More Ways to Enjoy Fruits and Veggies.
We all know we should eat more fruit and vegetables, and who doesn’t like a juicy slice of watermelon or a steaming baked potato? Nonetheless, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say only about 12 percent of Americans eat the recommended 1½ to 2 cups of fruit every day, and only 9 percent get the 2 to 3 cups of veggies we should eat daily.
Why? Many of us perceive it to be difficult to eat fruit and veggies. You can’t get them readily at the drive-through, they won’t sit on the pantry shelf for months and there’s all that washing, peeling, and chopping you have to do. Plus, for a nation that’s developed a real preference for sugary and fried foods, they just aren’t that appealing.
Still, it is possible to introduce more fruits and veggies into your diet without wrinkling your nose. The following list will get you started:
- Rise and Shine. Throw some berries onto your morning cereal. Add a banana to your morning routine. Stir some spinach and tomato into your scrambled eggs.
- Let Them See It. Buy a nice fruit bowl and keep it filled. Keep a dish of carrot sticks in the fridge. People will eat more of what they see more.
- Freeze It. Fruits and veggies keep most – if not all – of their nutritional value when frozen, and they’re easy to throw into a steamer, add to a recipe, blend into a smoothie, or simply thaw and eat.
- Go Halfsies. In theory, half your plate should be filled with fruit and vegetables. So, instead of starting with protein and starch and adding a little fruit or veggies on the side, flip the plan and use the good stuff as your starting point.
- Gulp It Down. You can get a lot of your recommended daily allowance of fruits and veggies in juices – but be careful. Some “juices” are little more than flavored sugar water. Look for “100 percent” fruit or vegetable juice.
- Make It Dessert. “Fruits are nature’s candy,” says Heather Mangieri, a nutrition consultant and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. Throw fruit in with ice cream, puree it into a sauce to pour over desserts, make a smoothie, or just let the natural sweetness of fruit provide your desired post-meal sugar fix.