We all know by now that we should eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Nonetheless, knowing and doing are two different things, aren’t they? Sometimes it is not easy to stick to these. We are constantly tempted to fill up on junks and unhealthy foods. For some families, they’d be better off filling up on a bag of chips or a bowl of rice or pasta instead of eating an apple or a bowl of steamed broccoli. So, we have to be creative. Here are 10 exciting ways to sneak some extra fruits and vegetables into your family diet.
- Start the day with a smoothie for breakfast. All you have to do is throw some fruits, low-fat yogurt, and some ice into a blender. You can also add protein powder for additional nutrients and energy. Blend for a few seconds and you have a complete breakfast ready to eat. You can even sip your smoothie from a thermal cup while on your way to work. To make it more appealing to your children, use a scoop of ice cream instead of yogurt. Breakfast with ice cream will be a pleasant surprise.
- Dried fruits make a healthy snack at any time of the day. Put a small carton of raisins in your child’s lunch box. Carry a small, covered yogurt raisin in your pocket. Adding dried fruits to oatmeal and cereal in the morning is also a smart idea. Fresh fruits like berries and bananas can also be added to your breakfast cereal.
- Make your family’s sandwiches healthier by adding fruits and vegetables. You can add banana, apple, or strawberry slices to a peanut butter sandwich. Top a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and whatever else you want to eat. You can make a veggie sous-bout sandwich by combining many different veggies with mayonnaise and cheese on bread.
- Have a salad bar for dinner. Prepare different vegetables, cheese, and croutons as well as many dressing options and lettuce and let everyone create their own customized salad.
- Let them drink their fruits and vegetables. Keep a variety of fruits and vegetable juices in the fridge and encourage everyone to drink them as snacks. To show creativity. You can start “family wine hour” by pouring everyone a glass of their favourite drink over ice. You can grab a straw, an umbrella, and sit down to chat about everyone’s day.
- How about ice cream for dessert. Place a small scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt in a large bowl and top with plenty of fresh or frozen fruits.
- Offer fruits and vegetables as snacks. You can peel the apple and add it to peanut butter or cheese. Cut the cheese and serve with grapes. Cut fresh veggies and serve with your favourite sauce/dip. Spread cheese or peanuts on a stick of celery and sprinkle with raisins. No hard and fast rule with this, just put your imagination to work.
- Try fresh fruits and vegetables. You can spark your family’s curiosity by choosing something exotic. Hopefully, their curiosity will outweigh their initial apprehension about trying something new. You can try artichokes, plantains, papaya, mango, starfruit, or anything you can find in the produce aisle of your local grocery store.
- Prepare a plate of vegetable soup or stew with hot vegetables and meat. Both make excellent comfort food for the cold season.
- Be creative. For example, you can start “My veggie day.” Each member of the family can pick vegetables one day a week. They are eligible to choose a vegetable as long as they have tried any vegetable in the previous week, otherwise they are wasting time that mom can save. Incorporate some of these ideas and you will have everyone in your family eating more fruits and vegetables in no time.
Here is additional advice:
Now that everyone in the family has tasted this, make sure you always have a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables ready to snack. This will help you stay consistent until it becomes your lifestyle.