Healthy Eating: How to Easily Add More Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet

Last week I discussed how eating more fruits and vegetables can be the starting point to healthy eating. Now I’ll share some tips that can help you find easy ways to make eating fruits and vegetables part of your routine.

fruits-veggies-healthy

I will start by identifying opportunities to include more fruits and vegetables in your daily routine. Then I will identify some obstacles to eating fruits and vegetables and explore ways to overcome them.

Opportunities to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

  • Have some fruit with breakfast, like a banana, an orange or some berries. Whole fruit packs more nutritional punch than juice, so aim for that.
  • Bring a fruit and some veggies in your lunch to eat at work. It’s easy to grab an apple, pear or a nectarine in the morning as you are getting ready. Also, carrots, bell pepper, or cucumber can be easy options for the veggie.

clip art paper bag

  • Serve at least one vegetable with dinner, regardless of what you are eating. If you don’t normally serve vegetables when you eat pasta, chili, tacos, or pizza, give it a try. You can make a salad, or serve some steamed broccoli or carrots or your favorite vegetable.
  • If you already serve a vegetable with dinner, add a second one. It could be a salad, or a roasted vegetable, or any vegetable you enjoy. It will add more variety to your dinner plate, and most people like variety.

Obstacles to Eating Fruits & Vegetables and Solutions

  • Obstacle: I forget to eat them
    • Solution: Make some of your fruits and vegetables more visible, to serve as a reminder to eat them.
      • Keep some fruit out in a bowl on the kitchen counter or table. Seeing fruit that is ready to eat can help you to remember to take some for your work lunch or when you are hungry for a snack and rustling around in the kitchen.
      • Keep a couple of vegetables (like baby carrots, broccoli or lettuce) in the main part of the fridge instead of the vegetable drawer. It will be more noticeable to you each time you open the fridge to get something.

bananas and oranges basket of fruit on display apples and oranges

  • Obstacle: I don’t have enough time in the morning to prepare vegetables for my lunch
    • Solution: Keep some vegetables on hand that are quick and easy to grab and go.
      • Buy bags of baby-cut carrots, so that you simply need to take some and put them in a baggie. Bell peppers are another option, as you can bring a whole one and slice it at lunch time.
      • Prepare a larger serving of vegetables with dinner the night before, so that there are leftovers that you can bring for lunch. Extra steamed broccoli can be eaten as a cold salad with the addition of a bit of balsamic vinaigrette. Beets with a bit of balsamic vinegar are also good cold.
      • When making salad for dinner, make extra for the next day. Don’t dress it in the salad bowl, do that on the individual plates. Undressed salad will keep well until at least the next day. Now you have some salad that you can bring to work for your lunch or you can serve it for dinner on the second day.

 

  • Obstacle: I skip lunch/don’t have time for lunch at work
    • Solution: Bring some fruit and vegetables anyway, and eat them as a morning and/or afternoon snack. They can be eaten during a 5 minute break, or while you are doing work at your desk.

 

  • Obstacle: I buy my lunch at work and there aren’t usually many vegetable options
    • Solution: Bring some fruits and vegetables to work with you anyway, and eat them when you take a morning or afternoon break.

 

Hopefully these tips and tricks will help make it easier for you to find opportunities to add more fruits and vegetables to your routine as they really can serve as the launch point to healthy eating habits.

assorted fresh vegetables

How do you incorporate fruits and vegetables into your daily food routine? What makes it challenging sometimes to do so?

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