The recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables every day can seem daunting to some folks. In fact, many of us can really only manage to get our vegetables on our dinner plate and a piece of fruit in between lunch and dinner as a snack. Neither of these is a bad thing, but we’re not getting up to five servings under these circumstances. So FoodFacts.com has some suggestions that will help you meet those recommendations more often and keep your diet interesting and flavorful.
Think about your breakfast
Most people think of breakfast as a bowl of cereal or oatmeal, eggs, or pancakes – the traditional breakfast foods we’re used to (especially those that we’re eating in a rush to get out the door) don’t include fruits or vegetables. Believe it or not, breakfast can be one of the easiest meals in which to include fruits or vegetables.
If you like yogurt and granola, pick up some of your favorite fruits – berries, peaches, grapes, or anything else you’re partial to and you can quickly make a great breakfast parfait by layering the yogurt, granola and fruit in a glass. This is both refreshing and filling.
When eggs are on the menu, choose omelets you can fill with spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, zucchini or any other vegetable you choose. And, if you’re rushed for breakfast, you can keep a bowl of cut-up fruit in your refrigerator to mix into vanilla yogurt to grab and go.
Use a fruit bowl
Have you ever gone to the grocery store and purchased fruits that you knew your whole family would enjoy only to find them getting softer and softer in the refrigerator day by day? Ever hear the old adage “Out of sight, out of mind?”. We think this applies directly to fruit in refrigerators. Get a pretty bowl, fill it with fruit and leave it out where your family can see it. They’ll be much more likely to help themselves to a piece from the bowl because they don’t have to remember to go looking for it in the fridge.
The art of the hidden vegetable
Here’s another old adage we like to apply to vegetables — “What you don’t know can’t hurt you”. We know how difficult it is for some people to eat vegetables. You’d be surprised how many adults have just as much of a problem with them as children do. There are ways to use vegetables that your family will never suspect … and they’ll actually really love. A few thoughts are: shredded carrots in meatloaf, chopped spinach in meatballs, and cauliflower in mashed potatoes — not to mention zucchini bread, carrot bread, and pumpkin bread.
Fruit for dessert
While we understand we’re all trying to be more conscious of our eating habits, we don’t have to give up on dessert completely. You can make an interesting and refreshing fruit salad for everyone to enjoy after dinner or anytime. It’s tasty and healthy and will leave everyone feeling satisfied that they were able to enjoy an after-dinner “treat”.
If you have any other ideas that will help us all reach the recommended five per day servings of fruits and vegetables, please let FoodFacts.com in on them and we’ll make them available to the whole community.