Easy Ways To Eat More Fruit & Veggies
Vegetables & fruit provide amazing health benefits, but most of us simply don’t eat enough of them. September is ‘Fruit & Veggies – More Matters Month’ and the perfect time to find ways to increase your fruit & veggie intake. Now, we understand that you might not jump for joy to munch on carrot sticks, but there are many ways to get more fresh produce into your daily fare. It’s easy, fun and so worth it for the feel-good factor!
10 Easy Ways to Eat More Veggies
- Toss a handfull of spinach or kale and some avocado to breakfast smoothies.
- Add chopped mushrooms, diced bell peppers, chopped mushrooms, shredded zucchini, grated carrots, pumpkin and onion to pasta sauce, meatloaf, burger patties, casseroles and omelets.
- Substitute a sandwich wrap or tortilla with leafy greens. Sturdy leaves like collards or kale are great for wrapping.
- Make stuffed baked potatoes with corn kernels, green onions and diced red pepper.
- Canned beets can be added to chocolate cake, brownies, and muffins – not only does it make the cake moist, it also adds fiber! And how about making frosting with avocado?
- Make a salsa to accompany grilled chicken or fish using diced tomato, diced avocado, finely chopped green onions (or diced red onion), chopped chilis, and fresh cilantro.
- Spice up a homemade turkey burger by topping with slices of onion, bell pepper, and some sweet chili sauce.
- Remember that herbs are leafy greens too! It’s easy to grow your own herbs and they make a healthy, flavorful addition to meals. You can add cilantro to rice dishes, make a basil pesto and sprinkle dill on your salmon!
- Try this much-healthier version of potato chips; kale chips! Lightly coat in olive oil, sprinkle with salt for a delicious snack.
- Make your own delicious dip from mashed avocado, low-fat plain yogurt, chopped chilis, lemon juice and chopped fresh cilantro – serve with crunchy carrot sticks and crisp red pepper chunks.
10 Easy Ways to Eat More Fruit
- Salads don’t have to be made just from veggies – try adding sliced pear, apple chunks, grapes, mango or berries.
- Add a few handfuls of berries (fresh or frozen) into pancake batter.
- Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on your kitchen counter or dining table.
- Stuff apples with dates, dried apricots and walnuts and bake in the oven for a tasty dessert.
- Freeze grapes, mango chunks and banana pieces for a cool, sweet treat.
- Make an energizing drink by blending apple, ginger, carrot and orange.
- Add grapes, strawberries, dried fruit, or sliced pear and apple to a cheese platter.
- Use up overripe bananas to bake a banana loaf or muffins – add some raisins for extra sweetness.
- Stew apples or pears and serve on breakfast cereal, or serve with low-fat yogurt and sprinkle with low-fat granola for dessert.
- Add banana to an oatmeal breakfast. Great sprinkled with cinnamon!
10 Special Tips To Get More Fruit & Veggies Into Your Kids’ Meals
- Involve your child in the meal preparation from recipe selection, to shopping, chopping and serving. It will make them feel involved with the foods on their plate and more interested in trying them.
- Grow vegetables and fruit in the garden or in pots and let your children help with the gardening and harvesting. It will help them understand where food comes from.
- Challenge your family to try a new veggie or fruit every week.
- Use up overripe bananas to bake a banana loaf or muffins – add some raisins for extra sweetness. Or how about some bran muffins with grated zucchini and carrot? Kids love baking!
- Canned beets can be added to chocolate cake, brownies, and muffins – not only does it make the cake moist, it also adds fiber! And how about making the frosting with avocado?
- “Hide” chopped mushrooms, diced bell peppers, chopped mushrooms, shredded zucchini, grated carrots, pumpkin or onion to pasta sauce, meatloaf, burger patties, casseroles and omelets.
- Stuff baked potatoes with corn kernels, green onions and diced red pepper.
- For a healthy after-school snack, top a slice of whole-grain bread with sliced tomato, sliced mushrooms and some diced lean ham, sprinkle with a little grated cheese and broil until bubbling.
- Add half a sliced banana or a sliced apple to a peanut butter sandwich.
- Puree fruit and freeze it in popsicle molds for a sweet frozen treat.
Written by Wendy Post and Rawinia Gregory.