You’ve all seen the food guide right? It says we are supposed to eat 8-10 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. However knowing and doing are two different things aren’t they? Sometimes it is just not that easy to get them all in isn’t it? Our society today is constantly bombarded with fast food and junk food. How many of you would rather fill up on chips and dip instead of some carrot sticks or an apple? Answer honestly now!
Well today I want to share with you a few creative ways to sneak some extra vegetables and fruit into your daily diet.
- Make breakfast smoothies. Smoothies are so quick and easy you can’t help but fall in love with them instantly. All you have to do is throw some fruit, milk, and ice in a blender , and viola, breakfast is served. My hubby and I have smoothies every morning for breakfast and have been doing so for the last 2 years. Not only do we get sick less but we also have lost weight.
- Snack on dried fruit. Dried fruit can be thrown in with some nuts in a bag and make a great mid day snack. You can also add it to homemade oatmeal in the morning. As tasty as dried fruit is, remember it is high in sugar and has less fiber than the whole fruit so eat it in moderation.
- Make fruit and veggie sandwiches. Add some fruits and vegetables to your sandwiches. Fresh strawberries sliced taste great with peanut butter; Or add some lettuce, tomato, or maybe even some cucumber. A veggie and hummus sandwich is one of my favourites.
- Get into salads. Salads are one of the most versatile dishes you can make. No matter what flavour combination you like, it is possible in a salad. If you like Mexican flavours make a salad with tomatoes, avocadoes, lettuce, and corn. If you like Greek flavours make a salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and lettuce. Salads are a quick and easy meal that is packed with nutrition.
- Make your own juice. The juices you buy at the grocery store are often loaded with added sugar. Instead, make your family a homemade blend. One of our favourites is carrot, orange, mango, and banana juice.
- Have fruit for dessert. Who says dessert has to be cake or cookies?! Instead, serve fruit for dessert. If you want to really get your kids excited, melt a little bit of chocolate in a double boiler and create your own fondue party. Things like melons, bananas, and strawberries work great for this.
- Eat produce as a snack. So many of us have hectic schedules that we are often on the go when we are hungry. Grab an apple or banana to snack on while you are out and about. Not only will this satisfy your hunger but it will also stop you from hitting the local fast food joint.
- Try something new. I bet there are at least five different kinds of fruits and veggies that you have never tried. If you are bored with the same old selection, try something exotic. You can get all sorts of cool produce varieties at your local ethnic market. Star fruit, plantains, papayas, and passion fruits are some of our favourites.
- Soup it up. Soup is an awesome way to get extra veggies into your diet. Make some homemade broth and then add in some carrots, lentils, peas, etc. to give your meal a nutritional boost. We eat a lot of soups at home. Some of them are pureed soups like butternut squash or ginger carrot while others are broth based loaded with lentils and beans. Soups not only fill you up well but they also help control your caloric intake.
- Grow your own produce. Nothing is more satisfying for me than heading out my back door and grabbing some fresh grown produce to add to my meal. If you have never grown anything before, check with your local garden centre to find out what grows best in your climate. Start with simple things like tomatoes, zucchini, and herbs that will be sure to give you a harvest. Once you get your garden going I promise you, you will be motivated to use it because the stuff will taste amazing.
You see, adding extra produce into your family’s diet isn’t that challenging. Try incorporating a few of these ideas and you will have everyone in your family eating healthier in no time.
So, are you going to eat more fruits and veggies? I hope so.