Lessons on Adding More Fruits and Veggies from a Dietitian

eat more fruits and veggies

We all know we’re supposed to eat our fruits and vegetables. Mom has been saying it for years, as has everyone else that understands the profound health benefits that fruits and vegetables provide. Unfortunately, collectively as a nation, we don’t listen all that well.

A recent study (completed in 2010), analyzed the fruit and vegetable intake of high school students and found that 28.5% of students consumed fruit less than one time daily and 33.2% consumed vegetables less than one time daily. And we adults aren’t any better!

It’s clear we have our work cut out for us. People simply prefer chips, crackers, candy, and cookies to good ‘ole fruits and vegetables, but there are ways around this. Check out some of these practical tips on adding more color to your daily diet…

    • Add banana to your whole grain cereal or some berries to your oatmeal.
    • When making pasta, add some extra veggies to your tomato sauce.
    • Make some homemade salsa or guacamole with tomatoes, onions, and avocado.
    • Make fruit kabobs with strawberries, bananas, pineapple, and apples (these are perfect for kids because they are bright and colorful).

make fruit kabobs

    • Add some finely grated vegetables to meatloaf, soups, or stews.
    • Dip your carrots, celery, or cucumbers into hummus or Greek yogurt.
    • Blend your favorite fruits into a smoothie for an appetizing snack or delicious dessert.
    • Dip your fruit in some peanut butter or chocolate. Don’t worry—it still counts.
    • Top some whole grain waffles or pancakes with some warm applesauce.
    • Add extra vegetables to your pizza. A slightly healthier version still tastes great!
    • Make a batch of homemade chicken salad and add some dried fruit, grapes, or apples.
    • Add a layer of spinach or eggplant to your favorite lasagna recipe.
    • Mix peppers, mushrooms, and spinach into your morning eggs…omelet or not!

Mix peppers, mushrooms, and spinach into your morning eggs

    • Make sweet potato chips by slicing, oiling, seasoning, and baking.
    • Add broccoli or other vegetable favorites to your child’s macaroni and cheese.

Start small and try two or three of these ideas this week to see how you do. Then, gradually incorporate more and more.

Hey, if an apple a day can keep the doctor away, imagine what a whole garden can do!!

##What fruit or vegetable is your favorite?
Share in the comments section below!

photo credit:
1: Michael Porter
2: Sean Rogers
3: Stephanie Kilgast

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