Need easy vegetable and fruit ideas for you or your kids? Here are 4 simple ways to add more produce to your diet everyday to help reach your goal of seven to ten servings PER DAY!
Why do we need so many fruits and vegetables anyway?
Fruits and vegetables are full of important nutrients that can help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
DID YOU KNOW:
1. According to the American Heart Association, more than 80 million Americans have some form of heart disease?
2. According to the National Cancer Institute, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men will have cancer in his or her lifetime.
These are staggering facts!
Be sure you and your family are on the right track to better health with these 4 ways to adding easy vegetable and fruits to your diet:
1. SNACKING: Be sure to keep fresh fruit and vegetables on hand on the LOW shelf of your refrigerator for easy access by the kids. Prepare an appetizing after school snack like Ants on a Log (celery with peanut butter and raisins) or Potted Plants (small bowl of hummus with baby carrots sticking out and parsley on top for “leaves”) Kids LOVE fun foods! Why do you think they sell so many foods with cartoon characters on them?
2. MIRROR: Let your children see YOU eating vegetables and fruits. The more kids see parents eating healthy foods, the more they will model that behavior. “Do as I say, not as I do” model DOES NOT WORK! You need fruits and veggies everyday just as much as they do. So, EAT UP!
3. COOKING: Simply adding a handful of veggies to an omelet or some berries to oatmeal can be an easy way to add more produce to your diet. Try adding pureed carrots and squash to spaghetti sauce or make a smoothies with low-fat yogurt, berries, ice and even some green veggies like kale and cucumber.
4. MEAL PLANNING: Make it a priority when planning meals to include as many fruits and vegetables as possible. Serve vegetable soup or a side salad with your meal or a fruit cup with frozen yogurt for dessert. Make kabobs for the grill or roast root vegetables for a tasty side dish.
With a little imagination and planning, you and your family can meet your daily servings of fruits and vegetables without (too many) complaints from the peanut gallery!