Many of us don’t like the taste of fruits and vegetables. Though we know they are an important part of our diet, we sometimes force ourselves to eat them. You may be someone who does enjoy them, but just simply does not eat them enough. Do I have a solution for you! There are many different ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables in your day while enjoying them.
For breakfast, try putting some fruit such as bananas, strawberries, or blueberries in oatmeal, granola, or cereal. What’s nice about the oatmeal is not only will it be filled with fruit, but it will be a filling breakfast, as well. If you are a planner, then whip some multi-grain muffin batter up and add some fresh fruit to give you that hearty breakfast the next morning. Use a banana instead of oil or an egg. Now that we have breakfast covered, what should you eat for lunch?
One quick idea is a dark leafy green salad with carrots, cucumbers, onions, and tomatoes in it, all tossed in an oil free dressing. Salads aren’t just for vegetables. Fruits as well can be put into salads, such as mandarin oranges or even strawberries. Not big on salads? That’s okay! Vegetables are easy to incorporate in sandwiches. Instead of using iceberg lettuce, switch to romaine or even spinach. Dark leafy greens have more nutrients than iceberg lettuce. Always keep in mind, the darker the better. Avocado and tomatoes are also great additions to a sandwich. With the avocado you may not need the dressing or condiments on your sandwich, which can be fattening.
As for dinnertime, you can also use the lunch time suggestions previously mentioned. Other ideas are to make a stir-fry that is packed with fresh veggies. When stir-frying, try to limit your addition of salt and use fresh herbs. Another great idea for dinner is to grill fruit and vegetables on kabobs.
Having a sweet tooth can cause us to consume more sugars than we should. So why not satisfy that sweet tooth of yours, but in a healthier way. Ways you can do so is by putting fruit in crepes, breads, cookies, or sorbet. Vegetables can also be made into breads such as zucchini or pumpkin. As for beverages either as a snack or to accompany a meal, smoothies can be made with tons of fruits and vegetables. For some smoothie recipes, visit http://www.somesojourns.com/2012/03/26/50-smoothie-ideas-to-start-the-day/.
Sometimes hunger strikes us between meals. Packing a bag of vegetable chips, granola or trail mix with fruit, and vegetable sticks with hummus are all options to hold your stomach over. Many of us prefer the quick salty fattening foods, but there are plenty of foods that can be quick and healthy for us as well. Now that you have the information at your fingertips you can start taking the steps to eating more fruits and vegetables. If you would like more information or recipes please visit http://www.choosemyplate.gov/healthy-eating-tips.html.
Written By Allison Mack, Kent State University Dietetic Student