Do you know how many servings of fruits and vegetable you are supposed to get in a day?
FIVE! Most people don't even come close to this!
Most of the time it isn't as easy as we thought it would be... or we think we are eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, but when we actually log it, (that dang truth telling log) it isn't nearly as much as we thought. The constant temptation of convenient foods, fast foods, and junk foods is ALWAYS there. Unfortunately, most of these things do not pack any punch for the fruits and veggies that we need. Plus...If your family is anything like mine, they’d much rather fi ll up on a bag of chips or a bowl of rice or pasta instead of snacking on an apple or veggies and hummus. So we’ll have to get creative :)
Here are a few ideas to “sneak” in some extra fruits and veggies...
1. Start the day with a breakfast smoothie. All you have to do is throw some fruits, low-fat yogurt and ice in a blender. You may also want to add a scoop of protein powder in there for good measure (Check out the this blog post for my favorite breakfast smoothie). Just blend for a few seconds and you have the perfect breakfast ready to go. I like to sip mine on the way to work or when I am the Mom-Taxi.
2. Dried fruit makes an excellent snack any time of the day. The nice thing about dried fruit is that it doesn't have to be refrigerated, so you can keep some in your car or purse for when you are starting to feel bingey (that's a word... I think).
3. Add some fruits and vegetables to your sandwiches. You can add some banana, sliced apples or strawberry slices to a peanut butter sandwich. Top a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and anything else you will eat. You may find that your sandwiches fill you up a little more when you have all the added fiber and other nutrients!
4. Have a salad - Try adding things you might not have thought of, like cabbage, Brussel sprouts, peppers etc. You might find a new concoction you love!
5. Try making healthy zucchini muffins or make egg muffins and add veggies for an easy breakfast throughout the week!
6. Try this for a dessert when you feel a sweet tooth coming on ... some mixed berries, with a little bit of sugar free whipped topping. YUM!
7. Offer fruits and vegetables as snacks. You can cut apples into slices and top them with peanut butter or cheese. Cube cheese and serve with grapes. Cut up some fresh veggies and serve them with ranch dip or hummus. And of course there’s ants on a log... bringing it back old school. Spread some cream cheese or peanut butter on the inside of a stick of celery and sprinkle raisins on it (wow, fruit and vegetable in one snack).
8. Try some new fruits and vegetables. Pick something exotic thank you have never tried! You could try artichokes, plantains, papaya, mango, star fruit, Lychee or anything else you can find in the produce department of your local store.
9. Make a pot of vegetable soup or a stew that’s heavy on veggies and easy on the meat. Both of these make some great comfort food when the weather gets cold. I prepping a good veggie soup on sunday and having it throughout the week for lunches or a quick dinner
10. The easiest way to get fruits and veggies, especially for those of us that just open the refrigerator and stare... have fresh fruit and veggies already chopped up and washed... they are easy to grab, and less calories and more nutrients than most of the other things we may snag when we are bored eating!
Incorporate a few of these ideas and you may find that you are able to log quite a few more of those nutrient dense fruits and veggies throughout the week!