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Meeting Your Healthy Eating Goal for Fruits and Vegetables

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found this handy article from everydayhealth.com to help us Eat our Fruits and Veggies!!!


Follow these simple tips from Hoch to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat each day.

  • Add fruits and vegetables to your favorite dishes. Find ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into foods you already eat, Hoch suggests. For example, stir fruit into your cereal or yogurt, add strawberries or blueberries to your pancakes, pack your sandwich with extra veggies, add vegetable toppings to your pizza, stir greens into your favorite casserole or pasta dish, or stuff your omelet with extra vegetables. There are plenty of cookbooks to get you started, such as The Complete Plant-Based Cookbook for Beginners by Jordan Worthen, or How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman.

  • Clean out your junk food cabinet. Researchers compared the food choices people made when given three options: an equal number of healthy and unhealthy foods, more healthy foods, or more unhealthy foods. The results, which were published in BMC Public Health in November 2018, indicated that eliminating the less-healthy options was more likely to result in healthy choices than any other scenario. So stocking plenty of produce is good, but eliminating junk food alternatives will seal the deal.

  • Make a list of your favorite vegetable-rich recipes. Keep a collection of recipes handy to serve as a resource when you make your shopping list, Hoch suggests. Pick out three or four to buy for in a week. Apps like BigOven or Paprika can help you find, save, and organize recipes and develop shopping lists.

  • Try new things. Next time you go to the grocery store, pick out a new fruit or vegetable to try. Better yet, sign up for regular produce deliveries from your local CSA. Community supported agriculture supports local farmers and gives you a surprise assortment of whatever’s growing. Check out FairShare to find one near you.

  • Cook vegetarian. At least once every week, skip the meat (you could join in on Meatless Monday) and try a new vegetarian recipe for dinner. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association in August 2019, plant-based diets were associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease as well as lower mortality from all causes. You can find recipes at The Post Punk Kitchen or It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken.

  • Snack away. Try snacking on fresh or dried fruit. Hoch says to check labels to make sure there’s no sugar added. Try carrot and bell pepper strips with a low-fat dip, or baked chips with fresh salsa.

  • Have canned and frozen options on hand. These are just as nutrient dense as fresh, says Jaramillo, and they are often more cost-efficient as well. Just be sure to read labels — sometimes canned options can have lots of added sodium or sugar.

  • Consider a fruit smoothie in the morning. You can easily pile fruits and veggies into a healthy smoothie, says Jaramillo, and even “hide” the tastes you may not love, like spinach or kale.

  • Think seasonally. Take advantage of fruits and vegetables in season when you can, Hoch suggests, and that might mean visiting a farmers market and becoming aware of what’s available when.

  • Do more meal prep. Chopping up a few vegetables in advance and storing them in your fridge can make you more likely to reach for them when throwing together meals, says Hoch.

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