There is no question that we, as a country, are not doing a great job at getting as many fruits and veggies into our diets as we need to be healthy. According to the USDA’s MyPlate food guidelines, each day, half of what we eat should consist of fruits and vegetables. But for most of us, a small salad with dinner or some fruit with our morning meal is much more typical. Start the New Year off right by committing to filling your plate with locally grown fruits and veggies this year and use these tips for filling the plates of your kids, and husbands, too.
1. Be a Role Model
Unfortunately, most of us learn what, how, when, and why to eat by watching the people around us. This means that you play the biggest role in helping your family make healthy food choices. Start by taking a look at what you are eating everyday and making any necessary adjustments. Making healthy choices sets a great example for your family to follow while also making you healthier in the process.
2. Branch Out
With all the things we have to do on any given day, it is easy to understand why we get stuck in a rut when it comes to food. We tend to buy, cook, and eat the same things week after week. Trying new things can be a great way to get more veggies on your plate. Pick a new fruit or vegetable each week for your family to try and you may find a few new family favorites.
3. Dress Them Up
Get the nutrition without any nonsense by hiding the vegetables inside other dishes. For example, if your family doesn’t like chunky spaghetti sauce, puree the peppers, onions, and tomatoes and use the puree as the base of the sauce. You will still be filling their plates with nutrients; there just won’t be anything to argue about.
4. Creative Cooking
Another problem we often run into is that we fix veggies the same way every time. Rather than always serving a salad or providing a spoon full of boiled chopped veggies, get creative. Find new recipes that make vegetables accessible in a number of ways. Get your family involved in finding new things to try.
5. Swap out the Snacks
Fruits and veggies can make great snacks, but no one is going to choose a handful of carrots over a handful of potato chips. Make it easy to choose the healthy option by making it the only option. Once your family gets used to grabbing for grapes, they won’t even miss the snacks they used to love.
6. Get Them Involved
Another great way to fill your family’s plates with more fabulous fresh vegetables is to put them in charge. Pick one family member each week that is tasked with helping with shopping, picking recipes, and cooking the vegetables for that week.
- 10 Ways to Fill Your Day with Fruits and Vegetables: Part 1 (fillyourplate.org)
- 10 Ways to Fill Your Day with Fruits and Vegetables: Part 2 (fillyourplate.org)
- 7 Tips for Eating Your Way to More Energy (fillyourplate.org)