Originally they said, “An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away”. As modern medicine progressed so too did our understanding of health and nutrition, so the advice became “Have 5 A Day And Healthy You’ll Stay”.
Now, this has evolved even further, with recent studies recommending we should aim for 7-10 portions of fruit or vegetables each day! I don’t know about you but when I think of eating 10 portions of fruit and veg per day, I can’t help feeling like I’ll have to become a rabbit!!!
But I really am trying to take better care of myself, so I scoured the net for every hint, tip, and trick, I could find to help me increase my daily intake of fruit & veg, without feeling like a rabbit and put together this awesome guide to help you eat more fruit & vegetables!
1) Have Fruit Or Vegetables With Every Meal
Once you start asking yourself “how can I add some fruit or vegetables to this?” every time you prepare a meal you’ll see it’s actually pretty easy. For example:
2) Eat The Fruit & Vegetables You Like
Some people simply don’t like fruit & vegetables so this can be really hard. But unless you’re an exceptionally picky eater, there are bound to be some that you do like. So focus on the fruits and vegetables you enjoy, as nothing will make you feel like you’re being force-fed fruit and vegetables, more than trying to choke down something you don’t like.
So if you hate berries, don’t add them to your oatmeal, but if you do like bananas, add a chopped banana instead! If you don’t like broccoli but love carrots, choose carrots as your vegetables!
3) Eat Your Fruit & Vegetables First
Where you have fruit or vegetables as a side dish, try eating them first. This tip actually has a couple of benefits:
- It’s easier to digest fruit and vegetables this way, as they hit your stomach first and these high-fiber foods begin to be broken down first.
- You’ll fill up on healthy fruits & vegetables, so will potentially eat less stodgy carbs meaning you’ll feel less sluggish.
- The last food you’ll eat will not be fruit or vegetables, so your brain will remember the flavor of that last bite of steak, pasta, etc, rather than vegetables so it won’t feel like all you ever have is veggies.
4) Add Hidden Fruit & Veggies
Like most kids, my nephew hates vegetables (big surprise). My poor sister-in-law is constantly trying to figure out how to get extra veggies into his diet and has come up with some pretty creative ideas. Some of her top suggestions are:
- Add pureed veggies to pasta sauce
- Add grated veggies to burger patties & meatballs
- Use fruit and vegetables juices and smoothies
- Hide veggies in baked goods like carrot cake and zucchini muffins
5) Drink A Smoothie
You can add a lot of fruit and vegetables to a smoothie and if you’re smart about it, probably get 3-5 portions of your desired fruit and veg intake in one go! Check out my 30 Great Recipes To Boost Your Fruit & Veg Intake for some great smoothie recipe ideas!
6) Make Them Part Of Your Snack
Chips and dip is an awesome combo, but why not swap out tortilla chips for veggies like carrot sticks, sliced peppers, celery ribs or cucumber batons? These kinds of veggies all work really well with dips like hummus (I love this pepper and walnut hummus) and guacamole. As your scooping up your delicious dip you won’t realize you’re chomping through lots of veggies too!
7) Combine With Filling Foods
I know so many people who say they couldn’t have “just a salad” for lunch because they would be hungry an hour later. And honestly, if your lunch is a few like limp salad leaves and a sad wedge of tomato that’s very true. For a salad to satisfy you, it needs to have filling power!
So make sure you include carbs or protein by adding things like nuts, cheese, quinoa or beans to your salads to make them a satisfying meal! Check out my 15 Healthy Salads That Are Far From Boring for some great healthy yet filling salad ideas to help you to eat more fruit and vegetables.
So those are my top tips to eat more fruit and vegetables and not feel like a rabbit but I’d love to hear any tips or suggestions you might have. Let me know in the comments below!