These days, most of us know that it’s important to be eating lots of fruits and veggies. Sometimes it difficult to get these all in, even more so if we have picky eaters in the house. The current USDA recommendation are 7-13 servings each day though there probably isn’t such a thing as too many fruits and veggies.
Here are 5 ways to help you get more produce into your diet
- Start with more of what you like. If your produce intake is low, and the thought of more is filling you with dread, think about with fruits and veggies you DO like. There is no rule that says you have to eat tons of broccoli. For example, if you don’t particularly like broccoli, substitute it for another green veggie like zucchini. Eating more fruits & veg doesn’t have to be painful.
- Soups are a great way to great way to get more veggies. Having small cut pieces of vegetables (if you like texture in your soup) is a great way to start. Or use an immersion blender in the pot if you have picky eaters and want to disguise that extra goodness. Some good soup choices to consider are onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, zucchini and potatoes. Cruciferous veggies like broccoli or cauliflower have stronger flavors that intensify when they are cooked longer, so those might not be the best options for those just starting to eat more veggies.
- Salads are another option for getting in a variety of veggies. Think outside the box here. Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and shredded carrots are you’re Grandma’s salads. While we all loved Grandma, and eating such a salad is still better than skipping it, try a variety of greens as your base. Trader Joe’s and Costco have interesting mixes that include shredded veggies that you may have not considered. Fruit is also fun and sweet way to make your salads more inviting. Sliced or diced apples or pears, mandarin oranges, or sliced strawberries are delicious in salads and that sweetness offered might just tempt some picky eaters who would normally shy away from the salad. Left-over roasted veggies also work really well. If you want your salad to be your main course, toss in some rice or quinoa to make it more filling.
- Stir-Fry is another good way to add in a variety of veggies. Opt for lots of colors (peppers, eggplant, mushrooms) and textures (zucchini, broccoli, onions). It’s a good way to include some old favorites along with some new ideas for your salads.
- Drink your veggies. Smoothies are a great way to get your veggies in! Spinach for example, doesn’t change the taste of a smoothie, though it definitely changes the color! One or two leaves of kale won’t usually be noticed, though handfuls of mature kale might give your smoothie a bitter taste. No such problems with baby kale or baby chard. In fact, click here for a recipe to my favorite smoothie. You can also add a variety of fruits to your smoothie. Again, since it is blended up, you can sneak in more choices for picky eaters.