|Reviewers Comments: ||While many adults know they should be eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day, more than 90 percent do not consume this amount. Fruits & Veggies—More Matters™ Web site is part of an innovative health initiative designed to close the gap between knowledge and consumption, motivating people to eat more fruits and vegetables. This new initiative spotlights the taste, nutrition, abundant variety and different forms of fruits and vegetables, including fresh, frozen, canned and dried produce and 100 percent juices.
The Web site targets primary caregivers (mostly mothers) and provides them with support for making healthy food choices for their family. A closer look into the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters™ Web site reveals an abundance of information and helpful tips presented in both informational and interactive formats. Information about cooking, eating out, selecting and storing fruits and vegetables, and reading food labels is presented through text-based pages as well as interactive Web media, including question/answer forums and message boards.
A “Healthy Resources” section of this site provides links to additional information on nutrition, health and dietary guidelines. For the most up-to-date information, users can sign up for a Web mailing list to stay informed of emerging news in nutrition, and the latest additions to the site.
The “Ask the Expert” page allows users to submit a question to an experienced Registered Dietitian who is also a mother. Previous questions and answers are archived online and available for browsing.
In the “Get the Kids Involved” section, among other things there are ten very easy, kid friendly recipes included, which parents and children can prepare together. All recipes have creative names which are sure to engage children such as “Bookworm Apple Bark” and “Frosty Orangeliciousness”. Ranging from main dishes to snacks, all recipes include few, readily-available ingredients, basic instructions, nutritional information and can be prepared and cooked relatively quickly. The amount of fruits and/or vegetables per serving is included, along with fruit and vegetable colors. Also listed are the nutrients of which the recipe is a good or excellent source.
Overall, the Web site is colorful, easy to navigate, and visually appealing. Graphics are all high quality and appropriate to the content. With each click on the home page, a different recipe appears in the box on the right side, and the chef’s tip, main picture and corresponding links change, which enhance the site and add to its originality. The site is constantly updated, contains some of the latest research on fruit and vegetable intake, and is consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate recommendations. The tips given are realistic and easy enough that parents should have no trouble putting them into action. Simple language is used and the literacy level required is low, as the site makes use of plenty of pictures and little text on each page. Pages are consistent with one another, and there is a nice flow between pages. People not familiar with the internet or how to use a computer may have a more difficult time accessing specific information for which they are looking, however, they should not have a problem finding more general information on fruits and vegetables. This much anticipated resource lives up to its hype as it is a valuable tool for educators and consumers alike.