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Tips for Eating More Fruits and Vegetables

Use these fun, easy tips to make sure that you get your 5 to 9 a day, every day!

Breakfast

  • Add frozen or fresh vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, or tomatoes to your eggs and omelettes.
  • Have a fruit at breakfast daily.
  • Add strawberries, blueberries, bananas and other brightly colored fruits-fresh, frozen, or canned-to your waffles, pancakes, cereal, oatmeal, or toast.
  • Mix one large chopped apple with a pound of lean ground turkey or chicken. Season with sage and rosemary and flatten into healthy breakfast sausage patties.

Lunch & Dinner

  • Include a serving of fruit in every lunch for your children. If they buy lunch, ask them about their favorite fruits or vegetables to eat at school.
  • Dip slices of sweet potatoes in a mixture of egg substitute and nutmeg and bake on a lightly greased pan in a 425° oven for 20 min for tasty sweet potato fries.
  • Microwave vegetables for an easy side dish dinner.
  • Try a black bean, corn, and bell pepper salad seasoned with cilantro and balsamic vinegar.
  • Stir-fry fresh or frozen vegetables like squash, peppers, and mushrooms, with lean meat or poultry. Try adding bean sprouts and water chestnuts and spice it up for the Asian flair!
  • Pile spinach leaves, tomatoes, peppers, and onions on your pizza.
  • Toss a handful of beans or crunchy sprouts on your salad. Or, if you have a sweet tooth, add chopped apples, raisins, or craisins.
  • Try veggie instead of meat lasagna.
  • Add frozen broccoli, green beans, corn or peas to a casserole or pasta.
  • Soup's on! You can stick with the basics like tomato or vegetable soup or mix up some minestrone or veggie chili to cut winter's chill.
  • Add lettuce, tomato, onion, sprouts, cucumber, etc. to sandwiches.
  • Save time with prewashed salad in a bag.
  • Order salads, vegetable soups, or stir fried vegetables when eating out.
  • Choose beans, coleslaw, corn on the cob, or a side salad instead of french fries.
  • Serve pasta primavera.

Snacks

  • Keep a bowl of fruit on your desk or counter.
  • Snack on raw veggies like baby carrots, pepper strips, broccoli, and celery.
  • Try baked tortilla chips with black bean and corn salsa.
  • Stash bags of dried fruit in your car and at your desk for a convenient snack.
  • Try hummus and whole wheat pitas.
  • Drink a frozen fruit smoothie made with whole fruit, ice cubes and skim milk.
  • Make fruits and vegetables visible in your home by having fresh fruit out on the tables or countertops.

Desserts

  • Top a cup of fruit-flavored yogurt with fresh sliced fruit.
  • Cantaloupe and watermelon balls with chopped crystallized ginger in syrup.
  • Baked apples or pears for a healthy but sweet treat.
  • Sliced strawberries and raspberries sprinkled with balsamic vinegar and powdered sugar.
  • Whip up smoothies made from fresh or frozen berries, ice, and yogurt.

Other Tips

  • Stock up on dried, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables.
  • Pick up ready-made salads from the produce shelf for a quick salad anytime.
  • Encourage your child to choose his or her own fruit when shopping.
  • Store cleaned, cut up vegetables in the fridge at eye level and keep a healthy dip on hand.

Source: National Cancer Institute.

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