(March 5, 10:57 a.m.) Mothers tend to link their mood to their food, a recent survey by the Produce for Better Health Foundation showed.

The survey showed more than 70% of mothers are likely to choose healthy foods like fruits and vegetables when feeling positive emotions like happiness or contentment. Conversely, when feeling negative emotions like sadness or stress, nearly half will choose sweets, and almost one quarter choose salty snacks.

Additionally, the study found that 46% of mothers feel guilty after eating too many sweets, and an almost identical number (45%) feel guilty after eating salty snack foods.

On the other hand, more than half feel good about themselves after eating fruits and vegetables, with almost a third feeling happy.

The survey was conducted as a follow-up to a similar survey a year ago, when the foundation launched the Fruits & Veggies — More Matters campaign, said marketing assistant Jill LeBrasseur. It also marks the latest part of the campaign, Get Smart!

The foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced Get Smart! because 90% of Americans aren’t consuming enough fruits and vegetables.

Get Smart! includes strategies and tips to help moms add more fruits and vegetables to their family’s meals. The program coincides with March as National Nutrition Month.

“(Get Smart!) is the next phase of five-a-day,” said the foundation’s president and chief executive officer, Elizabeth Pivonka. “The impetus behind the change is the 2005 new dietary guidelines calling for 4 to 13 servings a day. These numbers alienate some people, so we want to send a softer message to people to do what they should be doing already, eating more fruits and vegetables.”

In the study, mothers also acknowledged the importance of feeding fruits and vegetables to their children.

“We want to remind mothers that it’s their responsibility to feed their families fruits and vegetables,” Pivonka said.

Over 90% of the women questioned said they recognize the importance of including fruits and vegetables in their family’s meals, with 96 percent of moms responding that they feel like a “good mother” when they feed their children produce.

In practice, however, most mothers don’t offer as many fruits and vegetables as they should, with over half admitting their families are eating too few. The main reasons for this were family preferences and fussy eaters (64%), quick spoilage (57%), and the lack of produce varieties in restaurants (51%).

The survey, conducted Jan. 18-22 by OnSurvey, polled 1,000 women ages 24-41 with at least one child under the age of 18 living in their household.