With the average american diet, it can be hard to get the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables a day. The number of each is debatable, because this number actually shouldn’t be generalized. Instead try going to CDC.gov and enter in your age, gender, and activity level to get a more accurate idea of how many fruits and vegetables you need a day. For example, I need 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables each day, being a moderatly active, young female.
Once you have discovered how much you need, make a goal and get cookin! Here are 5 easy changes you can make so you eat more vegetables and fruits in your diet.
1. Smoothies- Smoothies are a great snack with so many benefits if made correctly. Try making them yourself with a blender or magic bullet with plenty of fruit and yogurt and ice. For some great recipe ideas, che ck out some of my other posts: My First Green Smoothie, Smoothielishious & Smoothielishious Part 2.
2. Add Veggies to your main dish- When cooking fun dishes like spaghetti, lasagna, tacos, or others, try adding a few extra vegetables in the dish, as well as on the side. Be sure to pick vegetables that you like and pair well with the meal. Try decreasing the amount of meat you put in your dish, and replacing that with vegetables. If your normally cook your spaghetti with a pound of hamber, try only adding a half a pound of hamburger, and add some yummy mushrooms, squash, and onions to your dish!
3. Turn fruit into a topping- Instead of using syrups on waffles, ice creams and some cakes, try making a fruit topping instead. You can make your own simply by pureeing a few berries and leaving some cut up. Be sure to add a pinch of stevia, or your favorite sugar type if the fruits aren’t sweet enough. Don’t forget to add fruit to your yogurts, oatmeal, and other favorite treats.
4. Replace Oils with Applesauce- This is a great trick to make treats less fattening and still turn out great. This can be done with many oil based recipees. Just exchange them 1 for 1. Such as 1/4 cup of oil can be replaced with 1/4 cup of applesauce.
5. Another great way to help you eat more vegetables and fruit is to add convenence to them. People typically reach for the potato chips or snacks because they are easy and quick. By making these options the same for your fruits and veggies…you might be more likely to eat them! Try cutting up cellary or apples the way you like the day before you plan on eating them. Prepare them in little bags and put them in a visible spot. Defrost frozen fruit you might want to eat plain and put room temperature vegetables in plain sight.
Happy Healthy Eating, ~HealthyGirl