Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare and Carris Health care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to helps us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Easy Ways to Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Published in Wellness, Diabetes Care

Author: Staff

Remember when you were a kid, and mom wouldn’t let you leave without finishing all of those vegetables on your plate? Believe it or not, as a dietitian I wasn’t one of those moms. Because I knew the benefits of the good fruits and veggies, we exposed our kids to these foods as often as possible as early as we could. The younger they are, the more they learned to like them—even Brussel sprouts!  There’s good reason for people who to eat healthy diets rich in fruits and vegetables.  They have a lower risk of getting cancer and other chronic diseases like heart disease.

More than likely you’re part of the 90 percent of people who aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables. The good news is that all produce counts, which means canned, dried, fresh and frozen varieties can help you reach your goal. Everyone needs a minimum of five servings of fruits and veggies a day although the exact size of a portion of fruits or veggies varies by age and other nutritional needs for each individual.

Eating enough fruits and veggies doesn’t have to be difficult.  Consider these easy ways to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your everyday diet.

  1. Keep whatever fresh fruits you can visible. Instead of a candy bowl, showcase a bowl of apples or bananas.
  2. Whether fresh, frozen or canned, always have plenty of fruits and veggies on hand. It’s easier to make a healthy choice when you have something to choose from.
  3. Pack a snack. Buy snack-size fruits and veggies and throw them in a bag to take to work or send to school with your kids or separate out a portion of raw veggies and a small side of dip for a delicious snack.
  4. Hit up a farmer’s market. Get the freshest of fresh fruits and veggies at your local farmers market.
  5. Put them in foods you wouldn’t normally think to add them to. Add some carrots or scoop dried cranberries into your next batch of baked goods.
  6. Eat at home. Cooking at home gives you more freedom over what you include in your meals. Always plan for a fruit and veggie to accompany each meal—even breakfast!
  7. Mix it up. Fruits and veggies don’t have to be boring! Sauté veggies with olive oil, add your favorite spices or make a healthy dip.
  8. Buy them pre-packaged. If cleaning and cutting your fruits and veggies is keeping you from enjoying them, buy them prepared. It may cost a little more, but if it’s more convenient you may be more likely to eat them.
  9. Fill half your plate with low-calorie veggies. Bonus, save calories while enjoying something sweet. Serve up fruit for dessert!
  10. Include your children in grocery shopping. Let them pick out a new fruit or veggie to try every week to help establish healthy eating habits from the start!

So next time you sit down to eat, remember mom’s—and every dietitian’s—advice and eat those fruits and veggies. More really do matter!