As a Registered Dietitian, I see that a lot of clients I work with are lacking in the fruit and vegetable department. Not for any particular reason: lack of food knowledge, not enough time to cook, needing support with brainstorming, maybe food pickiness etc. However, there are a lot of great options out there that are really going to help you out. If you work One-on-One with me, you’ll get a much more in-depth approach to this process like mindful of allergies, budgets, schedules etc to really make the nutrition-aspect 100% personalized to you. But in the meantime, here are 20 tips to eat more fruits and vegetables.
Ensuring you are eating enough fruits and vegetables allows you to get vital vitamins and minerals that allow us to have short-term benefits like better cognition and more energy, and long-term health benefits like lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, preventing cancer, and lowering the risk of eye and digestive problems. Based on the MyPlate recommendations, our goal is to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables– this is approximately 2-3 cups of each per day (a total of 4-6 cups!).
It can feel like a lot to fit in throughout the day! Here are a few of my pro tips:
- Mix up a smoothie with a bunch of frozen fruits, and even a handful of spinach to sneak some vegetables in.
- Have cut fruits and vegetables prepared for fast snacks.
- Mix in vegetables to your pasta dinner: try broccoli, spinach, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini.
- Make a veggie wrap with roasted vegetables and low-fat cheese rolled in a whole-wheat tortilla.
- Substitute crunchy vegetables for chips with your favorite hummus, guacamole, or salad dressing for dipping.
- Snack on dried fruits for a sweet treat or dried vegetables for a crunchy and salty snack.
- Grill colorful vegetable kabobs packed with tomatoes, green and red peppers, mushrooms and onions.
- Add variety to a large salad for lunch or dinner.
- Have canned fruits and vegetables available in the pantry for a snack, side dish, or to add-in to a main meal.
- Add bananas, berries, apples, pears and/or peaches to oatmeal for a power breakfast.
- Stuff an omelet with vegetables such as carrots, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and/or onions with cheddar cheese.
- “Sandwich” in vegetables to your sandwiches with tons of greens, and potentially peppers, carrots, cucumber and tomato as fillings.
- Add raw or cooked veggies to tacos or taco bowls: greens, salsa, guacamole, celery, corn, onions, and shaved carrots.
- Make your own veggie fries by slicing parsnips, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and carrots to bake in the oven.
- Microwave a cup of vegetable soup as a snack or with a sandwich for lunch.
- Stir fry carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, bell pepper, celery, and onion together with rice, chicken, and teriyaki sauce.
- Make fruit your dessert: combine sliced strawberries, raspberries, and bananas in a bowl with chocolate chips.
- Dip carrots, bell peppers, celery, and radishes into hummus.
- Heat a frozen bag of Edamame and top with a light salt for a snack while watching TV.
- Add fruit like berries, bananas, peaches, apples or friend fruit to greek yogurt.
At the end of the day, your health matters. What you put in your body matters. You deserve to feel your best … and the best part is IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE COMPLICATED. It can be as simple as using a few of these tips in your daily cooking.
BUT, if you need additional support that is HANDS ON & PERSONALIZED to your needs, it’s really time to look into investing in your health. I’ll help find a realistic balance that is custom to your needs, lifestyle, and goals in ALL aspects of health. Check out my One-on-One Coaching Program that offers:
- One-on-One Coaching Sessions
- Nutrition, Fitness, and Overall Health Education
- Personalized Nutrition Needs
- Long Term and Short Term Goal Setting
- Unlimited Weekly Workout Plans
- Unlimited Support and Accountability
- Access to my Client Portal, Handouts, and Resources