We all know by now that fruits and veggies are a necessary part of our lives. But how do we do it? Keep reading today’s guest article by Sarah Landrum for ways to incorporate more of these vital nutrients into our daily food choices.
As a kid, you probably had a way around eating every fruit and vegetable on your plate. Perhaps you shifted them around with a fork so it looked like you were eating them. You could’ve hid them in napkins, too. If you had a pet dog hanging out under the table, he might’ve gotten lucky enough to eat your leftovers.
As adults, though, we begin to realize just how important produce is for our bodies. Nevertheless, many Americans struggle with getting enough of them into their daily diets: As of 2010, a mere 27 percent of adults were eating the right amount of veggies per day.
We want the cycle to stop here, which is why we’ve put together a list of 10 tricks to get more fruits and veggies into your diet. Read on and eat up!
1. Bring Them to Breakfast
Start your fruit-and-veggie quest early by adding some produce to your morning breakfast routine. Of course, you could grab a piece of fruit to go with your daily yogurt or toast, but you could also get creative: Blend a smoothie with a mix of leafy greens, fruits and tasty add-ins like almond butter for an early dose of freshness.
2. Let Someone Else Make Them
Your homemade side of steamed carrots doesn’t taste as good as your favorite café’s version, so take advantage of it when you go out. Make sure to opt for a veggie side and go for a double order if you get two side options with your meal.
3. Be Sure You Can See Them …
Your fruits and veggies might get lost in the fray of your fridge when they’re placed in low-hanging crisper drawers. Make sure yours are seen – and eaten – by lifting them to a higher shelf with better visibility.
4. … And Make Them More Accessible
Not all produce goes in the fridge, so make sure your room-temp greens don’t get lost, either. Instead, put them on display in a cute fruit bowl at the center of your kitchen table or stand-alone island. You’ll be more likely to grab for them as a snack, too.
5. It Doesn’t All Have to Be Fresh
Sometimes life gets in the way of your healthy-eating pursuits, but it doesn’t have to. Have a few bags of frozen fruits and vegetables in your freezer for nights and mornings when you can’t run to the grocery store. You can make great smoothies, side dishes and more with the colder option.
6. Quell a Snack Attack
We all have cravings, and it turns out that fruits and vegetables can help sate them. It’s clear that fruit can calm a sweet tooth, while vegetables can meet the need for something crunchy or savory. Replace chips or pitas and use a handful of crudités to dip into healthy spreads like hummus or yogurt-based dressings.
7. Grow Your Own
It’d be hard to say no to fruits and vegetables when they’re growing in your backyard. After selecting a seasonally appropriate plant to grow, you’ll have an abundance of fresh produce to put on the table. Many gardeners insist that the fruits of their labor taste better than any grocery-store variety.
8. Rewire Your Mealtime Brain
Protein has become the centerpiece of most meals, whether it comes in the form of a juicy steak or a steamy red lobster. However, vegetables are just as – if not more – important, and should take up the majority of the space on your dish. Aim to devote an entire half of your plate to fresh produce.
9. Pour a Glass Responsibly
Fresh juices have become all the rage in the healthy-eating community, and for good reason: They blend together multiple servings of fruits and veggies in an easy-to-ingest beverage. Just be sure that you check labels before you start juicing, as you only want to drink juice that’s low in sugar and made from 100 percent natural ingredients.
10. Make Your Last Meal Green
Always reflect before you prepare your final meal of the day. If you don’t think your diet consisted of enough vegetables, then make a dinner that revolves around them. Think a salad topped with blackened chicken strips or fresh salmon. It still contains the protein that you want with all of the nutrient-packed plant power that you need.
What other ways have you boosted your fruit-and-veggie intake? Share in the comments section below to make this list even longer.
About the Author
Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer with a passion for living a healthy, happy life. She’s also the founder of Punched Clocks, a career blog for happiness and success. Be sure to subscribe to her newsletter and follow her on social media for more great tips!
Do you have any tips and tricks in how to get more fruits and veggies into your diet?