Are you trying to get more fruits and vegetables onto your and your family's plate? There are many reasons to make this a priority. Fruits and vegetables are associated with countless measures of good health. People who eat more of these nutritious foods are at a lower risk for heart problems and other long-term health problems. They also tend to enjoy better control of their weight. With all of these benefits, it's no wonder people are trying to get more fruits and vegetables onto their plate. There are many delicious ways to increase your intake of these healthful foods! Here are 7:
- If you have a picky eater in your family who doesn't like vegetables, but still wants to get the benefits — try hiding them! Blend spinach or other veggies like cooked squash into soups and sauces — your picky eater probably won't even taste it.
- Are you a pasta lover? Try veggie pasta. Start with a pre-made pasta made from vegetables like beets and spinach. Or be more adventurous and go for some zoodles! These are made from zucchini that are cut into pasta shaped spirals. Steam and top with your favorite pasta sauce. Vegetable spiralizers can be found at most stores that sell kitchen gadgets.
- Fruit is sometimes called nature's candy. Finishing a meal with something sweet can be a great habit when that sweet something is fruit. Try strawberries with a bit of whipped cream for a light and delicious dessert.
- Smoothies are an excellent choice for any time of day! You can get fruit and vegetables into your menu by blending some frozen fruit, spinach, a bit of milk or water, and perhaps some yogurt. Many find that they don't taste the added vegetables.
- Beans count as vegetables! Add beans as a substitute for some or all of the meat in your favorite meat-based dishes like casserole or stew.
- Veggies work well in place of bread on a sandwich. A lettuce wrap is made by wrapping your usual sandwich fixings into romaine or butter lettuce. Eggplant slices and portobello caps can be grilled right alongside of your burger veggie or meat and make excellent buns.
- Fruit and vegetables are made more fun as kababs. Cut fruit and/or vegetables into bite-sized pieces and load onto a skewer. These are fun to take as party snacks or to a bar-b-q to put on the grill.
With so many great reasons to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet, try some of these ideas! Make a goal to get more fruits or vegetables in each day. Dietitians recommend five or more to maintain good health, and most say the more the better.