10 Ways to Add a Few Extra Fruits and Vegetables to Your Family's Diet
Posted on January 16 2021
We all know now that we should eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. But knowing and doing are two different things, aren't they? Sometimes it's just easier to desire than to take action. We are constantly tempted to fill up on processed and junk food. If your family is like mine, they'd much rather fill up on a bag of chips or a bowl of rice or pasta than try an apple or a plate of steamed broccoli. So we're going to have to get creative. Here are some ideas for "hiding" a few extra vegetables and fruit in your family's diet.
- Start the day with a breakfast smoothie. All you have to do is throw fruit, low-fat yogurt and ice cream into a blender. You can also add a scoop of protein powder in there for good measure. Just stir for a few seconds and you've got the perfect breakfast ready to go. I like to sip mine in a girly glass. To make it even more appealing to your kids, use frozen yogurt or a scoop of ice cream in the smoothie. They won't believe you let them have ice cream for breakfast.
- Dried fruit makes a great snack any time of day. Add a few small boxes of raisins to your child's lunch box, pack yogurt-covered raisins in your spouse's lunch and keep a trail mix ready for snacking. You can also add dried fruit to cereal in the morning. My daughter likes the banana chips in this breakfast cereal.
- Add fruits and vegetables to your family's sandwiches. You can add banana slices, apple slices or strawberry slices to a peanut butter sandwich. Top a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and whatever else they eat. You can even make a sub-style vegetable sandwich by combining several different vegetables with a little mayonnaise and cheese on the bread.
- Have a salad bar at dinner. Set up a variety of chopped vegetables, cheese and croutons as well as several choices of dressing with lettuce and let everyone create their own perfect salad.
- Let them drink their fruits and vegetables. Keep an assortment of fruit and vegetable juices in the fridge and encourage everyone to drink them as a snack. Be creative. You can start "family cocktail hour" by pouring everyone a glass of their favourite juice on ice. Add straws, umbrellas and sit together to talk about how everyone's day went.
- Try this for dessert. Put a small scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt in a bowl and garnish with lots of fresh or frozen fruit.
- Offer fruits and vegetables as snacks. You can slice apples and garnish them with peanut butter or cheese. Cube cheese and serve with raisins. Cut up some fresh vegetables and serve them with ranch dip. Spread some cream cheese or peanut butter on the inside of a celery stick and sprinkle with raisins (wow, fruit and vegetables in a snack).
- Try some new fruits and vegetables. Choose something exotic (pitaya yum-yum) to get your family curious. Hopefully, their curiosity will outweigh their initial apprehension about trying something new. You can try artichokes, plantains, papaya, mango, star fruit, or anything else you can find in the produce department of your local grocery and/or fruit store.
- Make a pot of vegetable soup or stew that is heavy on vegetables and easy on meat. Both make comfort food when the weather gets cold.
- Start "My Veggie Day". Each member of the family can choose one vegetable on any day of the week. They are eligible to choose a vegetable as long as they have tried each vegetable the week before, otherwise they lose a turn and Mom gets to choose.
Incorporate some of these ideas and everyone in your family will eat more fruits and vegetables in no time.
Here's another tip:
Now that everyone in the family has gotten a taste for fruits and vegetables, make sure you always have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables available and ready to snack on.
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Audrey - xo