“Renew You” Challenge – Be a part of my Weekly Challenge (I mean, opportunity!) to help set you off on the right foot for bringing health to your week.

So here we are right smack in the middle of another cold and flu season, and all I can hear in my head is mom telling me to eat my fruits and veggies. Why? Well, you know how a lot of folks take multivitamins every day? Fresh fruits and vegetables are like nature’s multivitamin—chock full of important nutrients and natural antioxidants proven to boost immune function and help keep you healthy—which brings me back to cold and flu season.

The best way to ward off seasonal illness is by being proactive. Don’t wait until the first sign of a sneeze or sniffle, but instead practice good habits all year long, and that includes (and you knew this was coming) eating more fruits and veggies. So that’s your challenge this week!

Now before you start to groan, just bear with me. The CDC has this great new website that helps you calculate how many servings of fruits and vegetables you need each day based on your age, sex and activity level, and from there it’s just a matter of being creative. And parents, pay attention—getting kids to gobble up their fruits and veggies may not be as difficult as you think. Just plan ahead, spend a little time at the beginning of the week slicing and storing, and soon the whole family will be on their way to better health. Here are some tips to help you get started!

 Dip bite-size veggies in low-fat dressing
 Spread natural peanut butter on celery sticks
 Spread hummus on celery, carrots or even whole-wheat pita
 Add pre-sliced veggies and even fruit to sandwiches & wraps
 Prepare individual salad servings for a quick grab-and-go lunch
 Top natural tortilla chips or pita chips with fresh, homemade salsa
 Mix berries or other fruits with yogurt, oatmeal & cereal
 Keep frozen fruit on hand for shakes & smoothies

For more simple, healthful snack ideas and recipes using fresh fruits and veggies, be sure to visit www.fiber35diet.com.