We know that eating fruits and vegetables is healthy, but did you know that eating canned fruits and vegetables may actually help you have a better diet? The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics featured a study analyzing national survey data that found adults and children who included canned fruits and vegetables in their diet consumed less dietary fat and had better diet quality than those who did not consume canned fruits and vegetables. It is important to choose canned items that are packed in unsweetened fruit juice, lightly sweetened fruit juice, extra-light syrup, and water.

According to the study, children who ate canned fruits or vegetables consumed 27 percent more vegetables and 14 percent more fruits, and adults ate 19 percent more vegetables and 18 percent more fruits than those who did not­ include canned fruits and vegetables at least once daily.

You can brighten the family table by including colorful fruits and vegetables that are ready to eat, available on the go, affordable, and improve your diet as well as that of your family. For tips and recipes, visit the Arizona Nutrition Network website.