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Getting More Fruits and Vegetables in Your Diet

Basket full of vegetables, including tomato and bell papers

I know we’re way past resolution time, but why do we have to wait for the beginning of the year to make goals? I think many of us could stand to eat a little healthier, namely by getting more fruits and vegetables in our diet and I recently got an email from the Harvard Health Publications sharing 13 ways to make that happen. Since this is something I struggle with I figured I’d share their list, with my own commentary included, in the hopes of motivating myself to try some of their suggestions.

1.) Know your needs: we need to be aware of how many servings of fruits and veggies we are currently getting, it is recommended that we had 2 cups (4 servings) of fruit and 2.5 cups (5 servings) of vegetables a day – are you close?

2.) Set a goal: once you know where you’re lacking, choose ways to make a change, don’t stress about getting it all in at once, find easy ways to increase your intake and build from there.

3.) Be sneaky: this doesn’t just have to work on kids; we can add shredded or pureed vegetables to so many things we commonly make.

4.) Try something new: If you can’t bring yourself to eat another carrot, try mixing it up. I didn’t think I liked cauliflower until I was in college and now it’s one of my favorite veggie snacks!

5.) Blend in: a quick and easy (and yummy!) way to pack a lot of fruit in is to make a smoothie, get creative in what you throw into your blender.

6.) Be a big dipper: my son will eat just about anything if he can dip it; try it, it can add a little zip to an otherwise dull vegetable or piece of fruit!

7.) Spread it on: the email suggests using some thicker veggie dips as a spread on your sandwich to add in some extra veggies!

8.) Start off right: Adding veggies to your eggs or fruit to your cereal is a good way to get your day off on the right foot.

9.) Drink up: Vegetable juice is a good alternative when looking for something to quench your thirst without the sugar that can be found in sodas and lots of fruit juices.

10.) Give them the heat treatment: Grilling vegetables can be a fun option, bringing out flavor you didn’t know was there from regular stove-top cooking.

11.) Let someone else do the work: when all else fails, buy a pre-made salad or bowl of mixed fruit; the fruits and veggies aren’t any better for you just because you prepared them!

12.) Improve on nature: Spice things up by experimenting with spices and other various toppings.

13.) Get help from Willy Wonka: adding chocolate makes everything better, just be sure to use the better-for-you dark chocolate so you can enjoy its healthier benefits as well!