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      Ways to stay healthy during National Nutrition Month

      March is National Nutrition Month, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics are urging consumers not to rule out fresh vegetables and produce in the winter months.

      Fruits and vegetables should take up about half of your dinner plate, according to the My Plate model released by the US Department of Agriculture last year.

      "One of the biggest things you can do to make your own plate at home look like the My Plate guiding system is to begin by bumping up the amount of produce on your plate," said Heather Ware, Hy-Vee Dietitian. "Late winter and early spring vegetables include avocados, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, citrus, guava, pears and strawberries."

      If fresh produce isn't an option, you shouldn't count out frozen and canned foods, as long as you keep an eye on the labels.

      "Aim for frozen fruits with no added sugar and canned vegetables with little or no added sodium," Ware said.

      Other easy ways to "pump up the produce" include blending fruit smoothies with a few leaves of frozen spinach, adding frozen berries to hot oatmeal and stirring in no-salt-added vegetables into pasta salad.