It seems so simple yet challenging for many people to get fruits and veggies daily. Did you know that only 1 in 10 adults consume the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables? I know you are thinking, how many servings of fruits and vegetables should I be striving for daily? The federal guidelines recommend that adults eat at least 1½ to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables per day as part of a healthy lifestyle. (1)
Eating vegetables and fruits are an essential part of a healthy diet, and making sure to eat a variety is as important as the quantity. Make sure to eat the RAINBOW because not one fruit or vegetable provides all of the nutrients you need.
Why is it important to eat your veggies? They are loaded with healthy nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, & phytonutrients. Eating more veggies can help you maintain healthy body weight and even lose some fat because they fill your stomach but are low in calories. Fruits and vegetables also help keep you hydrated since they have a lot of water content. (2)(3)
You know you should eat more fruits and vegetables, but you are probably scratching your head on how can I incorporate more into my daily routine?
Before we dive in, always make sure to start from where you are. If you’re not used to eating any fruits or veggies, try to incorporate just one or two per day. Build up from there. Don’t get overwhelmed thinking you need to overhaul your entire diet one day; that will set you up for failure.
Now, let’s dive into some easy ways to eat more fruits and veggies every day or ways to sneak them into your family’s meals.
Ways to SNEAK them into Your Meals
OK, this one may be a little “sneaky,” but I’m all about transforming you from the inside out, so hear me out. If you or a family member are not a big fruit and vegetable eater, this is for you.
Some dishes are super-easy to enhance or tweak with a bit of strategically placed produce. So for your next meal, try some of these ideas.
- For smoothies in the morning or as a snack, try adding a vegetable like a handful of spinach, or romaine lettuce, or some diced cucumbers, diced carrots, or diced zucchini, or even diced cauliflower. You can make some great smoothies with veggies, added carrot cake smoothie, zucchini bread, etc.
- Fruits you can add on Smoothies 1-½ apple or pear, a frozen banana, peaches, mangos, pineapple, cranberries, oranges, or berries. There is no limit or the variety you can add, so enjoy experimenting. Need some inspiration? You can download this Smoothie Recipe Pack to get you to blend some healthy and nutritious smoothies.
- Dice or shred up an extra bit of carrot, broccoli, zucchini, frozen peas, cauliflower, spinach, collards, kale, or peppers into your soup.
- Love sandwiches? Why not add an extra slice of tomato, lettuce, or cucumber to it? You can even add veggies in your next chicken, tuna, or salmon salad by dicing up a stalk of celery, shredded carrots, and roasted red peppers throw-in.
- Love to bake? How about substituting ¼ cup of the sugar for ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce or mashed bananas for the sweetness?
- Upgrade your Salad. If you eat a small salad or a salad with only iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Why not try a larger size filled with spring mix and spinach, even arugula? Add a variety of veggies to it, like roasted butternut squash, roasted brussel sprouts, carrots, artichoke hearts, banana peppers, and a various of peppers zucchini, squash, or asparagus, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, and much more.
- Throw them in your next scrambled eggs, omelet, or quiche. Spinach, peppers, mushrooms, or tomatoes are always a great choice to add.
- Making Italian? How about with your tomato sauce, add in some mushrooms, shredded carrots, zucchini, or peppers.
- Like Mashed Potatoes? Try adding mash cauliflower or rutabaga in your next mashed potatoes.
- Coleslaw with a nutrient punch. Add some shredded brussel sprouts, collards, and/or kale in with your cabbage for your next coleslaw.
- Like Ice Cream? Try making NICE Cream with frozen bananas, a splash of almond milk or milk of choice, along with cinnamon and vanilla extract. Blend to form ice cream.
Make them Taste MORE FlAVORFUL
- Roast or steam some veggies and add a touch of olive oil and your favorite herb or spice.
- Use veggies as your sandwich “bread” by making a lettuce wrap. Iceberg Lettuce or Collard Leaves are usually a good choice.
- Don’t be afraid to spice them up! Try sauteing them for 10 minutes with a drizzle of oil, broth, and flavor them with pepper, garlic, ginger, lemon, or cumin.
OPTING FOR THEM AS SNACKS
- Kale or Sweet Potato Chips, anyone? Wash, pat, and massage kale leave with oil and seasoning throw-in in the oven to make kale chips or thinly slice sweet potatoes with a little oil and seasoning to make healthy homemade chips.
- Why not throw a banana, apple, grapes, blueberries, or a couple of clementines into your lunch or snack bag?
- Ditch the chips and dip – Instead, try some carrot, celery, broccoli, cucumber, or cauliflower, peppers with a dip like hummus, guacamole, bean dips, or even your favorite salad dressing?
- Add fresh or frozen berries, strawberries, or other fruit to your yogurt.
YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK
Take any two of these suggestions and try them this week. Each week add one or two more fruits and veggies to your day. Then next week, add another one or two more. Before you know it, you will be meeting your daily intake as well as looking and feeling better.
And if you’re not an instant fan, well, try again in a different way. Studies have shown that sometimes it takes our taste buds several tries before beginning to like a new flavor. You can do it, and your body will thank you.
Let me know your favorite ideas in the comments below.
If you struggle with your health and nutrition or need some creative and delicious ways to help, you eat more fruits and veggies. I can HELP! Contact me TODAY to find out how I can help or book a 15-minute Discovery call.