Everyone knows that a healthy diet consists of fruits and vegetables, but most adults are not getting enough servings of these important foods each day. Here in Arizona, it is easy to find fresh, locally grown, affordable fruits and vegetables all year round. Building off of the tips we gave in part 1 of this series, here are the remaining tips that will help you fill your plate and your day with fruits and vegetables.
5. Stock Up on Super Snacks
Snacking isn’t actually bad for you, but in order for snacking to be good for your health, you need to choose healthy snacks. This is one area where fruits and veggies can help save the day. From a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter to pre-made baggies of celery, carrot, and sweet pepper sticks, fruits and vegetables provide a wide range of low calorie, super healthy snacking options.
6. Leave Room for Dessert
Dessert doesn’t have to be decadent to be delicious. The natural sweetness of fruit can form the foundation of many different desserts. Many of us think that dessert is something we should save for special occasions, but why not indulge in a sweet treat at the end of every meal? Fabulous, fresh fruit makes it possible to appease your sweet tooth while sneaking in another serving of fruits and veggies. Turn chopped fruit and fat free yogurt into fabulous fruit-sicles or dizzle a little chocolate over strawberries, cherries, or bananas.
7. Stick with Salads
Salads are a great way to get more vegetables into your day while also decreasing your overall caloric intake. Salads full of dark leafy greens and chopped vegetables help fill you up which makes it easier to eat less over the course of the day. Choose dark leafy greens and top your salad with chopped peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, onions, carrots, or even your favorite fruits. You can get two or even three servings out of a single salad. Don’t let the dressing drag your salad down. Serve it on the side and dip your salad in the dressing rather than pouring it over the top. You will get all the taste and flavor while using significantly less dressing. Start with a Green Salad as a base and add your favorite chopped fruits and veggies.
8. Shake Things Up with a Smoothie
Smoothies are another great way to get more fruits and vegetables into your day. The key to keeping them super healthy is to make them yourself from fresh ingredients. This ensures you know everything that is in your smoothie and allows you to control how many calories it has and how many “extras” get added in.
9. Think Outside the Bread
Another way to get some more vegetables in your day is to look for creative ways to replace high-calorie bread with high-nutrient veggies. Using lettuce or other leafy green leaves in place of bread or tortillas is a great way to swap out some high calorie carbs for low calorie nutrient dense veggies. Try making Asian Lettuce Wraps, Chicken Lettuce Wraps, or Goat Cheese Lettuce Wraps.
10. Look for Opportunities to Swap
Simply swapping out some high calorie snacks and drinks for healthier options can make a big difference. Swap a can of pop for a glass of juice or veggie sticks for crunchy snacks like chips. Looking for these easy ways to swap out something high in calories for something made from fruits or veggies that satisfy the same craving will help you get more servings of fruit and veggies without feeling like you are on a diet.
- 7 Tips for Eating Your Way to More Energy (fillyourplate.org)
- Looking for Great Food? It May Be Closer Than You Think (fillyourplate.org)
- What to Do With All That Fruit (fillyourplate.org)