How many times have you heard someone say, “You need to eat more fruit” or “You need to eat more vegetables”? Many people want to eat more fruits and vegetables but they really don’t know where to start. Or they think it will be too hard or too expensive.
Here are some of our favorite ways to eat more fruits and vegetables every day with our families:
- Make a fruit and veggie smoothie for breakfast, a snack or as part of a meal. Just blend your favorite frozen berries or any fruit, yogurt and/or milk and a few ice cubes. Throw in a handful of spinach or kale for a veggie booster!
- Top off your oatmeal, cereal, or plain yogurt with nature’s natural sweetener, fruit! Add some almonds for extra crunch.
- Pile your sandwich high with veggies. For your lettuce, choose spinach or a darker green lettuce. But think beyond lettuce and tomato and add a little crunch with cucumbers and bell peppers or boost the flavor with olives and sprouts.
- Bring on the frozen vegetables. They are super convenient and inexpensive. Just steam them or microwave them. You can also throw them atop some couscous, brown rice, or quinoa to jazz up your grains.
- Add vegetables to sauces, soups, stir-frys or burrito stuffing. Check out Lesley’s Chock Full of Veggie’s spaghetti sauce. Make two batches and freeze some!
- Ditch the French fries and double the veggies when you are dining out. Most restaurants are happy to do this.
- When time is tight, hit the “fast food” aisle at the grocery store and stock up on pre-cut fruits and veggies.
- Challenge your family to trying a new vegetable every month, or better yet every week – involve your family in finding a new recipe and make it a family activity to pick one out together at the store or farmers market.
- Sign up for a CSA (community supported agriculture), and you’ll get a bounty of fresh and local vegetables weekly or monthly that you can have fun planning into your meals. Find one near you.
- Try different cooking methods to add a little variety. Vegetables taste very different when they are steamed and roasted. Roasting bring out the natural sweetness in vegetables.
- Add a homemade vegetable-based soup or salad with dinner. Not only will you be getting more vegetables, but you’ll be filling up on less calories if you keep your portions reasonable and avoid cream-based soups or dressings.
- Pair a fruit or veggie with a natural peanut butter or other nut/seed butter. Our two favorites are Ants on a Log (celery with peanut butter and raisins) and apples with peanut butter.
- Snack on hummus and fresh veggies (i.e., carrots, bell pepper strips, celery, grape tomatoes).
- Treat yourself to a Waffle Parfait. Toast a mini-whole grain waffle, top with a scoop of ice cream, and pile high with berries, peaches, bananas or your favorite fruit.
Need more ideas or want to know what counts as a serving? Visit Choose My Plate for great tips, advice, recipes and more. We also have lots of recipes to explore here on My Menu Pal.
Have any other great ways to eat more fruits and vegetables?
Please join in on the conversation in the comments.