Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tips to get more vegetables and fruits into your diet

Your body needs lots of fruits and vegetables. They are an important source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and phytochemicals. Unfortunately, most people don’t eat enough of them. Listed below are some tips on how to get more fruits and especially vegetables into your meals and snacks.

• Serve at least one fruit or vegetable at each meal and snack.

• Try all the different colors like dark green, deep yellow, orange, red, blue and purple.

• Think outside the box. Dip veggies in bean dips or salsas.

• Tuck them in whole wheat pitas.

• Let everyone in the family pick out a vegetable to purchase, this is especially fun at a farmer’s market.

• Add extra vegetables to canned products like soups and spaghetti sauces.

• Add them to foods like eggs, omelets, sandwiches, lasagna, pizza, and casseroles.

• Finely chop vegetables before adding them to other foods. The chopped pieces are not as easy to pick out.

• Clean and chop produce ahead of time so they’re easy to grab as a snack or take with you when your family is hungry.

• Add berries, bananas or other brightly colored fruits to cereals, pancakes, waffles or oatmeal.

• Don’t just have lettuce in your salad. Add a variety of fruits and vegetables.

• Keep produce in sight. Have a bowl of raw or steamed veggies on the counter available for munching while dinner is being prepared.

• Keep tying things! Studies show children may need to taste several times (10 or more) before they begin to enjoy certain foods.

• Parents can be good role models. Show your kids how much you enjoy eating fruits and vegetables.

• Blend a mixture of vegetables and fruits to make delicious and refreshing smoothies.

Source: Marquette Food Co-op and Prevention Network