and vegetable consumption, here’s what the CDC reported last month:

“In 2009, 67.5 percent of adults ate less than two fruits daily and 73.7 percent ate less than three vegetables daily, far short of national health objectives for fruit and vegetable consumption. Healthy People 2010 fruit and vegetable objectives aim for 75 percent of Americans to eat at least 2 servings of fruit daily and 50 percent to eat at least 3 servings of vegetables daily. None of the 50 states met these objectives.”


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    This is truly so cool! Thanks for putting this out there!!!

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    It looks like you have attracted a fairly sizeable following now! I’m glad for you!