We've all heard about the health benefits of a diet rich in a variety of vegetables. These nutrient-packed powerhouse foods help with normal body processes and act as an armor to provide immunity against disease. The more variety we enjoy, the better. The Humane Society of the United States advocates the Three R's: "reducing" or "replacing" consumption of animal products, and "refining" our diets by switching to products from sources that adhere to higher animal welfare standards.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans are currently missing the mark when it comes to fruit and vegetable consumption. Research shows 90 percent of the population regularly doesn't meet the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. In fact, the data indicates the most consumed vegetable is the potato (prepared fried, of course) and the most consumed fruit is the orange (consumed as juice) among adolescents.
As parents, we want our children to grow up making the best choices possible. However, children are receiving messages on eating habits from a multitude of influences at a very young age. The Centers for Disease and Control reports dietary and activity habits are influenced by families, communities, schools, child care settings, medical care providers, faith-based institutions, government agencies, the media, and the food and beverage industries and entertainment industries.