The hustle and bustle of everyday life can sometimes make it challenging to include fruits and vegetables in your daily eating habits. However, prioritizing fruits and vegetables in your daily routine can make a big difference not only in the way you feel but can improve your overall health and wellbeing as well.
According to the 2020 PBH State Of The Plate Executive Summary, as Americans, we are experiencing a crisis in fruit and vegetable consumption, with nine out of ten people not eating adequate servings of fruits and vegetables each day. With most people only eating fruits and vegetables (one serving) once or less each day, making these nutrient-dense foods a staple in each meal is critical to ensure proper nutrition throughout all life stages. In this article, you will learn some tips on how to incorporate more produce-packed meals and snacks into your daily routine.
How big is a fruit or vegetable serving?
Generally, 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice or 2 cups of raw leafy salad greens can be considered one vegetable serving. One serving of fruit is regarded as 1 cup of fruit or 100% fruit juice, or ½ cup of dried fruit. Keep in mind that these serving sizes are for guidance only and are not the same for everyone. For more information on fruit and vegetable serving sizes visit MyPlate.gov.
Make fruits and veggies more convenient
At the beginning of the week, prep your fruits and veggies in individual containers for quick on-the-go snacks you can enjoy anywhere. This way, you can ensure your snack routine will consist of fruits and veggies for the week. For example, carrots, celery sticks, and cauliflower are simple vegetables you can pair with hummus for a nutritious and delicious snack. Buying dried fruits and veggie chips is also another way to make eating fruits and vegetables more convenient.
Try something new
Are you tired of your typical fruit and vegetable routine? Try something new this week to keep it interesting. Instead of your regular sweet potatoes, change it up with purple sweet potatoes for a colorful addition to mealtimes. Add jicama into a salad or serve cut into matchsticks seasoned with lime and chili powder. Try adding in jackfruit instead of meat into tacos for a boost of fiber to the meal.
Purchase already prepped veggies to save time
Short on time to prep your veggies for the week? Try buying pre-cut and pre-washed vegetables to save some time and still be able to incorporate more produce into your daily routine. These can be a convenient way to make sure you will have veggies ready to eat when it comes to meals or snack times. Bagged salads, baby carrots, broccoli florets, and riced cauliflower are all excellent vegetables to buy ready to eat.
Stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables
These produce options are a quick and easy way to add more nutrition to any meal. You can easily prepare frozen vegetables in the microwave or on the stovetop with little to no prep time. Frozen fruits are also a simple way to get more fruit into your daily diet. Try adding frozen fruits to smoothies or adding frozen blueberries to oatmeal or as a topping for yogurt. Keeping frozen produce on hand will make sure you always have a nutritious addition to mealtimes, even when you are in a hurry.
Serve fruits and veggies for snack time
Serving fruits and veggies for snack time can be an excellent way to incorporate more produce into your routine. Make these items a staple of snack time, and you can be sure to get in a serving of fruit or vegetables in between meals. Offer various produce items each time and serve alongside snack favorites such as crackers, homemade baked goods, yogurt, and cheese. Some snack ideas can include vegetables and dips, yogurt parfaits with fresh or frozen berries, or homemade baked goods made with green leafy vegetables or fruits that give a natural sweetness.