I have a feeling that writing out these tips on how to eat more fruits and vegetables in our diets have benefited me more than you, since I followed my own advice this week! There were a couple meals that I purposely added frozen green beans to (after they were microwaved, of course) to pump up my veggie intake. I also ate several large salads this week, as well as increased the amount of veggies I used in a pasta salad of mine.
So as much as for me as for you, listed below are 10 more tiny inspirations to help you eat more fruits and vegetables every day. These are in addition to the 10 I wrote up in last week’s blog.
1. When needing a quick meal, cook up a rice noodle soup bowl, and load it with at least a cup or two of any variety of frozen veggies.
2. If you eat a lot of healthy frozen meals for lunch, add another cup (or two) of frozen vegetables to microwave with the meal.
3. Add about ¼ cup of Grapenuts or similar cereal (with five or fewer ingredients) to your cut up cantaloupe for an excellent sweet and crunchy snack (or dessert).
4. Replace chips or crackers with raw carrots and/or apple slices for a side to your sandwich, veggie burger, etc.
5. Find a low-fat, bean dip recipe you love and make it once a week to use as a dip for raw vegetables. (This Tuscan White Bean Dip is a great recipe to try.)
6. Use applesauce or spotted bananas instead of oil in your baking. (See Banana-Chocolate Chip Scones.)
7. Eat fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors. This maximizes the nutritional benefits you receive from eating healthy.
8. Shop for fruits and veggies every 3-5 days or so, to keep your produce fresh and to help make sure what you are buying doesn’t spoil.
9. Clean and cut up your fresh vegetables when you come home from the store to ensure you will add them to your meals. (I do this for, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower, for example, and this makes cooking with them or adding them to salads quick and accessible.) The same for fruit. Rinse fruit like cherries and grapes right away and place them in a container in the fridge so that you have quick access to eating them.
10. Cook around two vegetable-heavy meals a week (this could be a vegetable chili or soup, a spaghetti squash pasta dish, etc.) that have a lot of leftovers, so you don’t burn out in the kitchen. Soon you will build a repertoire of several recipes to keep your family healthy and satisfied. There are lots of books available in our local libraries that can help you discover meals that are easy for you to make and that taste great. And of course, peruse “My Nutritarian Diary” recipes to see if one of these dishes could be one of the ones you want to try.