Fruits and Veggies: More Matters!

  • Published
  • By Marita Radloff
  • Robins HAWC registered dietitian nutritionist

September is Fruits and Veggies – More Matters Month, which brings the focus on eating more fruits and vegetables all year round. More than 90 percent of both adults and children don’t eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.  

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend five cups (or servings) of fruits and vegetables per day for adults and children aged 14 to 18, and 2.5 servings for children aged 4 to 8, and 4.5 servings for children aged 9 to 13.  

If you’re unsure about what a cup of fruits or vegetables actually looks like, use your hand as a guide. A fist is about  1 cup, and a cupped hand is roughly ½ cup. See the table at right for examples of 1 cup of fruits and vegetables. 

One of the best ways to remember how much to eat is to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. This ensures that the nutrient-rich foods aren’t crowded out by less healthy foods, like refined and processed carbohydrates (looking at you, white bread!). You can include fruits and vegetables in all forms: fresh, frozen, canned or dried! When buying fresh, looking for produce with the brightest color and no signs of wetness or mold. Frozen is almost always fresher than buying fresh produce, since it’s typically flash-frozen on site, sometimes even in the field after it’s been picked. Frozen can also be more economical and you won’t have to throw it out if you remember you bought it weeks later. When buying canned, be sure to look for low-sodium and avoid words like, “seasoned” or “salted.” Dried fruit and vegetables are an easy portable snack option. Just know that the serving size is ½ cup! 

Since September is Fruits and Veggies- More Matters month, the HAWC will be highlighting an in-season fruit and vegetable each week this month with an easy recipe that will please even the pickiest of eaters. This week, we’re going to focus on cauliflower. Cauliflower is fat and cholesterol free, high in vitamin C, and is a good source of folate and potassium. Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable that is tasty roasted but can also serve as a substitute for starchy dishes like rice and mashed potatoes! Choose cauliflower with compact, creamy white curds and bright green attached leaves, and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to seven days.

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Love Buffalo Wings? Try these Buffalo Cauliflower Bites for that game-day taste without all the calories and fat.

This recipe was adapted from



•1 head cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces

•¾ cup whole-wheat flour  

•¾ cup water

•1 teaspoon garlic powder 

•Pinch of salt

•1 tablespoon butter, melted  

•½ cup hot sauce



Recipe directions

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease a non-stick baking sheet or line with tin foil.  

2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, garlic powder, water and salt until combined. This should look similar to pancake batter – not too thick but thin enough that the batter falls off the cauliflower. Add more flour or water as needed.

3. Coat cauliflower pieces in batter and place on baking sheet. 

4. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip with a spatula and bake for another 5 minutes. 

5. While baking, whisk together buffalo sauce and melted butter. 

6. When the cauliflower is finished, take a plastic pastry brush and evenly brush hot sauce mixture onto cauliflower.

7. Bake coated cauliflower for an additional 10 minutes, or until sauce is crispy and absorbed. 

Serving suggestion: Serve with bleu cheese dressing.