According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the average American needs to increase their fruit and vegetable intake by several servings per day. Although this may sound simple, it will take some creativity and discipline to incorporate more fruit and vegetables in your diet. Here are some simple and tasty suggestions to help in the transition.
- Add fruit and/or vegetables to beverages. Lemons aren’t the only fruit you can add to your drink. Try adding a couple of cucumbers and orange slices to your water, it really makes for a refreshing drink. Add peach slices or strawberries to your tea or lemonade. Eat the vegetables and/or fruit as you consume your beverage.
- Top off your cold cut sandwich or burger with more than just lettuce and tomato. Instead turn it into a gourmet (and healthy) sandwich by adding alfalfa sprouts, spinach, cucumbers, peppers and or red onions. Burgers or grilled chicken sandwiches are also delicious with a fresh slice of pineapple on top.
- Always serve a salad with each meal. You can serve a fruit cup, spring salad or even coleslaw for variety. Add fresh fruit like strawberries or tangerines to greens for a really tasty salad. In addition to increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, you will probably eat less of the main course possibly resulting in weight loss as well.
- Do you have cold or hot cereal for breakfast? Add bananas and/or strawberries to cold cereal. Try raspberries, bananas and/or blueberries in hot cereal.
- Make up your own vegetable and/or fruit baggies for snacks. In small baggies place spears of broccoli, cauliflower, baby carrots and celery sticks. For a little flavor, use ranch dressing as a dip. Make up fruit bags by putting slices of apples, oranges and pears along with grapes, cherries, etc. in a baggie. Kids can dip fruit in strawberry yogurt as a special treat. Having the baggies will make it easy for you or your kids to grab a healthy snack. These also make great snacks for school and/or work.
- Get many servings of fruit by making fruit smoothies. These are great for breakfast, a snack or even a delicious dessert.
- Many restaurants are now more flexible and provide the customer with many more healthy alternatives. So instead of having french fries, order a salad or a vegetable for your side dish.
Be persistent and consistent, and before you know it you and your family will easily be consuming the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day.